2023 | Book Launch & Symposium | Kasauli Art Centre 1976–1991


Kasauli Art Centre 1976–1991

Belinder Dhanoa | Indira Chandrasekhar | Sherna Dastur | Geeta Kapur | Gulammohammed Sheikh | Ashish Rajadhyaksha | Anuradha Kapur | Nilima Sheikh | Geetanjali Shree | Neelam Man Singh Chowdhry | Madhusree Dutta

India Habitat Centre, New Delhi | 2 September 2023

Kasauli Art Centre 1976–1991

by Belinder Dhanoa,

published by SSAF–Tulika Books


The Kasauli Art Centre was founded by Vivan Sundaram at his family home ‘Ivy Lodge’ in Kasauli in 1976. Until 1991, the Kasauli Art Centre regularly held artists’ workshops, seminars and symposia on film and critical theory, and experiments in theatre-making, with a focus on interdisciplinary exchange, collectivity and dialogue. Artists, academics and cultural practitioners lived and worked on the premises of Ivy Lodge, in one of the first experiments in artists’ residencies in the country.


This book locates the activities at the Kasauli Art Centre within the broader context of the cultural scene in India. Developments in the visual arts, experiments in performance, seminars on culture and critical theory, and the inception of the Journal of Arts & Ideas are among the subjects discussed. Given the paucity of written documentation, the author’s research is partly reliant on interviews and conversations with participants and her analytical readings of these narratives. The text is written in brief sections in several registers and includes the use of devices from fiction writing including the mediating of time between an event and its recall. The book also has valuable contributions from several artists and scholars who participated in the events, and a detailed timeline of the many art camps, performances, seminars and symposia held at Kasauli. It is richly illustrated with images of artworks and photographs.


The book release was followed by multi-panel discussions with Belinder Dhanoa, Indira Chandrasekhar, Sherna Dastur, Geeta Kapur, Gulammohammed Sheikh, Ashish Rajadhyaksha, Anuradha Kapur, Nilima Sheikh, Geetanjali Shree, Neelam Man Singh Chowdhry and Madhusree Dutta.