Artist; the Public Intellectual 

December 2016-March 2017
A collateral of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016
Curator: Tanya Abraham
Paula Sengupta  
Concept note
Gigi Scaria
New Delhi, India
Can I call you back?
Concept note
Margaret Lanzetta
New York, USA
 Folded Language
Concept note
Meydad Eliyahu
The box of documents  | Kadalassuppeti 
Concept note
Curator’s Note
Artist; the Public Intellectual 

Someone who travels easily in the world of ideas, fairly large political and social concepts, and is able to convey the importance and complexity of those ideas in an accessible language.

 Stanley Fsh.1938 


If the gap between artists and public are bridged through education, through tools that propagate study on the role of artists as Public Intellectuals, the meaning and need for art take a completely new perspective. It, then, tends to rest in a realm where thought is challenged, questions asked, and social and political matters raised as a need for public welfare. Artists are individuals who have the capacity, skill, and power to bring forth ideas and perspectives that pertain to the emotional, intellectual, physical and material wellbeing of the public. It is, thus, true that few catch the complexity of the role-played by artists in societies across the world and the possible pedagogical role of art. Unfortunately, it is also questioned if artists themselves are able to articulate the roles they might play, the fathoming of the power they possess to project specific thoughts and connect communities irrespective of distinct cultural and economic separations.

Through this project, I have attempted to portray the artist as a “free entity” who is able to penetrate the density of things; the many layers of historical, social and political conditioning that can be peeled away or exposed (through art), to reveal the rawness associated with it. The construction of the artist- individual in this sphere is a vital aspect to the manner in which the public is able to view things. Once this position is carved out in a vehement and distinct way, the position artists play as intellectuals aimed at public good becomes relevant.

Tanya Abraham


Design by Aditya Patil