Living in the Shadows : Navigating Austria's Evolving Asylum Policy -
An article by Damaso Reyes, photojournalist and artist, on asylum seekers in Austria from 2010.
A Refugee Protest Camp in Vienna And the European Union’s Processes of Racialization, Seclusion, and Discrimination -
A very thought-provoking piece. Good to read accompanied by the next post.
Art and the Cultural Turn: Farewell to Committed, Autonomous Art? -
“It becomes clear that the state of contemporary art is quite different from what gave rise to institutional critique in the 1970s, which was focused on examining the subjection of art to ideological interests. Unlike forty years ago, institutions today are more opaque, more exclusive, and they share objectives intrinsically linked to corporate, neoliberal agendas (to the point that those agendas have become invisible). Cultural institutions are the administrative organs of the dominant order, and cultural producers actively contribute to the transmission of free market ideology across all aspects of our lives.”
Against Holism: The Argument from Entropy -
“This allows us to give a precise definition of power: power is the mechanisms by which a society reduces entropy. Order never comes for free, but always requires operations, energy, and work precisely because it’s more probable for anything to be related to anything else, than for anything to maintain improbable and selective relations to a delimited range of elements in the order of being. “Onto-cartography” would be the investigation of the mechanisms by which improbable orders are maintained; and would therefore include investigations of discursive mechanisms (not surprisingly, the favorite of the humanities), chronopolotical mechanisms, geographical mechanisms (geopolitics), and thermopolitical mechanisms. Whenever encountering an order in the social and political world we should be surprised and ask ourselves how it maintains itself. In understanding how it maintains itself, we can begin to devise strategies undermine it where those negentropic mechanisms are oppressive.”
I want to turn to this process by which the look of surveillance returns as the displacing gaze of the disciplined, where the observer becomes the observed and “partial” representation rearticulates the whole notion of identity and alienates it from essence. — “Homi Bhabha, “Of Mimicry and Man”
Colonizing Abstraction: MoMA's Inventing Abstraction Show Denies Its Ancient Global Origins -
“What is neglected here is the history that tells us how nations and civilizations were significantly shaped by ideologies that arbitrated the way in which images are approached, developed, and perpetrated as significant representations of their cultures. It is no small historical matter that Judaism, Islam, certain sects of Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism, as well as numerous classical and tribal societies, proscribed the use of naturalistic images, which then compelled those societies to channel the cultural curiosity and expression of its artists through systems and forms of abstraction—abstraction often deemed to be sacred and representative of the authority overseeing it. The greater history of Western art from Spain to India, and from the time of the art of the Bronze and Iron Ages in Judea and Sameria up until the Enlightenment in Europe, in one way or another responded to The Second Commandment as written in Exodus 20:4: “You shall not make for yourself a graven image or any likeness of anything that is in the heavens above or in the earth below.” Centuries of varied interpretation of the commandment yielded abstractions conveyed through patterns and symbols that dominate centuries of artistic and architectural designs. Which makes it mind boggling to comprehend that MoMA would represent its signature early vanguard collection with a title and premise not only frought with eurocentric myopia and hubris, but which is historically incorrect.”
Indian Slaves in Colonial America -
“At the heart of the early migration to colonial America was the headright system designed to encourage immigration. Every Englishman who ‘imported’ a laborer or servant to the colony received a 50-acre land grant.
“The evidence from Jamestown and Williamsburg suggests that the first South Asians may have been brought to Virginia within less than a generation of the arrival of European settlers in Virginia, and a decade after the Mayflower landed in Plymouth.”
Kafila: The Two Zizeks -
“Of course, the elites of the global South are fully complicit today in corporate capitalist exploitation of their societies, and colonialism is not the reason for all the ills of the Third World. But there are solid Marxist traditions from the global South that offer a simultaneous critique of both. But then, the plain fact is that Professor Zizek relies almost entirely on European and American scholarship to make his arguments. Of course, that I would make this point is already suspect, because it’s identity politics to refer to this factor at all. While a Eurocentric, Christian perspective is by definition universalist.”
Lothar Baumgarten’s works from the late Sixties are amongst the first systematic artistic reflections on ethnographic and museum praxis. In 1968—alongside a whole series of simultaneous works such as “Feather People (The Americans)”, “Ethnography, Self and Other” or “Amazonas Kosmos (Grünkohl)” that are concerned with the self in the productions of Otherness—Baumgarten began a two-year photographic analysis of display systems in ethnographic museums. Baumgarten was still studying under Joseph Beuys in Düsseldorf when he began with these works. As is well-known Beuys had adapted the shamans’ prophetic and therapeutic role for his social and rationality-critical art. It is, so to speak, out of this blind spot of Beuysian late primitivism that Baumgarten begins his ideology-critical cartography of travel in the historical and political context of discourses and practices of the description, collection and conquest of foreign cultures. Here a distinct shift from the modernist desire for difference towards a critical archaeology of forms of representing the Other is discernible. — http://eipcp.net/transversal/0708/kravagna/en