"All at sea" Piracy, the Indian Ocean, and Art History

Co-presented with the The Power Institute

23 March

“All at sea?” Piracy, the Indian Ocean, and Art History is a public symposium bringing together world experts on Indian and Indian Ocean art, together with critics and artists from the Subcontinent, to discuss: how we write the history of Indian and Subcontinental art, how we work out in all our global flow of ideas in contemporary art, how to account for histories of art specific to regions and what place they have in our ‘global contemporary present’.

The symposium will question: what is legitimate art and art history?; are we really in a newly egalitarian contemporary space where art from anywhere can become prized and canonical?; and, are there still ‘legitimate’ and ‘piratical’ art histories?

Speakers will include:

  • Frederick (Rick) Asher, Professor of the University of Minisota’s Department of Art History and expert on Indian art and cultural history.
  • Shelly Errington, Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz and cultural anthropologist specialising in narrative arts, documentary film, photography and mulit-media.
  • Michael Holly, Starr Director of the Research and Academic Program at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, whose scholarly interests include historiography and criticism; the intellectual history of the history of art; and ancient, medieval, and Renaissance art.
  • Partha Mitter, Professor emeritus of art history at the University of Sussex and author of several books, including Art and Nationalism in Colonial India, 1850–1922 and Indian Art.

The symposium is convened by Kavita Singh and organised and supported by the Power Institute with the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute’s Research and Academic Program, through their Andrew W. Mellon Foundation ‘trade routes’ initiative.