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About ‘how we treat the others’
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Around a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti
  • abstract art
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  • face
  • art history
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Other Topics
A coffin to bury the statues of the ­ancestors
A coffin to bury the  statues of the ­ancestors

Clémentine Deliss

The Repatriation of the White Cube

I was initially slightly sceptical of the ramifications and undertones of Renzo Martens’ project in central Congo. But as I found out on a recent visit to Lusanga in DRC, it is precisely the complexity and radical ambiguity of the enterprise that provides it with both artistic as well as socio-economic and political relevance. The work operates across several registers, each with its own context and syntax, be it within farming or art. What really convinces me is the equity...
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  • contemporary art
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Arts
Humanity is a metahuman concept.

Rolf Bossart, Milo Rau

Humanity is a metahuman concept.

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  • realism
  • artistic practice
  • art theory
  • transhumanism
  • re-enactment
  • postmodernism
"Curriculum Vitae in Pictures“

Maria Zinfert (ed.)

Kracauer. Photographic Archive

Kracauer. Photographic Archive presents  largely unknown material from the estate of the German-American theorist of film and photography, ­Siegfried Kracauer and his wife and assistant Elisabeth, known as Lili. The single and group portraits, still lifes, street scenes and landscapes collected in this book all come from the estate of Siegfried Kracauer. Published here for the first time, they are an extensive and representative selection from the enlargements, contact sheets and rolls of film originally archived by Lili Kracauer. With...
  • biography
  • 1950s
  • 20th century
  • archive
  • 1930s
Fiction

Tom McCarthy

“Obsessed with buffering”

I’ve become obsessed with buffering—or the narrator in my new novel is obsessed with buffering. He’s an anthropologist who has grown up reading Lévi-Strauss but he’s also a corporate anthropologist who is working for the Man. He’s putting culture in the service of capital. Like we all do, he spends most of his life staring at a screen, and he frequently encounters bouts of buffering. And the first thought he has is that this is not ultimately a technological situation, it’s a theological situation. Behind that little circle spinning on your laptop there’s this belief that somewhere in Uzbekistan, Nevada or Finland there are many Über-servers with satellite dishes generating and sending out data. “Data” means gift and these servers are gifting all this data to you in this unconditional act of endless generosity and data angels are dancing on the pinhead of your Wi-Fi. And this places you inside...

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  • fiction
  • literary studies
  • literature
  • Modernism
  • conversation
Mama Say Make I Dey Go, She Dey My Back
Mama Say Make I Dey Go, She Dey My Back

Jelili Atiku, Damian Christinger

Venice, Lagos, and the Spaces in between

Wandering down the Riva S. Biasio I gaze at the superyachts, thronged at the quay, and the African street vendors selling cheap knock-off handbags: poor immigrants trying to make a living contrasted with the absurdly wealthy visiting one of the great gatherings of the globalized art world. This image has become a sort of a cliché, especially during the last edition of the Biennale di Venezia, curated by Okwui Enwezor, with its emphasis on art from the global South and...
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  • feminism
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Discourse

Chantal Mouffe

Counter-Hegemonic Struggle and Agonistic Practices


In recent years we have witnessed an incredible acceleration in the process of commodification in the field of culture. With the development of the culture industries, the worst nightmares of Horkheimer and Adorno seem to have been realized. Indeed, some theorists claim that, through our dependence on the entertainments corporations, we have become totally subjugated to the control of capital and that we cannot even imagine modes of resistances. Aesthetics, they say, has been so completely harnessed towards the development of a hedonistic culture that there is no space left for a subversive experience – not even in art.


Were this to be true, we would have to conclude that there is no alternative to the present post-political world. The current hegemonic form of neoliberal globalization would constitute our only horizon and we would have to abandon the hope of fostering the agonistic democracy that I have been advocating in my work....

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»… Consistently Abused and Forced…«
»… Consistently Abused and Forced…«

Kati Kroß

Christoph Schlingensief's »Freakstars 3000«

When non-disabled artists such as Jérôme Bel or Christoph Schlingensief in their productions work with actors who, in hegemonic discourse, are referred to as disabled, they almost invariably face criticism over the exploitation and voyeuristic exhibition of these people. Bel’s Disabled Theater anticipated such reservations and took a good deal of wind out of its critics’ sails by having the performers themselves raise these issues on stage and report on their families’ reactions to the piece. Nevertheless, the question whether...
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  • aesthetics
  • Jérôme Bel
  • identity
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Humanities

Alexander García Düttmann

What is the Contemporary?

The contemporary seems to be a rare animal that can rotate on its own neck and exhibit different faces, depending on whether we think of it as a given or an uncertain achievement, as an empty, abstract, deceptive present or a springboard into the past and the untimeliness of creation. But if the contemporary is indeed Janus-faced, even the sadness of an encounter with its emptiness, with the semblance of radicalism, must still relate to the excitement of leaping into “now time” or starting to write. Is the present not necessarily empty and therefore always a cause for sadness, also in the case when, in acquiring the sense, or developing the instinct, that is required to venture into the past’s “now time,” we begin to depart from it? In one of his last letters to a young poet, dating from 1904, Rilke distinguishes between two forms of sadness, or rather...

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  • contemporary art
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