More than forty works of video, prints, photographs, paintings, sculpture, and installation by international artists delve into the past and explore the present to expose the seductive simplicity of drawing lines as a substitute for learning how to live with each other. Living within and across these lines can be a messy, bloody business but also offers a productive space where new nations, identities, languages, and relationships are forged.
At its core, Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space investigates the historic upheaval of the 1947 partition of India that spawned the nations of Pakistan and later Bangladesh. The exhibition is part of an ongoing project initiated in 2005 by Green Cardamom, a London-based nonprofit arts organization. Expanding on the significance of partition in South Asia, Lines of Control at the Johnson Museum also addresses physical and psychological borders, trauma, and the reconfiguration of memory in other partitioned areas: North and South Korea, Sudan and South Sudan, Israel and Palestine, Ireland and Northern Ireland, Armenia and its diaspora, and questions of indigenous sovereignty in the United States. The exhibition explores the products and remainders of partition and borders characteristic of the modern nation-state, and includes the continued impact of colonization, the physical and psychic violence of displacement, dilemmas of identity and belonging, and questions of commemoration.
Artists represented in the exhibition are Bani Abidi, Francis Alÿs, Sarnath Banerjee, Farida Batool, Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Muhanned Cader, Duncan Campbell, Iftikhar Dadi, DAAR, Anita Dube, Taghreed Elsanhouri, Sophie Ernst, Gauri Gill, Shilpa Gupta, Zarina Hashmi, Emily Jacir, Ahsan Jamal, Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Amar Kanwar, Noa Lidor, Mario Mabor, Nalini Malani, Naeem Mohaiemen, Tom Molloy, Rashid Rana, Raqs Media Collective, Jolene Rickard, Hrair Sarkissian, Seher Shah, Surekha, Hajra Waheed, Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, and Muhammad Zeeshan.
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Four films will be screening in conjunction with the exhibition in February and March under the banner title No Man's Land/Everybody's Land. Visit the Cornell Cinema website for complete information.
The exhibition at the Johnson Museum is co-organized by Green Cardamom and the Museum, and cocurated by Hammad Nasar, Iftikhar Dadi, and Ellen Avril, with Nada Raza assisting. Major funding for the exhibition, catalogue, and accompanying programs is provided by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, the Jarett F. and Younghee Kim-Wait Fund for Contemporary Islamic and Middle Eastern Arts, the Jarett F. and Younghee Kim-Wait Fund for Korean Arts, Gandhara-Art, Mondriaan Fund, and Ali and Amna Naqvi.
Additional support for the symposium, catalogue, and film program was provided by Cornell University’s Institute for Comparative Modernities; the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning; the Minority, Indigenous, and Third World Studies Research Group; the Department of Art; the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies; the Department of the History of Art; Cornell Cinema; and the South Asia Program.
Images from Lines of Control (Click an image to open slideshow)
DAAR [Decolonizing Architecture/Art Residency], The Red Castle and the Lawless Line, 2011. Courtesy of the artists.›
Iftikhar Dadi and Nalini Malani, Bloodlines, 1997 (refabricated 2011). Courtesy of the artists and Green Cardamom, London.›
Anita Dube, River/Disease, 1999 (reconfigured 2009). Courtesy of the artist and Nature Morte, New Delhi.›
Sophie Ernst, HOME: Senan, Zarina, Sami, and Gulzar (detail), 2008-11. Courtesy of the artist and Green Cardamom, London.›
Shilpa Gupta, Untitled (There Is No Border Here), 2005–06 (refabricated 2012). Courtesy of the artist and Yvon Lambert, Paris.›
Zarina Hashmi, Letters from Home (detail), 2004. Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, NY.›
Amar Kanwar, still from Trilogy: A Season Outside, 1997. Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, NY and Paris. © Amar Kanwar.›
Noa Lidor, Wailing Wall, 2005 (reconfigured 2012). Courtesy of the artist and Green Cardamom, London.›
Hrair Sarkissian, City Fabric (No. 1), 2010. Courtesy of the artist and Kalfayan Galleries, Athens and Thessaloniki.›