Modernist Agencies: Modernism and Cold War Politics in Pakistan


Getty/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowships in the History of Art


Art History


This project examines modernism in Pakistan and pre-1971 Bangladesh between the 1940s and the 1990s. The book employs exhibition and institutional histories to trace how artists pried open the hyphen between the nation as an imagined community and institutions of the state in postcolonial Pakistan. The book challenges binary notions of co-option and autonomy that still regulate the study of modernism today to show how artists from Pakistan moved knowingly and strategically through overlapping forces of institutional power at home and abroad during the Cold War decades, as well as how they theorized and demystified the constitutive fictions of the nation-state through their pedagogical, bureaucratic, and aesthetic practices.