The third DAS took place in grand style at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy over four days and four floors of artworks and art talks. Somewhere between the format of a biennale and art fair, its image is voluntarily democratic: ‘the world’s largest non-commercial research and exhibition platform for South Asian Art’, it is free for everyone and the indigenous response was overwhelming, with crowds of enthusiastic visitors of all ages and classes attending. The event is produced and funded by the Samdani Art Foundation, dynamic collectors whose ostensibly limitless patronage and generosity generates both admiration and unease. Privatisation of art production is performing the unfilled role of state support throughout South Asian countries and it comes at a cost that would seem to be the price of feeding the ferocious appetite of globalisation: the art world replays ancient rituals in sublime ignorance of their eternal return to nourish the beast.
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