Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät - Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften

Art, Market and the Media: Contemporary Art Worlds in India Since Economic Liberalization

The recent international hype of contemporary art from India implies the notion of a local art world in transition of becoming global: contemporary art from India ranks high at international auctions; it exhibits worldwide and gains full media coverage, inside and outside India.

While globalisation has formed a new geography of contemporary art, medialisation has led to its altered perception. At the example of India's contemporary art world, my project tackles the question of the medialisation of contemporary art since the emergence of the Internet: How is the boom of contemporary art from India perceived by the art world in India? How do individual and collective art world players react on the sudden global attention and high marketability of contemporary art from India? What are the dynamics of the media, which communicate the recent changes? By means of studying the medialisation of contemporary art, I intend to focus on the functional change of art in India, heading in a discursive direction that further suggests »historicizing‚« art history when engaging in contemporary art, working towards a paradigm shift from a Eurocentric perspective to a post-hegemonial, post-ethnic and post-historical notion of global art.

My research thus examines the dynamics of contemporary art in India, its global art market and the role of media since Indian liberalization in the 1990s. Art world players like artists, gallerists, art critics and collectors are central actors to study how they have altered their actions in relation to the recent transitions within their field. Aiming to reconstruct the transitions of the art world in India since the 1990s, my research implies methods of qualitative research. To examine the personal perceptions, observations and reactions on India's contemporary art world, I will conduct qualitative interviews with selected artists, gallerists, collectors, auction house and museum directors as well as art critics to explore the research field. Qualitative content analyses of selected media are applied to study the change of mediated public communication on the recent art boom. Their foci lie textually on market-induced notions of contemporary art from India and formally on social media formats.

Subodh Gupta, Faith Matters, 2007 (detail),
sushi belt, brass copper, aluminium and steel, 167,6 x 462,3 x 264,2 cm,
Installation shot at BodhiBerlin
Shilpa Gupta, I have many dreams, 2008 (detail),
4 photographs on canvas with sound, 168 x137cm,
Installation shot at BodhiBerlin
adeli-02a.jpg adeli-02b.jpg

Jamila Adeli
E-Mail: Jamila Adeli

Prof. Dr. Nadja-Christina Schneider
Junior Professor for Mediality and Intermediality in Asian and African Societies
Institute of Asian and African Studies
Room: 220
Phone +49 (0)30 / 2093-6643

Birgit Koch
Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 2093-6601
Fax: +49 (0)30 / 2093-6666

Cross-Section for Mediality and Intermediality
Institute of Asian and African Studies
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Unter den Linden 6
D-10099 Berlin