100 people were invited to make a hand drawn map of their country – in Mumbai; Cuenca; Delme; Gwangju, Seoul, Cheorwon: Tel Aviv and Jerusalem; Montreal and different parts of Italy
Shilpa Gupta's '100 Hand drawn Maps" series which was started in 2008 draws us into the complexities of the construction and delineation of space articulated by man-made borders. For these works, the artist travelled from India to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, inviting participants to draw maps from memory. Layering these drawings atop one another, she illustrates the mercurial nature of nation as idea and, as the work's lines intersect and diverge, its ambivalent and logocentric status (a characteristic previously remarked on by theorist Homi K. Bhabha)
The material Gupta employs for layering the maps is carbon paper, which is traditionally used for making copies and the method used is 'tracings'. In bringing the two together, the artist subverts the process of record keeping - none of the maps match. A highly subjective interpretation of the territory of a nation sees states skipped or incorporated with the attitude of each author. The work throws into question, how political borders are created, imagined and learnt.
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