The Book Ensemble: Art History and Storytelling

Hello, Chloé Wolifson here, Sydney-based independent arts writer, with a series of blog updates recalling The Book Ensemble that took place from 17-19 December 2016 in New Delhi. Curated by Anushka Rajendran and Bhavna Kakar, the Ensemble was part of the TAKE ON WRITING series conceptualised by Bhavna Kakar and featured peers from India and all over the world discussing this most enduring functional form in an incubation space designed to share practice, research and speculation.

After a performative introduction to the Ensemble at Gallery Latitude 28 the previous evening with Himali Singh Soin’s performance with David Tappeser, The Particle and the Wave, the Ensemble proper began on 18th December at the tranquil Sanskriti Kendra with the opening session, Art History and Storytelling. The session, moderated by Nicolai Strøm-Olsen, explored how books and their design have responded to the politics of language, feminism, movements to decolonise knowledge and power, asking whether, where the pages are bound by the spine, the book’s structure is still reminiscent of privileged centres of knowledge production. Is the book’s materiality its hook and its sinker?

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