Issues
Issue #67
With: Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Douglas Coupland, Luis Camnitzer, Reza Negarestani, Boris Groys, David Riff, and Natasha Ginwala
In Djibril Diop Mambéty’s 1992 dark comedy Hyènes , an extravagantly wealthy woman returns to her poor village seeking revenge. Her target is the man who humiliated her in her youth by getting her pregnant and abandoning her. It is not only death that she wants, but also justice. She will not murder the man by her own hand, as Charles Tonderai Mudede explains in this issue, but instead asks the village to mete out capital punishment, to murder him for his wrongdoing. In exchange, she will...
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9 Essays November 2015
In 1796, upon observing a vast array of elephant fossils, paleontologist George Cuvier noticed a puzzling fact: the fossilized mammoths of Europe and Siberia were different from living elephant species. None of the specimens in his collection corresponded to present-day African or Indian exemplars; they were all remains of fauna now extinct. At length, it dawned on him that another world might have preceded our own, a world whose existence had suddenly come to a halt, possibly “destroyed by...
One of comedian George Carlin’s (1937–2008) seminal monologues was his 1986 riff on stuff : “That’s all the meaning of life is: trying to find a place to put your stuff. That’s all your house is, is a pile of stuff with a cover on it.” And to paraphrase: “Someone else’s stuff is actually shit, whereas your own shit isn’t shit at all, it’s stuff .” I’m made aware of this every time family members visit my house and see the art I collect. I see those very words etched onto their retinas, and...
The official announcement that Casa Daros, the cultural institution of the Daros Latin America Collection, is closing in Rio de Janeiro as of December 2015 came as a big surprise to Latin American cultural circles. The ambitious project insofar as it concerned exhibitions only lasted two years. The argument invoked in a press conference is a lack of financial means to keep the project running. After an investment of sixteen million reais in 2006 (roughly $8 million USD) to buy the building,...
The central thesis of this text is that philosophy is, at its deepest level, a program—a collection of action-principles and practices-or-operations which involve realizabilities, i.e., what can be possibly brought about by a specific category of properties or forms. And that to properly define philosophy and to highlight its significance, we should approach philosophy by first examining its programmatic nature. This means that rather than starting the inquiry into the nature of philosophy...
This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of Irwin—the artistic group that was and still is a part of the wider art movement known as “Neue Slowenische Kunst” (NSK). NSK has dominated the Slovene art scene of the past few decades and has influenced many artistic practices throughout Eastern Europe. At first glance, the art practice of Irwin seems to be a specific version of postmodernism. Indeed, in their works Irwin artists combine quotations from different artistic periods, styles, and...
1. You wouldn’t think of Marx as a dancer. The image of him waltzing in his overcoat and with his beard is absurd, the next best thing to having him play in a Monty Python football match. For decades, Marx was as static as his Highgate headstone, a toppled monument to a struggle consigned to the ash heap of history, which itself was prematurely declared to be over. But history continues and repeats itself with a vengeance, even if the movements are faster, broader, and deeper than ever....
We are done. I’m not speaking only about us here in Africa but of humanity, of man. We have sold our soul too cheaply. The feeling I have is that we are done for if we have traded our souls for money. —Djibril Diop Mambéty Senegal’s second greatest director, Djibril Diop Mambéty, only made two features. The country’s greatest director, Ousmane Sembène, made eight. Mambéty was born in 1945, Sembène in 1923. Mambéty lived for only fifty-three years, Sembène for eighty-four. It...
Corruption is the disappeared body coming back to life. Its flesh seizes the veins of the postrevolutionary state, pumping, circulating, and blocking in a synchronized manner while unleashing shape-shifting forms as its residue. In medieval Europe, the Sovereign’s body was considered to be double: the limited apparatus of the natural body, and a larger state of abstraction of the body politic. 1 Together they formed the geocosmic “whole” of sovereign territorial...
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