September 24, 2018 - Afterall - Afterall issue 46 out now 
September 24, 2018


Lee Wen, The Land of Oblivion, 1987. Sketchbook. Courtesy the artist.

Afterall issue 46 out now 
"Reconstruction: Performance and Collective Action"
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Afterall issue 46 out now 
"Reconstruction: Performance and Collective Action"
Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

Afterall is pleased to present issue 46, Autumn/Winter 2018. Traversing different geographies and contexts from Southeast Asia to Latin America, this issue features the work of Lee Wen, Mujeres Creando, Chto Delat, and Kader Attia. Organised around the theme "Reconstruction: Performance and Collective Action," Afterall 46 foregrounds artistic practices taking a clear position against the long-lasting endurance of oppressive systems, be they racial, patriarchal or colonial.

The issue begins in the performative space of Lee Wen’s series Journey of the Yellow Man, discussed by Alice Ming Wai Jim as an exploration of identity and representation; and the intimate space of his notebooks and sketchbooks, as revealed by Võ Hồng Chương-Đài. Performances of self-determination also colour Yin Ker’s discussion of the internal complexities of the Myanmar art scene, following the voices and experiences of four Burmese artists: Po Po, Tun Win Aung, Wah Nu and Min Thein Sung.

In conversation with Pablo Lafuente & Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz, Bolivian collective Mujeres Creando define the feminist struggle as a daily practice of social engagement, but also joy, opposing the view of struggle as only a sacrifice. In a specially commissioned insert, the collective puts forward the notion of decolonisation as a battle against patriarchy. Defying expectation is also layered within the practices of three Moana women artists of different generations: Natasha Matila-Smith, Janet Lilo and Edith Amituanai, surveyed by Lana Lopesi.

A strategy of revision in the practice of the Russian collective Chto Delat (What is to be done?) is identified by Simon Sheikh, analysing the Perestroika Timeline (2009) as a tool for producing alternative histories and representing suppressed narratives. As discussed by Irmgard Emmelhainz, Chto Delat’s treatment of collectivity is an organising principle of their practice as well as a form of artistic experimentation. It is precisely artistic experimentation that Bridget R. Cooks considers Black artists to be sacrificing as an entry ticket into an elite art world system of racially motivated exclusion, as revealed by Lorraine O’Grady’s artistic alter-ego Mlle Bourgeoise Noire. Within the legacy of colonial violence, Giovanna Zapperi analyses Kader Attia’s work in the context of mobilisation of emotion, while Hannah Gregory explores how Attia’s methodology of repair implies the exposure of the gesture, giving damaged objects or injured bodies a new life.

Tracing the mediatic evolution of Cultural Marxism, Sven Lütticken highlights how reductive culturalisation—often from the Left—grants culture a merely symbolic function, only serving alt-right rhetoric. In a comparative essay that draws parallels between two film-makers of different generations, Raoul Peck and Steve McQueen, Karen Alexander quotes James Baldwin in Peck’s poignant documentary I Am Not Your Negro, his words capturing the core of this Afterall issue: "History is not the past. It is the present."

Afterall issue 46 will be launched with accompanying events on Saturday, October 13 at the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore and on Saturday, October 20 at Lokanat Galleries in Yangon, Myanmar.

Afterall Books is pleased to announce the latest title in the Exhibition Histories series: Artist-to-Artist: Independent Art Festivals in Chiang Mai 1992–98 edited by David Teh and David Morris, with launch events on October 13 at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, October 18 at Wat Umong, Chiang Mai, and October 19 at Jim Thompson Art Center, Bangkok. As part of our Exhibition Histories Talks, artist and curator David A. Bailey will be in conversation with Louis Hartnoll to discuss Mirage: Enigmas of Race, Difference and Desire at the Whitechapel Gallery on Thursday, October 18 and tickets will be available from their website.

Afterall journal is published by Central Saint Martins, London, in editorial partnership with M HKA, Antwerp; the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore; the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, University of Toronto, and in association with the University of Chicago Press.

Afterall is now available as an e-book edition, free to download for subscribers. Subscribe here.

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