Nonviolence immediately calls to mind a face, a smile, an easily recognizable figure: Mahatma Gandhi. In 1927 Gandhi published an autobiography entitled “My experiments with truth.” The title refers to satyagraha, the “force of truth,” the cornerstone of civil disobedience that he championed and exemplified throughout his life. A milestone of nonviolent thought and action, Gandhi’s life story was the natural choice for the guiding principle and title of an exhibition on the art of nonviolence.
Gandhi’s personal, spiritual, ethical and political journey is illustrated in its entire complexity through a large number of documents, which include a remarkable series of photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson. The exhibition also reveals, however, the extent of his legacy: Experiments with Truthpresents nonviolence as a powerful inspirational force in the visual arts. With around one hundred items on display, the exhibition initiates a dialogue between cultures, the arts and techniques: tantric paintings, Koran parchments, Jain sculptures, Byzantine icons. Contemporary artists such as Marlene Dumas, Dan Flavin, Amar Kanwar, Kimsooja, Yves Klein, Robert Rauschenberg, and Ai Weiwei also take up the messages of nonviolence.