Swapnaa Tamhane works to destabilize and untether colonial constructs as an artist, curator, and writer. She curated"HERE: Locating Contemporary Canadian Artists", Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, 2017, and "In Order to Join – the Political in a Historical Moment" together with Susanne Titz, Städtisches Museum Abteiberg Mönchengladbach, Germany; Gallery MMB/Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai, India, 2014-2015. She has exhibited at FOCUS Photography Festival, Mumbai; Art Gallery of Mississauga; Gallery Seven, Delhi; and A Space Gallery, Toronto. Tamhane has been a Research Fellow with Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (2009), and an International Fellow with Kulturstiftung des Bundes (2013). She has been supported by the OAC, Canada Council for the Arts, and Kunststiftung NRW. She studied at the University of Manchester (MA Contemporary Art, Distinction) in 2001 where she wrote about Gayatri Spivak's theory of the subaltern in the work of Vivan Sundaram, Nalini Malani, and Rummana Hussain, looking at the rise of communalism in India following the events at Ayodhya. Tamhane and designer Rashmi Varma curated, wrote, and art directed SĀR: The Essence of Indian Design, published by Phaidon Press (2016). 

RESIDENCIES

 

2018     Jorisch Family Artist Residency, Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria

2015     What About Art?, Mumbai, India

2013     Space 118, Mumbai, India

2010     March Meeting, Sharjah, UAE
2009     KHOJ @ 1 Shanthi Road, Bangalore, India
1999     School of Visual Arts, Summer Residency, New York, US

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

 

2017    

Portable Pedagogies, an August Fröhls Presentation, Gardiner Museum, Toronto

2014    

Drawing Tools, an August Fröhls Presentation, Mönchengladbach

2013    

The Institute of Knots, Cosmos Records West, Toronto

2012    

DUMB BUNNY, offspace, Ossington Avenue, Toronto

How to Draw a Drawing, an August Fröhls Presentation, SummerWorks Performance Festival, curated by Michael Rubenfeld
We Don’t Know What this Conversation is Going to Make, an August Fröhls Presentation, Interaccess Electronic  and Media Arts Centre, Toronto

Three, an August Fröhls Presentation, Townhouse, Toronto

The Institute of Knots, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Nuit Blanche, Toronto  
2009    

House of Cards, KHOJ @ 1 Shanthi Road, Bangalore

 

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2019     

IGNITION 15, curated by Michèle Thériault and Nicole Burisch, Leonard and Ellen Bina Gallery, Montreal

2016    

Protectives, curated by Vicky Moufawad-Paul, A Space Gallery, Toronto, with Basil AlZeri

2015    

SETS, an August Fröhls Presentation, curated by Elise Foster Vander Elst and Mattheiu Foss, FOCUS Photography Festival Mumbai

2014    

even my mum can make a book #5 and #4, curated by Kristina Kramer, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart and Apartment Project, Berlin
No Space for Feng Shui, curated by Katja Kottmann and Dino Steinhof, Alte Latin Schule, Viersen (with Katja Kottmann, Dino Steinhof, David Bernstein, and Vesko Gösel)

2012    

Genius Loci, with Aman Sandhu, curated by Stuart Keeler, Art Gallery of Mississauga

2009    

Contested Spaces – Incursions, curated by Heidi Fitchner, Gallery Seven, Delhi (with Riyas Komu, Tejal Shah & Varsha Nair, Asim Waqif, and Prayas Abhinav)

Before / After, Launch Projects, CONTACT Photography Festival, Toronto

 

WRITING

 

SĀR: The Essence of Indian Design, Swapnaa Tamhane & Rashmi Varma, Phaidon Press, 2016

‘Posters and Public Space’, Journal of Asian Diasporic Visual Culture and the Americas, Brill, 2016

‘In Order to Join – the Political in a Historical Moment’, Exhibition Catalogue, February 2015

‘Rummana Hussain: Building Necessary Histories’, n.paradoxa: international feminist art journal, May 2014

 ‘The Performative Space: Tracing the roots of Performance-based practices in India’, C Magazine, 2011

‘Propositions in Performance’, Catalogue Essay, Khoj Publications, Delhi, 2010

 

CURATOR

 

2017    

HERE: Locating Contemporary Canadian Art, Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, group exhibition with Derya Akay, Dawit L. Petros, Brette Gabel, Nahed Mansour, Harkeerat Mangat, Nep Sidhu, Sharlene Bamboat, Jamelie Hassan, Babak Golkar, Khan Lee, Jaret Vadera, Sameer Farooq, Shaan Syed, Nadia Myre, Zadie Xa, and Elizabeth Zvonar, Osheen Harruthoonyan, and George Elliott Clarke, ex. cat.

