In art, the body is a carrier of thoughts rather than a representation of its physicality alone. It can be a vehicle for capturing the various moods, energies or values that drive society. Looked at another way, artistic imagery, in turn, also has an influence on people—decisions on what kind of bodies have been regarded as being ideal in different periods can make for a fascinating comparative history. Prof. Ahuja curated the landmark exhibition The Body in Indian Art & Thought in 2013 that redefined the presentation of Indian art in exhibitions across the world. In this lecture he explains why studies in art history have been making the subject of 'the body' their focus since the 1990s, in order to address if "The Body" offers an alternative narrative for history museums.
This lecture is organised in conjunction with the exhibition Body & Spirit: The Human Body in Thought and Practice.