Modern and Contemporary Art of the Indian Ocean: Methodologies and Aesthetics


Modern and Contemporary Art of the Indian Ocean: Methodologies and Aesthetics

Date: Saturday, May 4 | 6:30 pm
Price: $20 Regular | $18 Friends | $15 Students and Seniors
Tickets include same-day Museum admission.

Join Iftikhar Dadi for a thought-provoking talk about the various aesthetic modalities employed by modern and contemporary artists engaging with the Indian Ocean, as well as the frameworks and arguments advanced by critics to interpret their work.


In recent years, the study of the Indian Ocean has experienced rapid growth, evidenced by the increasing publication of new journals, monographs, and essays. Historians have meticulously traced the exchanges of objects, people, motifs, and narratives across this expansive region from the premodern era through the European colonial period. Studies of recent cultural developments often contextualize contemporary art within the crucible of the colonial era, where momentous developments such as indenture and the mapping of nature continue to influence current practice.


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About Iftikhar Dadi

Iftikhar Dadi is John H. Burris Professor and Chair of Cornell University’s Department of History of Art. He has authored Lahore Cinema Between Realism and Fable (2022), Modernism and the Art of Muslim South Asia (2010) and edited The Lahore Biennale Reader 01 (2022) and Anwar Jalal Shemza (2015). He has co-edited Art and Architecture of Migration and Discrimination: Turkey, Pakistan, and Their European Diasporas (2023); Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space (2012); and Unpacking Europe: Towards a Critical Reading (2001). Co-curated exhibitions include Pop South Asia: Artistic Explorations in the Popular (2022–23) and Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space (2012–13). As an artist, Iftikhar Dadi collaborates with Elizabeth Dadi to make work that explores questions of identity and borders, and the capacities of the informal urban realm in the Global South.


This event is part of the Arts of the Indian Ocean Conference, Toronto, 2024

Arts of the Indian Ocean brings together knowledge producers working on the diversity of the Indian Ocean’s arts from diverse backgrounds and scholarly arenas to present and discuss research and work on the materialities and artistic expressions in the Indian Ocean world, across geographies — from Eastern and Southern Africa, through the Gulf and Red Sea, to South and Southeast Asia and the South China Sea — as well as across temporalities — from antiquity up until the present day. 


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Presented in partnership with


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