Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Defining Lines at the Nasher

Much to see at three thoughtful, absorbing exhibits at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. "Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space" is one of them. ". . . [C]o-curated by Iftikahr Dadi and Hammad Nasar, brings together art across many genres . . . that have their common theme a preoccupation [pun intended?] with borders, boundaries and lines that divide and demarcate. . . " The British Empire, for one, "brought in its wake the geographic and cartographic division of much of the inhabited world . . ." Obviously, we're still living in the fallout zones from "the Middle East" to Africa and everywhere else in the world as we know it -- or really know it not. 
"Defining Lines: Cartography in the Age of Empire" takes a similar look at dividing lines, focusing on maps as cultural artifacts that carve up the world in ways that favor certain groups over others. "No matter . . . their claims to 'objectivity,' 'accuracy' and 'authority,' maps never simply show the world as it is; they are . . . 'a construction of reality, images laden with intentions and consequences.'" In the end, it's mostly about culture, power and economics. 

A third exhibit revolves around Doris Duke's spectacular "Shangri La" project in Hawaii, replete with beautiful Islamic-themed signs and wonders.

Very impressive all.

Today's Rune: Journey.   


Charles Gramlich said...

Yes, definitely interesting how such seemingly simple things as a map can create such turmoil

the walking man said...

When did empires begin to overcome the natural earth made boundaries of peoples land but more importantly why?