Notations on Time

Notations on Time is a group exhibition that explores the philosophical and political dimensions of time through the works of 20 contemporary artists from South Asia and its diaspora. Curated by Sandhini Poddar and Sabih Ahmed, the exhibition stages a dialogue between artistic generations to highlight entanglements between the past, present and future. The exhibition exists as a veritable laboratory of time, exploring art in notational, experimental and fragmentary forms. Standing apart from Western notions of linearity, progress and capitalist domination, Notations on Time explores ontological systems that reveal how artists from this region and its diaspora think about aesthetics, existence, remembrance and futurity.

Where and how do we ‘read’ time? On bodies, skins, machines, rivers, landscapes, and stars. Within wormholes in cosmic space and underground, in unseen root systems, within site-readings from archaeological and evidentiary fieldwork, within ancestry and oral traditions, within myths, folklore and storytelling, within science fiction and mixed realities, within long-dead stars in the cosmos viewed through powerful telescopes, and so much more. The exhibition poses questions such as, ‘what happens when residues from the past are reincarnated into the future? Where does the jurisdiction of the present end? What is the future of the past? What possibilities can the space of an exhibition offer to think through these questions?’

Notations on Time includes works by Soumya Sankar Bose, Sheba Chhachhi, Shezad Dawood, Ladhki Devi, Gauri Gill & Rajesh Vangad, Aziz Hazara, Amar Kanwar, Ali Kazim, Mariah Lookman, Haroon Mirza, Anoli Perera, Lala Rukh, Jangarh Singh Shyam, Dayanita Singh, Ayesha Sultana, Jagdish Swaminathan, Chandraguptha Thenuwara, and Zarina, accompanied by an infra-vocabulary from Raqs Media Collective’s book ‘Seepage’.

Artworks for this exhibition have been loaned from the Ishara Art Foundation and the Prabhakar Collection, the private collections of Taimur Hassan, Lekha & Anupam Poddar, and Shweta & Vikram Puri.

The exhibition has been supported by Taimur Hassan.
Logistical support from Jhaveri Contemporary (Mumbai) Lisson Gallery (London), and Saskia Fernando Gallery (Colombo).

Photo: Soumya Sankar Bose, Where the Birds Never Sing (2017-2020). © Soumya Sankar Bose.

About the Curators
Sandhini Poddar is a London-based art historian and Adjunct Curator at the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project, where she is responsible for acquisitions, commissions, and research for the future museum. Previously, Poddar served on the curatorial team at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation from 2007 until 2016 as part of its international Asian Art Initiative. During her tenure, she curated ground-breaking exhibitions on modern and contemporary Asian art including, ‘V. S. Gaitonde: Painting as Process, Painting as Life, ‘Being Singular Plural’, and ‘Anish Kapoor: Memory’. She also organized the Guggenheim’s presentation of ‘Zarina: Paper Like Skin’. Poddar writes on contemporary art, aesthetics, and politics and has contributed articles for magazines such as Artforum, ArtAsiaPacific, and Art India. She has post-graduate degrees from New York University and Mumbai University. Poddar recently curated ‘Indra’s Net’ for Frieze London. She is a Trustee of South London Gallery.

Sabih Ahmed is the Associate Director and Curator at the Ishara Art Foundation in Dubai. Prior to Ishara, Ahmed was a Senior Researcher and Projects Manager at Asia Art Archive from 2009 to 2019. Over the years, he has led research and digitisation projects around artist archives, organised international conferences on art history and educational resources, and has co-curated exhibitions in Barcelona, Dhaka, Delhi, Hong Kong and Shanghai. At Ishara, he has curated exhibitions and programmes that include ‘Staging the Contemporary: The Next Generation’, a symposium organised in collaboration with the India Art Fair (New Delhi), ‘Navjot Altaf: Pattern’ among others. Ahmed’s writings have been published by Mousse, the Whitworth, Arts Cabinet, onCurating, and he serves on the Advisory Board of Sher-Gil Sundaram Arts Foundation, New Delhi.

Artist Biography

Soumya Sankar Bose (b. 1990) is an artist based in Kolkata, India. He reconstructs archival materials and oral history into photography, films, alternative archives and artist books.

