The turn of the century has witnessed the beginnings of an astonishing alteration in the balance of power towards Asia, militarily as well as economically, signifying perhaps, as many experts suggest, the impending close of five centuries of global domination by first Europe, then the United States. This alteration has also influenced international relations and has therefore been mirrored in the creative practice of different Asian regions.
About the Modern is a four-part series by Sumitra Sunder that traces the evolution of contemporary art in India’s metropolitan cities and how the movement has flourished outside the traditional spaces of museums and galleries. In part two of this series, the author highlights opinions of select theoreticians on how contemporary socio-political arts deals with subjects such as environmental degradation, street protests, tectonic urban migrations, and the movement for sexual liberation in mid-20th century India and later.
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York was built as an ‘outpost’ of modernity; as a contrast to the buildings of Victorian aesthetic that was the dominant architecture of the city in that period. This kind of aesthetic is what plays out for almost all museums of modern art or galleries of modern art as they are known in India.