Kasauli Art Centre

By Belinder Dhanoa

This book on the Kasauli Art Centre, located at Ivy Lodge, Kasauli – which functioned as a centre for the arts and was actively engaged in numerous art activities for two whole decades from 1976 – contextualizes and examines those events within the broader framework of the cultural scene in India, but through the particularity of what took place at Kasauli. Developments in the field of the visual arts, experiments in performance, seminars and discussions on the arts and culture, and the inception of the Journal of Arts & Ideas are among the subjects discussed.

 

“Given the paucity of written documentation of the Kasauli Art Centre, my research is partly reliant on interviews with participants; and given the wonderful unreliability of memory, my analytical readings of these narratives must allow space for imaginative wanderings. . . The memories of those years have become more complex, acquired more nuance and layers, and been seen differently, depending on the particular circumstances of the moment of remembering. The narratives have gone beyond testimonials, blame games, history and politics to discuss how the place and the times affected each person. There is often a need to create new narratives – to reconstruct and rationalize memories – as a way to understand the present. The unpacking and re-packing is done on many levels.”
–Belinder Dhanoa, author of Kasauli Art Centre

 

The text is written in brief sections and in several registers, and uses devices from fiction writing, including the mediating of time between an event and its recall. The book also contains several valuable contributions from artists and scholars who participated in the many art-related events held at Kasauli. It is richly illustrated with photographs and other images from those times.

 

Belinder Dhanoa is a writer and artist. She has an MFA in Art Criticism from the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University, Baroda, and an MA in Visual and Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester, New York. She currently teaches Creative Writing at the School of Culture and Creative Expression, Ambedkar University, Delhi.

 

(Forthcoming 2021)