Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space

A major critical reader and catalog (240 pages) associated with the exhibition Lines of Control. Featuring scholarly contributions by Salah Hassan, Naeem Mohaiemen, Aamir Mufti, Jolene Rickard, Sumathi Ramaswamy, Hyejong Yoo, and Nicole Wolf, and the work of 33 international contemporary artists and groups.

Lines of Control has been an ambitious undertaking that has effectively expanded discussions of partitions, borders, and lines of control beyond singular geographical locations. This is a crucial move that inaugurates new questions and lines of thought in the study of cultural, technological, and political phenomena and experiences in our times. The exhibition’s catalogue is a vital text that weaves together scholarly and artistic thought on borders and modern nations from varied locations and contexts.

Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space explores the creation and maintenance of borders, both physical as well as psychological, through the works of artists primarily from South Asia. These artists focus on the idea of partition as a productive space-where nations are made through forging new identities and relationships; reconfiguring memory and creative forgetting; re-writing history and the making of myths; and through the creation and patrolling of borders. Developed by the nonprofit arts organization Green Cardamom, Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space originated in London in 2009 as an exhibition focused on South Asian artists and the division of India in 1947. The project later expanded to a larger exhibition at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, incorporating works by artists from countries such as Mexico, Lebanon, and Ireland.

(Department of History of Art & Visual Studies, Cornell University)