From the Archives
Today from our archives we bring you Kelly Nosari’s assessment of Whose Map Is It? at the Institute of International Visual Arts in London. Considering the wars currently being waged over land in Palestine, the Ukraine, Syria, and South Sudan (to name just a few), it is interesting to note how artists approach the representation of territory. This article was originally published on July 8, 2010.
While the act of mapping conveys authority—giving credence to that which it records—mapping cannot remain entirely static and must be revised to represent changes in power structures. In efforts to better understand or better represent the world, many contemporary artists eschew two-dimensional map making in favor of addressing the ways in which traditional maps are transgressed by global complexities.
Whose Map Is It? New Mapping by Artists, currently on view at the Institute of International Visual Arts in London (Iniva), offers creative alternatives to a stale representation of global organization. Capitalizing on the potentially transformative nature of mapping, nine contemporary artists deconstruct conventions in favor of introducing previously “off the map” concepts. Whose Map Is It? is inextricably engaged with the larger theme of globalization for the way that this present condition problematizes the traditional two-dimensional nation-state map structure. Presenting new and recent work in diverse media, the exhibition offers freshly layered, content-wise approaches that creatively reposition map making to more fully represent today’s mobile world.