Issues
Issue #22
“Idiot Wind”
With: Paul Chan
​, Sven Lütticken, Claire Bishop, Gavin Butt, Melanie Gilligan, Sabeth Buchmann, Jens Kastner, Tom Holert, Hito Steyerl, Renée Green, Brian Holmes, Gregg Bordowitz, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen, Peio Aguirre, and Etel Adnan
When Paul Chan and Sven Lütticken proposed to gather a series of “reports” on the (mostly) recent rise of right-wing, populist movements for e-flux journal , it was immediately apparent that the urgency and complexity of the topic required its own special issue. As protests erupt throughout Europe in opposition to austerity measures being pushed through by right-wing governments and EU fiscal bodies, we are also now witnessing a phenomenon spreading throughout the Northern Hemisphere in...
View List
View Grid
16 Essays January 2011
In the last three months I’ve been organizing a series of public seminars at CUNY Graduate Center on “deskilling” in the arts since 1945, and in the article that follows I may have undergone some deskilling myself—from an art historian/critic who writes about art to a commentator on cultural policy. I apologize if the results are bland, bureaucratic and statistical; I’m finding my feet here. In what follows, I will argue that in the wake of the general election in May 2010, which resulted in...
Being Boiled
Gavin Butt
On December 9, 2010, I was “kettled,” or contained against my will, for over eight hours in London’s Parliament Square in freezing conditions, without food, drink, or toilets. I was not alone. Along with thousands of others—including students, lecturers, trade unionists, and schoolchildren—I was on the streets that day to protest against the UK government’s swingeing plans to cut funding and raise fees in English universities. The plans have been rightly, and widely, criticized as an attack...
Visits from the Future
Melanie Gilligan
This past October in the UK, the ruling Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition announced £81 billion in government spending cuts, the most severe since World War II. In his unveiling speech, Chancellor George Osborne declared that “today is the day when Britain steps back from the brink,” predicting that the cuts would restore “sanity to our public finances and stability to our economy” by decreasing the national deficit. The Chancellor consoled the public by saying that this “is a hard...
In Austria, ultra-right-wing politics quite obviously attracts a stable or rising fraction of potential voters—between 25 and 30 percent. These numbers are shocking and sobering, but so is their consistency over the past decade. In the 2000 general elections, the so-called Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), then still led by Jörg Haider, received 28 percent of the votes and become part of the governing coalition. Most recently, on the October 10, 2010 communal elections, the FPÖ won almost 27...
Season’s Greetings from Sarrazin In its 2010 Christmas Eve issue, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung had a special gift for its readers. The reputed conservative newspaper opened its cultural pages with an article penned by Thilo Sarrazin, a former German Federal Bank executive and member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) who seized the opportunity to muse on the incidents of the past months. His book Deutschland schafft sich ab (Germany Does Away With Itself) had been...
Right in Our Face
Hito Steyerl
There is something deeply disappointing about the contemporary moment: it projects the past into the future. I recently met some emigrants from Germany. I am not talking about émigrés who left in the 1930s to escape National Socialism. The people I met quietly decided they could no longer put up with Germany’s endless, debilitating, and deeply racist debates on immigration, and left the country in which they had been born and lived most their lives. These so-called debates had been...
Renée Green, Here Until October 2004 , 2004, film still. ] Locations Where is here? My neck of the woods? The United States, San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, East Bay, Los Angeles, California, New York, Manahatta, Washington Heights, Quisqueya Heights, Akron, Ohio, Durham, North Carolina, Chicago, Illinois, Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, Taos, New Mexico, Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, Belgium, Brussels, Spain, Mallorca, Santanyí, Barcelona, Brazil, São Paulo,...
If a reactionary is someone who answers the questions of the future with the mistakes of the past, then I gotta report there are a lot of reactionaries in the USA today. Here as in Europe, the specters of racism and xenophobia awoke to hail the new millennium, fueling a right-wing political dynamic that goes beyond each repressive law or police abuse. We like to blame these regressive trends on the wing-nuts, the Tea Partyers, the folks rotting their brains with Fox and CNN in the famous...
Eclipse
Gregg Bordowitz
Each day a required task remains undone And the mind can’t know what isn’t finished So, the soul continues to feel alone Unable to picture its own wishes The eyes glaze over news from Washington Vacations collect painted shells on sills Getting out of bed demands volition pills I have nothing to make, no gallery Yet I persist in calling myself art Not the maker but the thing itself. Fear Of the unstructured and unopposed—life An interminable...
Progress as Regression
Paul Chan
​
Despite ideological differences, the various factions that make up the political right in America—from the grassroots to the astroturfed to the corporate—have found common ground after Obama’s 2008 victory. 1 This ground is the past: an arid patch of mythological land that has become home to a growing organizing effort driven by anti-tax sentiments, elements of nationalism, and a vicious streak against a laundry list of undesirables. 2 This movement only knows one way forward: back....
Populism articulates the political in an oneiric manner, but the project of a political psychoanalysis of populist dreams has proven extraordinarily difficult. A cure is nowhere in sight. Part of the problem for those seeking to oppose it is that, time and again, they are forced to respond to its manifest content while struggling to put the repressed latent content on the agenda. In Holland, Geert Wilders clearly articulates the fears a number of overlapping but distinct groups concerning...
Forged Alternative
Wendelien van Oldenborgh
In the early 1990s, one of my wonderful brothers worked on an alternative cultural program on Amsterdam public television called de Hoeksteen . This program, a monthly talk show on current cultural affairs with prominent guests from both the art and political fields, was initiated by the artist Raoul Marroquin and is still going strong today with an informal and reflective flair. Another regular collaborator on the show early on was a provocative character named Martin Bosma, who had...
The only positive thing about the situation in Denmark—where we have not only a riled up racist public sphere in which “foreigners” are smeared and mocked on a daily basis, but also actual race-based laws against immigrants and asylum seekers—is the certainty with which we can recognize the national democratic system as an obstacle to any kind of progressive offensive aimed at radically restructuring the wretched state of affairs at present. A first step in doing so would be to abandon any...
Spain is shaped from a mosaic of regional identities, like Basque and Catalan, that demand a full articulation of a national identity of their own, which leads us to consider Spain as a manifestation of a nation without a consistent state. Being based in the Spanish Basque Country allows me to examine national identities through the prism of Spain’s heterogeneity. The solidification of the concept of the nation-state across the globe has made us aware of the risks of nationalism turning...
Enclosement
Etel Adnan
Alas, I have to use this neologism of “enclosement” to deal with an issue that disturbs too few people. But it immensely disturbs those of us it concerns. Basically, this is the question: Where are the public intellectuals—the artists, poets, scientists—who allow themselves to lose sleep over the state of the world? Where are the protesters, the professors, the students? Where is public at large? My answer would be that they are nowhere to be found. In this world where airplanes have...
Subscribe
I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for subscribing to e-flux

Feel free to subscribe to additional content from the e-flux platform.