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Jitish Kallat: Public Notice 3

Madhuvanti Ghose

April 2011
In print
Hardcover $25.00
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Summary: 

The Art Institute of Chicago has long held a unique historical connection with India. In 1893, during the World's Columbian Exposition, the museum's building served as the site of important meetings on world issues. One of these was Swami Vivekananda's famous address to the World's Parliament of Religions, which opened a dialogue between Eastern and Western faith traditions.

The artist Jitish Kallat has chosen this historical event as the crux of his work Public Notice—3, an installation that will be on view from September 11, 2010 to January 2, 2011, on the site where Vivekananda delivered his groundbreaking address. In this talk, which took place exactly one hundred eight years before the World Trade Center attacks in New York, Vivekenanda called for an end to all "bigotry and fanaticism." This historical coincidence—and the fact that the speech was delivered at the earliest attempt to create a global dialogue of faiths—heightens the potency of those persuasive words. This event will mark the first time that Kallat's art has been exhibited at a major American museum.

In Public Notice—3, the text of Vivekenanda's speech will be refracted on and around the Art Institute's Grand Staircase and appear in the five colors—red, orange, yellow, blue, and green—that are designated by the United States Homeland Security Advisory System to signify threat levels. The installation will serve not as a passive commemorative act, but rather as the creation of an actively contemplative space.

Documenting this undertaking will be a full-color, eighty-page book that will be the first full-scale exploration of Kallat's work published by a North American institution. The contents will include an article by curator Madhuvanti Ghose that contextualizesPublic Notice—3 within the space of the installation; an essay on Kallat's oeuvre that situates it within an international context, focusing on key themes and works; extensive photographic documentation of Public Notice—3; an interview with the artist that takes the form of an e-conversation among a number of well-known scholars, including Art Institute director James Cuno and Paul Schimmel; and a complete bibliography and exhibition history.

The Art Institute of Chicago, April 2011 
8 3/8 x 10 1/4 in.; 96 pages; approximatley 55 illustrations 
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0300-17158-7