material as metaphor or, Once emerged from the grey of night…
Within the walls of the Indian Museum, Paul Klee’s spare, linear frames have entered to perform a new dramatic play on the conjoined lives of Bauhaus and Kolkata. Like a proscenium stage that gets re-decorated before every performance, the darkness of the museum space makes way for fantasy to creep into the act of installing a new show. Another chance to have a conversation on the old certainties: the fate of the diverse, globally articulate art and crafts movements finding a neat resolution in the Bauhaus’ ideology of industrial design, the persecution of modernist art by authoritarian politics, the fate of modernism itself- after more than a century of emphasizing the tenuous identity of the truth in material. Like Klee’s lines, which could describe space by scattering its familiar co-ordinates, go on a walk, shrink from realism and drift towards dreams, 
 and project a tensile force onto the world of mutable forms, the transformation of the museum invites a variety of responses. At the cusp of our renewed encounter with one of the most important chapters in global modernism, the premise remains almost the same: the fate of the line and its necessary transformation to accommodate the history and practice of an insistent, demanding Other, that can be the basis for a new solidarity of form. Geometric abstraction accommodating fantasies of wandering (the line caught jaywalking, one might suggest), the painful old dialectic between image and ornament; will there be a new idiom that can finally emerge from the grey? The curtain rises, the revival is much-awaited. The play can now begin.