Film Screenings

Ascetic Journeys: Exploring Jain Life in Museums, Exhibitions and Films

2024-07-18 00:54:23

Harsha Vinay, Dr. Johannes Beltz

Ascetic Journeys: Exploring Jain Life in Museums, Exhibitions and Films


November 3, 2023    
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Drone view of Varanga Jain temple, Varanga, Karnataka, 2021.

The series of films, Asceticism – a day in the life of…, Vihara – a path to salvation, and The Crow and the Palm Fruit, showcases the lives of ascetic monks and nuns from the Jain community in South and Central India. They give an insight into their lived ascetic practices of pilgrimage, renunciation, non-violence and Sallekhana or the practice of voluntary fasting unto death. Filmed over a period of two years (2020 – 2022), across four states of India, the films were conceived specifically for the exhibition, Being Jain: Art and Culture of an Indian Religion by Museum Rietberg, Zurich in collaboration with Green Barbet, India.

The film screenings will be followed by an informal conversation by Dr. Johannes Beltz, Deputy Director and Curator of South Asian art at the Museum Rietberg, Zurich, and Harsha Vinay, Co-curator and Director, Green Barbet India Ltd, with an audience Q&A. 

The film screenings have been curated under Living Cultures, MAP’s public programming theme for the quarter. Through this theme, we explore the practices and evolution of cultures: shaping identity, representing beliefs, but also reimagined and revived by new encounters and changing contexts.

Harsha Vinay

Curator, Filmmaker

Harsha Vinay holds an MA from the School of Arts & Aesthetics, JNU, New Delhi, and a BFA in Painting from College of Fine Art, Bangalore. From 2013 to 15 he worked at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore, as Assistant Curator in-charge of exhibitions, programmes and outreach. Prior to this he was the Specialist Writer & Subject Expert on the curatorial team of the ICCR sponsored landmark exhibition — The Body in Indian Art and Though’ curated by Naman Ahuja, held in the Bozar galleries, Bruxelles 2013. Here, Harsha was also entrusted with research and collation of documentary films from the archives of the IGNCA and Sangeet Natak Akademi on the living traditions of India.

Dr. Johannes Beltz

Senior Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art, Museum Rietberg

Dr. Johannes Beltz is the Senior Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art, and has held various leadership roles at the Museum Rietberg. In 2009, he was promoted to Head of Department and joined the Executive Board. He managed loans, collection development, exhibitions, and international collaborations. In 2016, he assumed the role of Vice Director and Head of Art Education. Dr. Beltz holds a Ph.D. in religious and social transformation in India and has a diverse educational background, including degrees in Theology, South Asian Studies, and extensive research experience, particularly in South Asian art and culture.

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