Tagore’s Post Office

29 March–1 June 2014
Opening: 28 March 2014

Exhibition

Location(s): nGbK, Oranienstraße 25

Artists

Anna Boghiguian, Landings, Goshka Macuga, Tagore, Pedagogy and Contemporary Visual Cultures Netzwerk, The Otholith Group

Participants

Katharina (Katja) Jedermann, Andreas Müller, Grant Watson

Project group Ausstellungsübernahmen

Elke Falat, Claudia Hummel, Ulrike Jordan, Antje Weitzel

Tagore’s Post Office is a cooperation between neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK) and Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts), and integrates the exhibition Tagore’s Universal Allegories initiated and organised by Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts), London, curated by Grant Watson in 2013.

Tagore’s Post Office departs from the work and the ideas of poet and polymath Rabindranath Tagore (Kolkata, 1861–1941) one of India’s leading figures of the early twentieth century. Tagore was the first Asian Nobel Laureate for literature and is considered the most influential Indian poet of modernity, a pioneer in education, modern Indian art and of the country‘s independence. A popular figure in Europe and in particular in Germany during the 1920s, today Tagore is less known outside of his home country.
Tagore’s Post Office looks again at Tagore’s legacy. His approach to art and culture as well as subjects including ecology, education and cosmopolitanism, his critique of nationalism and his concept of the universal, compel our interest and demand to be translated into contemporary terms. By bringing together artistic works and research, the exhibition features responses to Tagore’s legacy often from unexpected or heterodox positions and suggests how his work and ideas still resonate as well as antagonize.
The title of the exhibition is inspired by Tagore’s play The Post Office (Bengali: Dagkhar), dating from 1912, which reveals in an exemplary and allegorical fashion many of Tagore’s central concerns.

The exhibition is curated by grant Watson, and organised by the nGbK project group “Ausstelungsübernahmen” (Elke Falat, Claudia Hummel, Katja Jedermann, Ulrike Jordan, Antje Weitzel). The various elements of the exhibition are brought together in a design by architect Andreas Müller.

Events:

Friday, 28 March 2014, 19h,
Opening

Saturday, 29 March 2014, 14h,
Talk
with the curator Grant Watson and Landings (Natasha Ginwala and Vivian Ziherl)

Friday, 11 April 2014, 19 h,
Tagore, Pedagogy and Contemporary Visual Cultures Network

Elzbieta Walter: “Rabindranath Tagore’s Post Office in Poland”
introduced and chaired by Landings (Natasha Ginwala and Vivian Ziherl)

Among Tagore’s translations into Polish the play Dakghar (The Post Office) deserves a special attention. It is the only writing of Tagore that has been translated into Polish five times by different translators. It was also staged several times. One of the most significant staging was conducted during the Second World War in Poland in Jewish Orphans’ Home in the Warsaw ghetto run by Janusz Korczak. Janusz Korczak was the pen name of Henryk Goldszmit (1878/79-1942), a Polish-Jewish educator, physician, children’s author and essayist. He organized a staging of Dakghar with the children of the orphanage just few weeks before e children and he were deported to the concentration camp of Treblinka.

Elzbieta Walter is a Tagore scholar and literary theorist based in Poland, and an alumnus of Santiniketan. She works at the Chair of South Asian Studies, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Warsaw, Poland.


Tagore, Pedagogy and Contemporary Visual Cultures network is a partnership between Iniva and Goldsmiths, University of London that brings together a group of academics and visual arts practitioners from Europe and India to explore the continuing relevance of Rabindranath Tagore for contemporary art practice and visual culture. The group has come together because they share an interest in exploring Tagore’s legacy and influence from different disciplinary backgrounds, often taking unorthodox approaches in order to think outside of the established conventions of Tagore scholarship. The group is not a network of Tagore specialists, rather a group who come together to explore his ideas on cosmopolitanism, educational equality and social organisation from the perspective of our own artistic, curatorial and theoretical practices.

Saturday, 12 April 2014, 19 h,
Tagore, Pedagogy and Contemporary Visual Cultures Network

“Fragmenting Tagore”
Public event with Anshuman Dasgupta, Sanchayan Ghosh, Ansuman Biswas and guest (tbc) and Adrian Rifkin. Introduced by Andrea Phillips and Grant Watson.

Anshuman Dasgupta: Translating Tagore: the problems and possibilities of attending to Tagore from another language and culture

Sanchayan Ghosh: Reversed Perspectives

Adrian Rifkin: Tagore seen seated: some others standing, a short speculation in composing the past-imperfect of the ‘post-colonial’

Ansuman Biswas and guest: Parentheses on Truth, Beauty and Humanity; a live event based on the conversations between Einstein and Tagore which took place at Einstein′s house near Berlin in 1930

Anshuman Dasgupta is a curator and part of the teaching faculty in the Art History department in Kalabhavan, Santiniketan (Visva Bharati University)
Sanchayan Ghosh is an artist based in Kolkata and part of the teaching faculty of the department of Painting in Kalabhavan, Santiniketan (Visva Bharati University)
Adrian Rifkin is Professor Emeritus of Art Writing, Goldsmiths, London
Ansuman Biswas is an artist, musician and Director of the Tagore Centre UK


Tagore, Pedagogy and Contemporary Visual Cultures network is a partnership between Iniva and Goldsmiths, University of London that brings together a group of academics and visual arts practitioners from Europe and India to explore the continuing relevance of Rabindranath Tagore for contemporary art practice and visual culture. The group has come together because they share an interest in exploring Tagore’s legacy and influence from different disciplinary backgrounds, often taking unorthodox approaches in order to think outside of the established conventions of Tagore scholarship. The group is not a network of Tagore specialists, rather a group who come together to explore his ideas on cosmopolitanism, educational equality and social organisation from the perspective of our own artistic, curatorial and theoretical practices.

The public forum by the Tagore, Pedagogy and Contemporary Visual Cultures Network (11/12 April), a cooperation between Iniva and Goldsmiths, University of London, is funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

The educational formats developed by the the Institute for Art in Context, UdK Berlin with the Nürtingen primary school are supported by Projektfonds Kulturelle Bildung Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg.

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