Issues
Issue #49
“Pieces of the Planet” Issue Two
With: Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle, Sven Lütticken, Hito Steyerl, Hu Fang, Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, Manal Al Dowayan, Parag Khanna, Turi Munthe, Walid Raad, Gleb Napreenko, and Nato Thompson
In 2003, Slavoj Žižek made a very prescient observation to explain how the US under George Bush used a plot twist borrowed from Alfred Hitchcock to justify the invasion of Iraq. 1 He called it the “Iraqi MacGuffin.” Now, what is a MacGuffin? Exactly. The example Žižek gives: Two men run into each other on a train. One carries a suitcase. When asked what the suitcase contains, the carrier replies, “It is a MacGuffin.” But what is a MacGuffin? “It is a device used for killing leopards in the...
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8 Essays November 2013
In the last decade of the twentieth and the first of the twenty-first century, the nascent discourse on “global” art took two seemingly incompatible forms. On the one hand, “the end of art history” as a discipline dependent on Western narratives was pronounced, while on the other, some scholars sought to reinvent the discipline beyond Western parameters and forge a “global art history.” Hans Belting represents the first approach, noting in 2009 that “global art often escapes the arguments of...
Is the internet dead? 1 This is not a metaphorical question. It does not suggest that the internet is dysfunctional, useless or out of fashion. It asks what happened to the internet after it stopped being a possibility. The question is very literally whether it is dead, how it died and whether anyone killed it. But how could anyone think it could be over? The internet is now more potent than ever. It has not only sparked but fully captured the imagination, attention and productivity of...
Continued from “Dear Navigator, Part I” 立秋 Lìqīu: Start of Autumn The sight of her turning around is as beautiful as someone suffering from melancholy. Dear Navigator, She once helped me make the bed. During an exhausting, tense journey, what could be more generous than a glass of water, a bowl of rice, and a bed in the midst of hunger and thirst? By the quiet light of the table lamp, the sight of her making the bed was unforgettable: taking clean...
Freezone: Dubai
Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, Manal Al Dowayan, Parag Khanna, and Turi Munthe
The following conversation is excerpted from FREEZONE, a discussion organized by Shumon Basar and H.G. Masters for the Global Art Forum in Dubai, March 2013. Featuring commissioned projects and research, as well as six days of live talks, the Global Art Forum brought together artists, curators, musicians, strategists, thinkers and writers under the theme of “ It Means This. ” Words and terms known and unknown were scrutinized or invented as a way of gauging the relationship between...
Continued from “ Walkthrough, Part I ” During the past decade or so, I’ve been hearing more and more about Arab artists, about contemporary Arab art, modern Arab art, Islamic art, Middle Eastern art, its makers, sponsors, consumers, genres, and histories. I’ve also been fascinated by the increasing number of festivals, workshops, museums, galleries, residencies, exhibitions, prizes, foundations, schools, and journals emerging in Arab cities such as Beirut, Doha, Cairo,...
Legal proceedings, sermons, and the creative industries; the universal applicability of law, the consensus of the flock, and corporate ethics. All of them require that you forget or repress something, that you pay a price for the (im)possibility of joining the fold. But what if you are in a court of law, or maybe listening to a sermon, or sitting at an office, and you can’t afford the fee? You start to suspect that the silent majority around you has already paid up, that they have become one...
I have to thank Rijin Sahakian for a reasonable rebuttal to the first half of my essay. It is certainly unreasonable for me as someone who resides in the United States to gloss over the violence and destruction of the Iraq War. It was not my intention to say that the efforts of COIN were in fact effective in actually “protecting the population,” but instead to point out a methodology of social relationships that worked in tandem with violence. I have no desire to be a provocateur in regards...
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