Curtain-raiser to Kama Sutra exhibition in Paris
Curtain-raiser to “The Kama Sutra, Spirituality and Eroticism in Indian Art” at Pinacothèque de Paris curated by Dr Alka Pande
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- Nartaki (Dancing Surasundari)
H.E. Mr François Richier, Ambassador of France to India, is pleased to announce the inaugural in October 2014 of the exhibition “The Kama Sutra, Spirituality and Eroticism in Indian Art”, at the Pinacothèque de Paris museum, curated by art consultant and curator Dr Alka Pande. This exhibition will be the first show featuring Indian Art within the walls of the Pinacothèque. The founder of Pinacothèque and art historian, Mr Marc Restellini, is currently in India to prepare the groundwork of this project. On the occasion of his visit, a press conference with Dr Pande on the Paris exhibition, in the presence of Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur and Ambassador François Richier, took place at the Embassy on Wednesday 30th May.
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- From left to right: H.E. Mr Richier, Ambassador of France to India, Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur, Marc Restellini, Director of the Pinacothèque, Dr Alka Pande, during the press conference
The exhibition, which will be on view from 2 October 2014 to 8 March 2015, will feature more than 300 works, painstakingly collected from public museums and private art collectors in India and other countries: Musée Guimet (Paris); the Reitberg (Zurich); the Cinquantenaire Museum (Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels); heretofore unseen sculptures from the estate and collection of Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar; the private collections of Beroze and Michel Sabatier; the erotic art collections of Belgian doctors Johan Mattelaer and Guy Martens.
The aim of this exhibition is to retell the story of one the most well-known – but, paradoxically, least understood – pieces of Sanskrit texts from India, the Kama Sutra. The curatorial approach of this exhibition is done by way of a re telling of the patriachal 4th century Kamasutra text by a woman curator, Dr Alka Pande. It has undertones of gender, a refreshing look from the perspective of a 21st century urban woman who is a trained art historian and a cultural theorist.
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- Mr Marc Restellini, Director of the Pinacothèque de Paris and the Ambassador of France to India
Dr. Alka Pande, renowned art historian and author of many books on erotic art, has been appointed as the curator for this exhibition. Dr. Alka Pande’s first book was itself an introduction to this great Sanskrit treatise, the Kama Sutra, that she wrote in 1999. Since then, she has been constantly exploring the frontier of love, desire, longing, sexuality and genders in her many books : Indian Erotica, a visual journey along the erotic art of the Indian subcontinent (2002) ; Ardhanarishvara the Androgyn, an exploration of the frontiers of the genre, based upon the Hindu concept of Shiva as half-man half woman (2005); The New Age Kama Sutra for women, her first attempt to transpose this text to the modern times (2008), Kama Sutra- The Quest for Love, a visual journey through some of the most explicit erotic works of art (2008); Leela, An Erotic Play of Verse and Art, an illustrated collection of Indian Poetry (2009); and Shringara- The many faces of Indian Beauty, a reflection on the Indian concept of feminine beauty (2011).
Marc Restellini is an art historian and a Modigliani scholar. He has been working in Japan for many years, and has been the artistic director of the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris, where he has exhibited masters like Rodin, Raphaël and Modigliani. In 2007, he has opened the Pinacothèque, the first private art museum in Paris, situated Place de la Madeleine. In less than a decade, it has become one of the most visited museum in Paris, close on the heels of the Louvre and the Pompidou Centre. What sets the Pinacothèque apart is the artistic vision of Marc Restellini whose ambition is to look at art history with an fresh perspective, creating bridges and transversality in the way exhibition are conceptualised, and reaching out to a wider public.