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The Sunwise Turn

Curated by Shabbir Hussain Mustafa

The Sunwise Turn took Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy’s seminal 1927 publication, A History of Indian and Indonesian Art as a starting point and meditated upon three political ideas that have marked the writing of art histories in the 20th century: industrial, modern and region. Constructed around Coomaraswamy’s writings in the backdrop of anti-colonial struggles of the inter-war years and his curatorial work at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the symposium sought to examine the interventions his thoughts made into the self-consciousness of Western modernism. Bringing together international voices from art, theory, history, and philosophy, the workshop is conceived as a series of propositions linking Coomaraswamy to the sentiments of his time, but also to the gradual curve of their evolution today. The Sunwise Turn was a critical circumambulation around the philosopher, curator and historian. It picked up the phrase from an oft-overlooked bookshop, which became the centre of anarchist political thought in New York City just after the first World War, a place that Coomaraswamy not only came to be closely associated with, but evoked as “the storm of the world-flow”.

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