Review of INSERT2014 by Lawrence Liang, in Art Agenda

A dilapidated building earmarked for demolition and destined to join the debris of socialist modernity in Jia Zhangke’s 2006 film Still Life abruptly transforms into a UFO in the middle of the night and takes off to an uncertain future. A moment of flight that rejects the burden of the real and the preordination of history serves equally well as a guide to the curatorial imagination of “INSERT2014,” an exhibition presented by the Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation and curated by the Raqs Media Collective. However, unlike utopian flights, which are assured of a successful take off, if not a landing, “INSERT2014” plays with the idea of a suspended moment between stasis and movement, the animate and inanimate, and potential and failed promises as a way of thinking about the contemporary global moment and Delhi’s place in it. Taking place in the shadow of the India Art fair—an annual event that has come to be associated with the burgeoning Indian art market and is, sadly, more known for its engagement with sky-rocketing art prices than with ideas—“INSERT2014” literally inserts itself as an interruption of the seamless integration of the art world into Delhi’s twenty-first century.

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