Nancy Adajania


NancyAdajaniais a cultural theorist and curator based in Bombay. Since the late-1990s, she has written consistently on the practices of four generations of Indian women artists. She was Joint Artistic Director of the 9th Gwangju Biennale (2012) and has curated a number of exhibitions including, most recently a retrospective of five decades of Navjot’s artistic practice – ‘The Earth’s Heart Torn Out, Navjot Altaf: A Life in Art’ at the NGMA Bombay (12 December 2018 – 25 January 2019) and ‘In the Land Of Downside Up: Adbhut Lok’ at the Birla Academy, Calcutta (9 January – 9 February 2019).

Adajania has proposed several new theoretical models through her extensive writings on media art, public art, the biennial condition, transcultural art practices, subaltern art and the relationship of art to the public sphere. She has lectured on these subjects at numerous venues including Documenta 11, Kassel; ZKM, Karlsruhe; Transmediale, Berlin; the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York; Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin; and the 3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress: Beyond What Was Contemporary Art, Vienna.
Adajania was the juror for Video/Film/New Media fellowship cycle of the Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart (2015–17). In 2013 and 2014, Adajania taught the curatorial practice course at the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts. She was research scholar-in-residence at BAK/ basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, 2010 and 2013. Adajania recently edited two transdisciplinary anthologies Some Things That Only Art Can Do: A Lexicon of Affective Knowledge and Totems and Taboos: What can and cannot be done (Raza Foundation, 2017, 2018). She will be curating the artist Sudhir Patwardhan’s retrospective at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Bombay, in November 2019.


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