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Discourse

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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Alexander García Düttmann

What does “emancipatory” mean today?

Pretending one more time that the world can still be saved and asking whether art contains an emancipatory potential can be a meaningful endeavour only if illegitimate attempts at appropriating this emancipatory potential are thwarted. Its usurpation, which amounts to its abolition, must be prevented. Critique that deserves its name must first and foremost struggle against false pretenders, not against those who do not even claim to be pretenders. The efficiency of critique’s propaedeutic character should be sought in this struggle against false pretenders. If one fears that its negativity may entail a dangerous impotence and if for this reason one wishes to supplement it with a justifying and constructive “affirmationism”, mindful of the fact that it was once meant to prepare the outline of a metaphysics purged of precritical dogmatism, then one risks forgetting that critique ceases to hurt and can no longer trigger an impulse the instant that...

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  • morals
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  • contemporary art
  • political aesthetics

 

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About ‘how we treat the others’

Artur Żmijewski

About ‘how we treat the others’

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Andreas L. Hofbauer

The yoke of being, noteworthy dis-position

It wasn’t nature and its dangers that forced domestication and enabled the economic shrine. Temple and funerary cult, sacrifice and distribution of the meat—for Homer all sacrificial animals were still hieria, holy creatures—and the containment of wildness led to symbolic and socio-cultural change, which became the vector and motor of sedentary, food-producing communities. It wasn’t sheep, goats, or cattle that were domesticated first; it was the zoon logon echon itself that bowed to the self-created yoke of the cult. Why, we don’t know. Beyond this it’s important that unlike plants only very few species of animal can be domesticated, and that this shouldn’t be confused with taming. Economic significance develops as an epiphenomenon. It transforms from possible human sacrifice to animal sacrifice to the distribution of meat in early “Greek” antiquity, then to the obeloi (skewers with varying amounts of meat, as tokens for the priests’ or judges’ portion; even...

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Political Reflections on Choreography, Dance and Protest

Political Reflections on Choreography, Dance and Protest


Oliver Marchart

Dancing Politics

The human body is the most important medium through which a public space is curved out of the social. Of course, this does not always have to occur in form of a militarized collective marching in-sync through the streets. Very often it is precisely the vulnerability of bodies which is used as a ­performative medium of protest (up to the extreme point where people decide to publicly set themselves on fire). Taking this word of caution into account, we may...
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  • Hannah Arendt
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Blood!

Ines Kleesattel

Blood!

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Enjoy!

Michael Heitz

Enjoy!

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