IN ORDER TO JOIN – The Political in a Historical Moment, 2013-2015, curated with Susanne Titz

Städtisches Museum Abteiberg Mönchengladbach, Germany

Gallery Max Mueller Bhavan and

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai, India

Angela Grauerholz, Rummana Hussain, Mona Hatoum, Chohreh Feyzdjou, Astrid Klein, Helen Chadwick, Sheela Gowda, Adrian Piper, Rosemarie Trockel, Pushpamala N., Shelagh Keeley, Ana Mendieta, Jamelie Hassan, and Lala Rukh

Rummana Hussain, A Space for Healing, 1999

This group exhibition brings together women artists born between 1947 and 1957. This frame or bracket of time has been intentionally selected to study the work of artists who were born in a postwar, post-Partition era. We have invited artists that work within a political framework that address nationalism, institutions, and question their own position by creating complicated interpretations that evade easy tropes of legibility. These artists have practices that enter and depart from dialogues with larger encompassing historical movements, yet are not positioned within any. This ‘instability’ is due to the nature of their work or their choice of media and the concerns that have run through their practices; there is the dominance of conceptual strategies and thinking, and ultimately, they are both working with and against the possibility of ‘joining’. We have taken the work of Rummana Hussain (1952-99) as an opening position in order to consider how one responds to a rapid moment of political change. Hussain’s work emblematizes the effect that globalization created in Bombay/Mumbai in the 1990s, leading to a re-establishment of conservative values, traditions and an artificial nationalism with a need to identify an “Indian-ness” to which she could not belong. The title of the exhibition is taken from a residency/exhibition that Hussain held at Art in General, New York, in 1998. 

In creating a historical discourse for histories that are neglected, our exhibition considers the work these artists made in the early part of their career, or the work that represents a turning point. This exhibition touches upon feminism whilst looking at artists’ works that represent a certain social liberalization, emancipation, and the beginnings of global identities. Whether their work can be read as overtly activist or poetic, the positions they begin with are founded in a political stance and space. 

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Sheela Gowda, Lala Rukh, and Adrian Piper

Rosemarie Trockel

Lala Rukh and Women's Action Forum

Mona Hatoum, Rummana Hussain

Pushpamala N.

Astrid Klein

Helen Chadwick, Rummana Hussain and Mona Hatoum

Angela Grauerholz

Angela Grauerholz

Shelagh Keeley

Chohreh Feyzdjou, Pushpamala N.

 Jamelie Hassan 

Rummana Hussain

Ana Mendieta

Astrid Klein, Lala Rukh and Jamelie Hassan

Rosemarie Trockel

Helen Chadwick