Forms and Documents


Critical Analysis of Co+Ordinates, Joyce Kozloff, and Mapmaking as Art

Maps have long been a tool of power, a method of understanding, and a method for systematically exploring and recording information. They are inherently instruments of organizational strategy. While geographic maps are the most common and widely used, many artists look to the methodologies and language of maps in order to classify and, in some cases, obfuscate information. Maps, charts, and cartographic language can all serve as reinforcements for an argument. The information within a map is generally understood to be accurate and reliable, but many artists use that assumption in order to deceive or mislead their viewers as part of their work. An example is Lordy Rodriguez’s Island in the Center, 2002, where the artist created abstract and fictitious map images without words as part of a series called “Dislocations”. Joyce Kozloff has worked on themes concerning maps and cartography for the past fifteen years and they have become a very large part of her oeuvre. Her cartographic sensibilities link us to a much deeper and anachronistic view of humanity and the human condition, and three artworks from her independent bodies of non-public works serve to demonstrate differing–yet related–modes of mapping, naming, and subjugation.