Arts and Culture
This paper discusses about the ways in which knowledge is produced through artistic research in an academic setting. Conventional notions about art as only subjective expressions of an individual is been questioned by the ever changing nature of art itself. A body of work made using the language of cartography as a visual narrative method is the focus of this paper. Referring to Judith Butler’s explanation of human body as a ‘set of relations’ (1993), this research sees art as a set of relations and interrelations rather than as an object for contemplation. Art was traditionally viewed as a part of various textual narratives spread among the social fabric across various cultures. Artists today creates their own contextual and conceptual narratives through their image making. Agency of the artists to choose her/his subject varied from time to time. This paper throws light on how research through art in India can possibly reshape the ways of understanding artistic phenomena, in academia and the art world. Artistic research creates its own methods to visually understand, analyze and critique various phenomena it deals with. Considering the historically rigid social hierarchical structure of Indian society, the absence of names of individual artists in the intellectual circuits until the reign of Mughals in the 16th Century, this paper also looks at artists’ agency as a trope for analysis. This paper argues for integration of art in academia by focusing on the process of making artistic work using cartography as a visual language in contemporary India.