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Speech Acts

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Art critic and curator Geeta Kapur’s oeuvre engages with modernity, emphasizing alongside the need to identify and polemicize the contradictions that undergird it. She traverses a situated discourse across categories such as the Third World, the postcolonial and the global South. Speech Acts contains select interviews that annotate Kapur’s contributions to modern Indian art criticism and trace her interrogations of the contemporary through various historical conjunctures. It also includes texts by her that enrich as well as complicate the relationship between art, subjectivity and the historical context. These writings and exchanges range from manifesto-like to the contemplative, offering an overview of a critic’s praxis through art-thinking.

Geeta Kapur

Geeta Kapur is a Delhi-based critic and curator. Her essays are extensively anthologized; her books include Contemporary Indian Artists (1978), When Was Modernism: essays on contemporary cultural practice in India (2000), Critic’s Compass: Navigating Practice (forthcoming). She was a founder-editor of Journal of Arts & Ideas and a member of the advisory council of Third Text. She is on the advisory board of ArtMargins, and an editorial advisor and trustee of Marg. She has curated survey exhibitions at Lalit Kala Akademi (Delhi), National Gallery of Modern Art (Delhi and Mumbai), Royal Academy of Arts (London). Her curatorial projects include: ‘Dispossession’, Johannesburg Biennale (1995); ‘“Bombay/Mumbai”, Century City’, Tate Modern, London (co-curator, 2001); ‘subTerrain’, House of World Cultures, Berlin (2003); ‘Aesthetic Bind’, Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai (2013–14). She was jury member for the Biennales of Venice (2005), Dakar (2006) and Sharjah (2007); and member, advisory board of Asian Art Council and Guggenheim Museum, New York, Asian Art Archive, Hong Kong, Tate Research Centre: Asia, London. She has held visiting fellowships at the Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla; Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Delhi; Clare Hall, University of Cambridge; Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. She was awarded the Padmashri by the Government of India in 2009.