Artist talk with Catherine David and Goutam Ghosh

Goutam Ghosh – Reptiles

Catherine David (Photo: Bob Goedewaagen) and Goutam Ghosh

Artist talk
Monday, 08.04.2019,7 pm
Catherine David (deputy director of the Musée national d’art moderne (MNAM) – Centre Pompidou) in conversation with Goutam Ghosh

Through her curatorial work, Catherine David has contributed to globally broaden and differentiate the perception of artistic production methods. Due to her critical examination of art from the Middle East, Asia, and India, she has made significant advances in a multi-layered interpretation of art history’s concept of modernity and its respective geo-political and cultural-political contexts.

Her profound knowledge of contemporary art from the Indian subcontinent and its complexity has been reflected in recent years in group exhibitions such as Paris-Delhi-Bombay… (2011) or Memories of the futures – Indian Modernities (2017) at the Centre Pompidou. But also solo exhibitions with outstanding artists like Nalini Malani (Mumbai) have contributed to refocusing our perspective on dominant narratives and centers of artistic production. 

In this context, the conversation between Catherine David and Goutam Ghosh will focus on two topics that have a lasting impact on the artist’s oeuvre: Magic and animism.

Goutam Ghosh finds a direct and important reference in the texts of the Indian scholar Kaustubh Das, who from a present-day perspective deals with the Indian philosophical movement of Tantra – the teachings of consciousness as the basis of both human thought and action. This body of knowledge is of interest to Ghosh because it follows a phenomenological tradition that draws its metaphysical insights also from direct physical or aesthetic experience, where mind and matter – like in rituals – are not considered separately. However, Ghosh’s paintings do not follow any religious logic, but rather refer to the dependency of the human process of cognition on quantifiable data, abstract systems of order and patterns, which he correlates in his works with filigree, amorphous or animistic forms. His pictures are the expression of a search for the connective aspects of magical, ritual and religious cultures with those of the strict rational sciences. 

Event in English language, free admission

Catherine David is deputy director of the Musée national d’art moderne (MNAM) – Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, where she is the head of the Research and Globalisation department since 2014. From 1982 to 1990, David was curator at the MNAM and from 1990 to 1994 at the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume in Paris. From 1994 to 1997, David served as artistic director for documenta X in Kassel, Germany (1997). Since 1998 she has been director of the long-term project Contemporary Arab Representations, which began at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona. Between 2002 and 2004, David was director of the Witte de With Center of Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. David also curated the ADACH Platform for Visual Arts at the 53d Venice Arts Biennale (2011); the Hassan Sharif retrospective Experiments & Objects / 1979 – 2011 presented at Qasr Al Hosn in Abu Dhabi (2011); MARWAN: Early Works 1962 – 1972 at the Beirut Exhibition Center, Beirut (2013) and Serralves Foundation, Porto (2014); Unedited History. Iran 1960-2014 at the Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris and at MAXXI in Rome (2014); and Dia al-Azzawi: A Retrospective (From 1963 until Tomorrow) at Mathaf and Al Riwaq in Doha (2017). As deputy director of the MNAM, Catherine David recently curated several projects among which : Wifredo Lam (2015); Memories for the futures. Indian modernities (2017); or Latiff Mohidin : Pago Pago (1960-1969) (2018).