Read more

(b. 1958) is an artist, photographer and thinker based in Delhi, India. Her practice investigates questions of gender, eco-philosophy, violence and visual cultures, with emphasis on the recuperation of cultural memory.

Read more

(b. 1974) is an artist based in London, UK, where he is Senior Lecturer and Research Fellow in Experimental Media at the University of Westminster. He was trained at Central St Martin’s and the Royal College of Art before undertaking a PhD at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Read more

Ladhki Devi (b. 1955) lives in Sakhre village, Maharashtra, India, and is a practitioner of Warli art.

Read more

(b. 1970)is an artist and photographer based in New Delhi. She earned a BFA in Applied Art from the College of Art, New Delhi, BFA in Photography from Parsons School of Design/The New School in New York, and MFA in Art from Stanford University, California.

Read more

(b.1975) was born and lives in Ganjad village in Dahanu, Maharashtra, India. He is a bearer of the Warli style of painting, which is a traditional form of painting belonging to the indigenous people of Warli.

Read more

Aziz Hazara (b.1992) lives and works between Berlin, Germany, and Kabul, Afghanistan. He is currently a KFW Residency artist hosted by Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin). His work has been exhibited both regionally and internationally at Smack Mellon (New York), 58th Carnegie International (Pittsburg), Busan Biennale (Busan), NIRIN 22nd Biennale of Sydney..

Read more

(b.1964, lives and works New Delhi, India). Recent solo exhibitions have been at Museo Nacional Thyssen- Bornemisza, Madrid and Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris (2019), Tate Modern, London (2018), Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden (2017), Goethe Institut Mumbai and NTU CCA Singapore (2016), Assam State Museum, India (2015).

Read more

(b. 1979) was born in Pakistan and currently lives and works in Lahore, Pakistan. He received his BFA degree from the National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan, in 2002 and an MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, London, UK, in 2011.

Read more

 (b.1973) is an artist specialising in studio and process-centred, research-based practice. She also teaches and curates. At present, she teaches in the graduate programme at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in Karachi and divides her time between Galle, Sri Lanka, and Karachi, Pakistan.

Read more

(b. 1977) was born in London, United Kingdom, where lives and works. He has won international acclaim for installations that test the interplay and friction between sound and light waves and electric current

Read more

(b. 1962) is a painter, sculptor and installation artist based between Colombo, Sri Lanka, and Delhi, India. She has a degree in political science, economics and sociology from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, followed by a postgraduate diploma in International Affairs.

Read more

Raqs Media Collective (established in 1992). The word “raqs” in several languages denotes an intensification of awareness and presence attained by whirling, turning, being in a state of revolution.

Read more

(b.1948 – d.2017) studied art at Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan, and at the University of Chicago, USA. She taught for 30 years at Punjab University, Department of Fine Art and the National College of Arts where she set up the MA (Hons) Visual Art Programme in the year 2000.

Read more

(b.1962 – d.2001) belonged to the Gond community of Mandla district in Madhya Pradesh. Jangarh's works reflect the innocent vision of the tribal mind executed with the confidence of a creative genius. In 1985, he won the Shikhar Samman, the highest honour in Madhya Pradesh for an artist.

Read more

(b.1961, lives and works in New Delhi, India). Dayanita Singh studied Visual Communication at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad and Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the International Center of Photography in New York.

Read more

(b. 1984) was born in Jashore, Bangladesh, and lives and works between Dhaka, Bangladesh and Atlanta, USA. She completed her Bachelor’s in Fine Art in 2007 and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Art Education in 2008 from Beaconhouse National University, Lahore.

Read more

(b.1928 – d.1994) was born in Shimla, India, and educated at Delhi Polytechnic, and later in Warsaw, Poland. In the late 1950s, Swaminathan decided to become a full-time artist, and with his contemporaries he founded Group 1890.

Read more

(b. 1960) is an artist, activist, curator and educator based in Colombo. His wider body of work includes sculpture, painting, drawings, public monuments, lectures, curatorial and collaborative projects, all of which are informed directly by his activism.

Read more

(b. 1937 - d. 2020, has lived and worked in New York). After receiving a degree in mathematics, she went on to study woodblock printing in Bangkok and Tokyo, and intaglio with S. W. Hayter at Atelier-17 in Paris.

Read more