FICA Research Fellowship 
Presentations by Nida Ghouse & Anannya Mehtta

Saturday, 27 April 2013 | 5:00 - 7:00pm
FICA Reading Room | D42, Defence Colony, New Delhi

This is the first time the FICA Research Fellows - Nida Ghouse and Anannya Mehtta - are sharing their research work with the Indian audience. The evening's event would include two paper presentations followed by a discussion moderated by Vidya Shivadas, which will focus on their research practice and methodologies, key areas of curatorial interest and their experience during the residency in London.

The FICA Research Fellowship aims to provide an opportunity for intensive research in the field of visual arts with focus on curation. The Fellowship lays emphasis on exploring innovative models of cross-cultural dialogue, and provides professional development opportunities for researchers working in the area of visual culture through interlocking activities.The Fellowship is presented by FICA in collaboration with Delfina Foundation, the Department of Visual Culture and the PhD programme in Curatorial/Knowledge at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Iniva – Institute of International Visual Arts, London.

Nida GhouseFICA Research Fellow 2011

The Artist as a Portrait of a Young Man*: This talk considers the place of (self) portraiture in Hassan Khan’s practice. In echoing the title of James Joyce’s semi-autobiographical novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, it locates the significance of Khan’s formative years to the relationship of an artist to art history. But the title is also in fact a twist on the original and suggests a collapse between the artist and his portrait. This collapse can be seen as indicative of a certain elusive and yet unmistakable tension that often surfaces between ‘the persona of the artist’ and ‘the boundary of the work’ in much of Khan’s oeuvre. While this is not only obvious but also unavoidable in works like 17 and in AUCstuffedpigfollies, or the boy in The Alphabet Book, which are all portraits of the artist, it also extends to others such as GBRLG.R.A.H.A.M., and Nine Lessons I Learnt from Sherif el-Azma, which are portraits of others. In some of these latter works, there is, unknown to the viewer, a very specific contract that exists between the artist and his “sitter”, and it is only through the exercise of this contract, that has been established by the artist figure, that the portrait of the sitter gets produced. The artist becomes present in his portrait of another.

Nida Ghouse is a writer and a curator. Recently, she curated Melik Ohanian: In the Desert of Images at the Mumbai Art Room, and published Don’t Drink the Sea Water: On Madness and the Mediterranean in the online ArteEast Quarterly. 

* This talk develops a section of an essay commissioned by November Paynter, Associate Director of Research and Programmes at SALT Istanbul, and Giovanni Carmine, Director of Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen for an upcoming monograph on Hassan Khan.

Anannya Mehtta FICA Research Fellow 2012

Mehtta's presentation will be a review as well as a sharing of her experiences at the residency in London. The talk proposes to be a thought-mapping exercise where she will present various projects that she had encountered and ideas she is looking to pursue. The presentation would be a survey of potentialities of ways of curating and researching ideas, and encompassing them in a practice.

Anannya Mehtta completed her Masters in Political Science from Delhi University, and has received a diploma in filmmaking from PCFE Prague. In 2005 she received a Sarai fellowship to study non-commercial film viewing cultures in Delhi. As an independent filmmaker she has directed, scripted and produced several documentaries and short films. She joined the Devi Art Foundation in 2010, and has been the Assistant Curator there since.