- This event is over. However, time travel possible through our Audio & Video!
Alice Procter embarks on everything that a historian in mainstream establishment shuns. She speaks about colonial loot, whiteness, historical trauma, myths of national identity besides excavating the colonial story of art in museums. Her unofficial and unauthorised Uncomfortable Art Tours initiative has been unpacking colonial narrative since 2017 across some of Britain’s leading museums. These tours have made visitors question mainstream narratives, not just of art but of imperial legacies and inheritances that have shaped our understanding of material culture worldwide.
Her practice brings to the fore pertinent questions that museums across the world are dealing with. How do we display, what do we display and is the audience made aware of how we acquired what’s on display? While a quest for questionable provenance has been tentatively embarked on worldwide, it is still obfuscated with legalese and terse labels. The disquiet in the museum world has not gone unnoticed and Proctor’s practice has put it out there front and central.
Her book The Whole Picture: The Colonial Story of the Art in Our Museums & why We Need to Talk about it deftly unpacks many of the themes that guide her work and asks crucially ‘…who has the right to hold objects, and to tell their stories? Pramod Kumar KG, co-founder of Eka Archiving Services, India’s first museum consulting company, will be in conversation with Alice Procter to deliberate on repatriation and restitution and the need to explore alternative histories of objects, people, and collections. Histories of art are necessarily political and the big query for this discussion is to help deconstruct propaganda and change our filter from ‘what’s on display’ to ‘what am I not being told’.
In collaboration with Eka Archiving Services
Alice Procter is an art historian, writer and educator. Since 2017, she has run the Uncomfortable Art Tours, unauthorised guided tours of British museums, exploring how major institutions came into being against a backdrop of imperialism. She is the author of The Whole Picture: The Colonial Story of the Art in Our Museums and Why We Need to Talk About It (Cassell 2020). Her work concentrates on the intersections of postcolonial art practice, the curation of historical trauma and narratives of national identity.
Pramod Kumar KG
Pramod Kumar KG is the co-founder of Eka Archiving Services, India’s first museum advisory firm that provides its services to a range of institutions, collectors and collections. His primary areas of interest is material culture from the Indian subcontinent and towards this he has curated and lectured extensively on the subject worldwide. Pramod is the founder director of the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing at Jaipur, instituted the Jaipur Literature Festival and was the co-director of Mountain Echoes, the Bhutan Literature Festival for a decade. He is a published author and has made contributions to several edited volumes besides journals, magazines and other publications.