 

2015    

In Order to Join – Politisch in einem historischen Moment, co-curated with Susanne Titz
Max Mueller Bhavan / Goethe-Institute & CSMVS (former Prince of Wales Museum), Mumbai, 26 February to 19 April, 2015, ex. cat. Helen Chadwick (UK), Chohreh Feyzdjou (IR/FRA), Sheela Gowda (IN), Angela Grauerholz (CAN), Jamelie Hassan (CAN), Mona Hatoum (UK), Rummana Hussain (IN), Shelagh Keeley (CAN), Astrid Klein (GER), Ana Mendieta (US), Pushpamala N. (IN), Adrian Piper (GER), Lala Rukh (PAK), and Rosemarie Trockel (GER), Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, 8 December, 2013 to 16 March, 2014, ex. cat.

 

OBJECT MANIPULATING ECONOMY / ECONOMY MANIPULATING OBJECT, co-curated with Aman Sandhu, artists include Soya Arakawa (JP/GER), David Bernstein (US/NL), Jessica Gispert (US/GER), Elmar Hermann (GER), Harkeerat Mangat (CAN), Rajni Perera (CAN), Titre Provisoire (GER), Nep Sidhu (Black Constellation) (CAN), Kristina Stoyanova (BUL/GER), Arjan Stockhausen (GER), and Jaret Vadera (CAN), August Fröhls, Mönchengladbach, 29 January to 15 February, 2015

 

‘Fearless: The Hunterwali Story’ and ‘The World Before Her’, Filmwerkstatt, Düsseldorf

 

2013    

Assistant Curator: TEXTILES: OPEN LETTER: Abstraktionen, Textilien, Kunst, curated by Rike Frank and Grant Watson, Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, 23 June to 10 November, 2013

 

2012    

Ali El-Darsa, Hart House & SAVAC, 26 April

 

2008    

Play/Grounds: Scaling the Premises, Dean Baldwin, Susy Oliveira, Rashmi Varma, Gerald Grison, Queen West Art Crawl, Toronto

Foreground. Background.: Matt Calderwood (UK), Aron Hill (CAN), Peter Macdonald (UK), and Shaan Syed (CAN), Elementa Modern and Contemporary Art, Dubai

 

2007    

Simon Starling: Cuttings; Fiona Banner: The Bastard Word; Francesco Vezzoli; Steven Shearer; Stephen Andrews; Auto Emotion, Assistant Curator, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto

 

2002    

PRIVATE, Seema Rao (IN), Zeyad Dajani (UK), Anthony Gross (UK), David Gysek (USA), Aldgate Pump House, London

 

EMPLOYMENT

 

Producer, Contemporary Art Projects

Luminato Festival, Toronto

2015-2016

 

Curator / International Museum Fellowship, Kulturstiftung des Bundes

Städtisches Museum Abteiberg Mönchengladbach, Germany

2013 to 2015

 

School Hop Facilitator

Canadian Art Foundation, Toronto

2010 to 2012

 

Assistant Curator

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto

2007 to 2008

 

Editor, Art & Design

Phaidon Press, London

2002 to 2006

Assistant to Director

Andrew Mummery Gallery, London

2001 to 2002

 

Assistant Director

Gallery 101 Artist-run Centre, Ottawa

1998 to 1999

 

LECTURES & SYMPOSIA

 

2017     ‘Understanding Indian Design Today and Tomorrow’, Panel, Rashmi Varma, Divya Thakur, Ajay Shah, Malika Verma, etc., CSMVS, Mumbai

2016     ‘What is Indian Design’, History of Design, York University

‘Indian Design: Past and Present’, moderator, panel with Emilia Terragni, Spandana Gopal (Tiipoi), Ajay Shah (ASDS), and Max Fraser, TENT London, London Design Fair

2015    ‘Posters’, Home Ground: Canadian Perspectives, Aga Khan Museum, Toronto

            ‘Rummana Hussain & Performance’, Goethe-Institut, Mumbai

2014     ‘In Order to Join: Feminist Perspectives and Rummana Hussain’, Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach

2012     ‘Performance Art: Contemporary Indian Artists and Histories of Political Street Theatre’, University of Toronto, Toronto / Co-organzier of Symposia: The Shifting Plane of Performance, included Christof Migone, Antawan Byrd, Ambereen Siddiqui, Darren O’Donnell and the Torontonians, Vesna Krstich, Wanda Nanibush, Jimenza Ortuzar, Amish Morrell, Emelie Chhangur, Jess Dobkin, Jorge Lucero, Kim Simon, Stephanie Springgay, and Matthew Goulish, supported by SAVAC, OAC, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, and SSHRC, Toronto, 26-28 April, 2012

2010     ‘Performance Exchange’, March Meeting, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah

EDUCATION

 

MA Contemporary Art, Distinction, 2000-1, The University of Manchester

BA Art History, High Honours, 1995-99, Carleton University, Ottawa

 

FELLOWSHIPS & GRANTS

2018     Joseph-Armand Bombardier (SSHRC)

2015     Project Grants to Critics and Curators, Canada Council for the Arts

2014     Kunststiftung NRW (with Aman Sandhu)

2013     International Museum Fellowship, Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Germany

2012     Visual Arts Projects, Ontario Arts Council

2008     Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute Arts Fellowship