‘Cartographies’ of Meaning: Towards a Sociology of Contemporary Art

19 February 2016 
6pm - 7:30pm

The presentation will pose the following preliminary question: how and why should sociologists look at contemporary art to read society and its politics? At the moment, art is not considered a serious object of research or a potential method of research in mainstream sociology.  But is it completely unthinkable that specific kinds of art might not open doors to unlock the meanings of societal process and politics?

To answer this question in a preliminary sense, the presentation will firstly undertake a brief tour of contemporary Sri Lankan art and explore its politics. Secondly, it will attempt to locate some of the work of Pala Pothupitiye which are currently on display at TARQ within this broader socio-political context. The presentation will attempt to argue  that contemporary Sri Lankan political art can be understood as repositories of personal and collective memory as well as narratives of recent social history.