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Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2045-5836
  • E-ISSN: 2045-5844



(2005) was not only the first collateral event of India at the Venice Biennale, but it also began as a bid to become a national pavilion – an ambition that was ultimately unsuccessful. Drawing on original research and interview data surrounding the exhibition, this article examines the collaborations and conflicts between private art institutions, artists and the state in the context of India’s participation in the Venice Biennale since the 2000s. The article foregrounds a transversal approach – that is, an analytical framework that unsettles the conventional dichotomy between national pavilions and collateral events – and demonstrates how commercial galleries and private art institutions have acquired an important role in the production and exhibition of Indian contemporary art in global biennial circuits.


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