RUMMANA HUSSAIN in
The Sahmat Collective: Art and Activism in India since 1989
@ Smart Museum of Art, Chicago, IL
February 14 – June 9, 2013
Since 1989, the influential Delhi-based Sahmat has offered a platform for artists, writers, poets, musicians, actors, and activists to create and present works of art that promote artistic freedom and celebrate secular, egalitarian values.
The collective formed in the weeks after playwright, actor, and activist Safdar Hashmi was fatally attacked by political thugs while performing a street play. In the more than twenty years since, Sahmat has drawn on India’s secular heritage and an expansive group of collaborators to produce a series of projects that engage in important political and social debates through a mix of high art and street culture. This exhibition will introduce Sahmat’s work to the United States through a survey of art and ephemera while assessing the impact this unique—and sometimes controversial—collective has had on contemporary Indian society and artistic practice.
The Sahmat Collective includes works in a variety of media from over sixty artists including Manjeet Bawa, Atul Dodiya, Subodh Gupta, Zarina Hashmi, Rummana Husain, Bharti Kher, Pushpamala N., Nalini Malani, Gigi Scaria, Nilima Sheikh, and Vivan Sundaram.
Curated by Jessica Moss, Smart Museum Associate Curator for Contemporary Art, and Ram Rahman, photographer and independent curator.