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Contemporary art in South Asia and its diasporas


Admission requirements

Only students who are admitted to the master’s Joint MA pilot programme “Media & Material Culture” can take part in this course.
(Click here for admission requirements)


Today contemporary Art from South Asia enjoys high global visibility, thanks to the growing presence of artists from this region – India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – in international exhibitions, the Documenta and Biennales, on the one hand, and a booming art market for contemporary South Asian art on the other. The seminar will examine the ways in which the particular transformation of South Asian art of the past 20 years or so into a global phenomenon has affected the art itself. How do artists address a viewership scattered across the globe? In what ways do they engage with local contexts? Do artists living in the South Asian diasporas use art as a medium to translate particular identities and experiences of living “between cultures”? To what extent do transcultural curatorial practices and the art market affect the making of art, what strategies to artists employ to resist or circumvent the decisive power of these institutions?

Timetable Winter Term 2010/2011 (14/10/2010 – 03/02/2011)

Mode of instruction Lectures

Reading list

  • Yashodhara Dalmia (ed.), Contemporary Indian Art – other realities, Mumbai 2002

  • Kathleen Madden (ed.), Indian Highway, Ausstellungskatalog, Köln 2008

  • Where in the world? Ausstellungskatalog, Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi 2008.

  • Sarah Khan, Globalisierende Kunstmärkte: das Phänomen Kunst im 21. Jahrhundert aus globaler Perspektive, Berlin/Münster 2009

  • Hans Belting, Was bitte heißt „contemporary“ ? Die Zeit, 21, 20. Mai 2010 (auf ESEM)