The art world in India has become a more conservative place, a study of attitudes toward art and the media says.
The study by India-based arts think-tank the India Institute of Contemporary Art (IICA) found that in 2017, only 10 percent of the country’s artists expressed support for political parties, compared to a 60 percent support in 2011.
It also found that only 9 percent of respondents were more supportive of the media than artists, while 51 percent of them did not think that the media is a “true expression of society”.
The report said: “There is a growing belief that art and its portrayal of human behaviour should be more positive and more tolerant, more inclusive, and more neutral, while also taking into account cultural differences and diversity, as reflected in different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.”
This trend is particularly prevalent in the media, where the discourse is more polarised and has become much more negative towards art, the arts and cultural institutions.
“The IICA report is the first survey of Indian art students to be conducted by the IAC, which is led by director and co-founder, artist, and critic Jyoti Gopal.
The IAC is working on a series of studies of art and society in India to improve the countrys image, said IAC president Ravi Chatterjee.
The organisation, which has been working with artists in India since the 1960s, said its survey showed a growing acceptance of art’s political role, and an increasing fear of the negative consequences of this shift.
Art students were asked to give a list of four political issues: “Punishment for crimes against humanity”; “Policies for the protection of minorities”; “Problems affecting the development of the art industry”; and “Possible future directions for art.”
They were also asked to provide their thoughts on a number of topics including art, culture, music, architecture and media.
They were asked if they agreed or disagreed with the following statement: “Art is a means of communication and art can communicate the human condition.”
The responses also gave their reasons for agreeing or disagreeing with these statements: “The art is a way of expressing humanity in the world” (46 percent); “Art can help to increase awareness of the human predicament” (39 percent); and “Art helps to improve society and society-wide” (18 percent).
The report also found a rise in the number of people in India who said that they thought art is not a “real” expression of culture, with 43 percent agreeing with this.
However, the report also showed that the majority of the artists polled agreed with the statement: “The art world and the art culture in India is very conservative.
It is not very progressive”.
The authors of the report said that the trend is not unique to India.
The report found that the IIC also surveyed artists across countries, including the US, UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia and the UK.