Artists and Extreme Events

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Date/Time: 14/03/2005 12:00 am

Artists and Extreme Events: March ’92 Bombay / September ’01 New
A Roundtable Discussion on How Acts of Unprecedented Violence
Tear a City’s Fabric
Monday, March 14, 6PM
The New School
66 West 12th Street, 5th floor
New York City
Admission free
Cities have been the focus of societal upheavals since the dawn of
human history, and the twentieth century was no exception. Urban
catastrophes in this bloodiest of centuries disrupted and destroyed
their conviviality, their security as places of dwelling and commerce.
Cities continue to be the object and subject of extreme events–bomb
blasts, forced mass movements of minorities and the poor, and
catastrophic accidents resulting from careless juxtaposition of
residential and industrial structures, such as petrochemical and nuclear
plants or waste management facilities. Chernobyl, Bhopal and Toulouse
are such cities. As these urban catastrophes get repeated in
ever-changing variations, how are we to understand these patterns?
This roundtable discussion draws on the recent experiences of two
metropolises, Mumbai (formerly Bombay) and New York. In March of 1992,
Mumbai suffered bomb blasts after the demolition of a mosque by militant
Hindus in northern India. On September 11th, 2001, New York City
experienced the destruction of the World Trade Center Towers and the
death of thousands.
Mumbai- and New York-based artists reflect on these urban catastrophes
and the ways they impinge on their work.
Session I: 6:00 to 7:00 “Cracks in Mondrian”
Artist Atul Dodiya in conversation with anthropologist Vyjayanthi Rao
(New School University)
Session II: 7:00 – 7:15 “The Cities Blotted into Wilderness: Adrienne
Rich After Ghalib”
Presentation by artist Zarina Hashmi
Session III: 7:15 – 8:00
Artist Julian LaVerdiere, co-creator of the “Towers of Light” that
illuminated the WTC site post 9/11, in conversation with Tom
Finkelpearl, Director, The Queens Museum of Art
The panel is co-sponsored by The South Asia Forum and The Vera List
Center for Art and Politics at The New School.
* * *
Established in 1992 by a generous grant from the late Vera List, a Life
Trustee of New School University, The Vera List Center explores the role
of the arts in developing a culture of pluralism in the United States.
In public lectures and symposia, through research activities and
publications, and in programs associated with the University’s art
collection, a wide array of visual and performance artists, scholars,
curators, and political leaders come together to investigate the
intersection of art and politics.
During the year 2004-05, the Center’s programming includes an
interdisciplinary exploration of the theme of “homeland.” For a current
listing of programs, please visit www.nsu.newschool.edu/vlc or call