Pedagogy as Art Practice: Towards a Sustained Critical Multiplicity.


The presentation will be divided in two segments. The first segment will focus on the community based engagements in Visva Bharati University in Santiniketan in relation to the neighbouring landscape reflecting the pedagogic ideology of nobel laureate Rabindrantah Tagore, its founder since its initiation in 1921 and how Kala Bhavana , the institute of Fine Arts as an integral part of the university imagined modernism as an integrated practices of environment, life, material and ecology as a sustained practice of individual and the collective participation since 1919. Inspired by this pedagogic model the second part of the presentation will focus on some of my own initiatives exploring the possibility of pedagogy as art practice that can manifest itself as an interface between institutional and self-organized endeavors to generate new spaces of public sphere, of social and cultural dialogues between communities, locations, process and practices towards a critical collective of coexistence of multiple point of views.

About the Speaker

Sanchayan Ghosh is a visual artist and pedagogue (b. 1970) Born in Kolkata. He lives and works in Santiniketan and Kolkata,West Bengal India, and is currently an Associate Professor, Department of Painting, Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan.

Sanchayan Ghosh has been practicing site-specific art as a workshop based collective community dialogue leading to numerous forms of public engagements over the last twenty years. His interest in process based collaborative making and sharing of art lead him to interact also with different performance forms from all over India. Moreover, through his regular engagement in pedagogy he has explored art practice as a critical engagement of individual and collective conversation where he has collaborated and participated in different interdisciplinary encounters exploring institutional space as an interface of the private and the public. He has also worked in different kinds of self organized initiatives in different parts of the world and explored transforming relationship of land, location, labour and practice.

He has been awarded Charles Wallace Fellowship,UK in 2003-04 and worked on “Merge Down and Resist” with 3 generations of Asian migrants on framing of identities in Bristol. He has also participated in Kochi Muziris Biennale and explored a community sound project “Incomplete Circles, Invisible Voices” in 2012. He has participated in Dacca Biennale in 2016 with a collective performative project Reading from the Gendered land with women students of Kala Bhavana, Visva Bharati and Charukala Anushad Dhaka Vishwa Vidyalaya. He has participated in the aneducation project Under The Mango Tree in Documenta14 and conducted a Circle Walk in 2017. He has been also associated with different pedagogy projects in Kala Bhavana, Visva Bharati, Santiniketan , National School of Drama(NSD), FICA( New Delhi) and Five Million Incidents of Max Mueller Bhavana, Kolkata. He also co-curated the second session of Under The Mango Tree in Santiniketan in 2020. Kochi- Muziris Students’ Biennale, Kochi 2018.

Ghosh’s collaborative sound project (work of art) ‘Short Wave’s Transit Tales’ is commissioned by Documenta14 (the German international exhibition project, under its Radio project and was transmitted in 8 countries of 4 continents). This piece has been shown in three exhibitions in Basel, Switzerland and Berlin and Weimar, Germany.

His selected solo exhibitions include Reversed Perspective:3 Conjunctures, 2014 and Sisyphus Effect, together with Experimenter, Kolkata, 2010.

Conversation with Sanchayan Ghosh | Critical Ecologies 2020