On Thursday, December 12, 2013, King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium arrived at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels to view the exhibition, Corps de l’Inde, during the 2013 Europalia India International Arts Festival (EIIAF). The exhibition was curated by Mr. Naman Ahuja from the Jawaharlal Nehru University School of Arts and Aesthetics in New Delhi, India.
According to the official website for EIIAF, Corps de l’Inde:
“…has used a unique conceptual framework to examine the ways in which Indian art has represented/treated the intricacies of the vast and germane subject of the ‘body’. Through the curator’s vision the viewer is invited to explore what inheres within the body, and to question what drives Indian bodies. Where do society’s archetypes of heroism and valor rest, for example? What motivates abstinence and asceticism? How does a civilization view the rites of passage, death, and birth? To what extent do Indians believe that the body’s fate is destined / predetermined, and to what degree is fortune in the hand of those people who shape it for themselves?
This exhibition importantly reveals the body not only as the subject of art, but also as the medium used to convey the values, preoccupations and aspirations of the times. What emerges is a complex plurality where no gallery presents a singular view. The multiplicity is born of the diversity in geography, chronology, patronage, religion and art material that is present in every gallery of the exhibition. The questions posed in each gallery are universal, existential ones, but Ahuja has taken care not to fall into the trap of simplification for the sake of communicating any singular teleology. Through art, he has shown the body as a site for defining individual identity, negotiating power, and experimenting with the nature of representation itself. This is a richly layered exposition that also re-examines the classical in light of our changing views of social exclusion, gender and sexuality.
The Body in Indian Art brings together 250 masterpieces from approximately 50 of India’s museums, archaeological institutes, and private collections, in an exploration of the complex and multifaceted understandings of the ‘Body’…”
Corps de l’Inde will be open to the public until January 5, 2014.