Published on : Wednesday, December 2, 2020
The Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) will launch digitally on Saturday, 5 December, an opportunity to reach global audiences with the great art of the sub-continent. Their new building delayed by COVID, MAP nevertheless moves ahead, presenting a week-long virtual program of events entitled Art (is) Life and inaugurating their Museums Without Borders initiative.
MAP’s digital platform will offer curated experiences, allowing audiences to interact with MAP’s exhibitions and events from the comfort of their homes at any time. MAP has a growing collection of over 18,000 artworks, predominantly from the subcontinent and dating from the 10th century to the present, with concentrations in Pre-Modern Art, Modern and Contemporary Art, Photography, Folk and Tribal Art, Popular Culture, Textiles, Craft and Design.
Founder-Trustee of MAP, Abhishek Poddar says, “Our vision at MAP is to reach out to people from all walks of life and make the collection available to the world. Then why should we wait for a physical museum to come up? Launching digitally is the organic next step for MAP, achieving our agenda of inclusion and accessibility. To be truly relevant museums and cultural institutions need to always rethink and reinvent themselves, Even more so in challenging times like these. MAP’s digital launch marks the birth of a new museum for a new era.”
MAP’s digital launch is a week-long program of events titled Art (is) Life from 5-11 December, 2020. The opening session on Saturday, 5 December will showcase some of the most innovative performances in music, dance, poetry and technology, by leading Indian professionals including art historian Dr. B. N. Goswamy, filmmaker Nandita Das, and visual artist, Jitish Kallat. Each subsequent day of the program will celebrate one of the six departments of the museum’s collection including a commissioned performance. Each day’s programs will air twice, making them convenient for all time zones at 7pm (IST) and again at 5pm (EST)
“Art (is) Life is a culmination of everything we hope our museum to be,” says Kamini Sawhney, the Director of MAP. “The opening program will showcase how the arts are interconnected, each enriching the others. This is reflective of the Museum’s vision to draw connections across the collection, creating unique narratives. We are working on creative ways to bring art to everyone. The launch program of commissioned performances and collaborations with international institutions is a preview for what is to come regularly with MAP.”
The program will also launch the first five episodes of Museums Without Borders, video collaborations with 50 international institutions that will juxtapose a pair of objects, one from an international collection and one from MAP’s, to discover the differences and connections.
Participating institutions include the British Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), The Morgan Library and Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Vitra Design Museum, and the Rhode School of Design. This dialogue between the objects will be presented by curators from both institutions. Museums Without Borders allows audiences to discover new narratives and make comparisons without travel, an interesting alternative to gallery displays.