Bookshelves
Subjects and Objects in Exile
The editorial board began discussing this e-publication in the aftermath of summer 2015. The decision to put together this fifth edition, titled Subjects and Objects in Exile, was prompted by the many tragic displacements, fates and deaths of those seeking asylum in Europe and elsewhere. These enforced mass exiles are the result of civil wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The appalling and dehumanising management by European powers is having worrying economic, cultural, political and juridical implications. In this publication, we would like to address what has come to be called, not un-problematically we would argue, the European "refugee crisis". We do so in the shadow of recent and ongoing terrorist attacks, rising nationalism and Britain's imminent notification to leave the European Union.
A Few Notes On A Time Of Uncertainties
Merve Bedir
Many of us 'in peace' have displayed our empathy for many of those 'in war' through charity. It is as if they are better away from our sight but still at our mercy – certainly most of us simply don't want them 'at home'. Most of us don't actually feel responsible for what has been happening, at most we feel guilty. In our conversation, remembering his university times in Sofia, Walid Kowatlı referred to the Bulgarians' Slavic Orthodox feeling of collective guilt, which is, for him, maybe the closest to responsibility. This was also an explanation as to why the Bulgarians didn't betray the Jewish people who were hiding from the Nazis in Bulgaria during the Second World War... Indeed, guilt seems to be another element in the infrastructure of our pain, but what is the difference between guilt and responsibility?
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The Mediterranean: A New Imaginary
Adrian Lahound
The climate may well remain operative in writing Mediterranean history, but when that climate becomes man-made, what kinds of consequences does it hold for historical narration? The problem that organises today's Mediterranean is of a different order, an order of superimposition and conflation. It is a problem that binds together the consequences of Western industrialisation, global carbon emissions, aerosol dispersion patterns, sea surface temperatures, monsoons, precipitation, pastoralists, herders, farmers, cultivars, migratory routes, treaties, coast guards, statistical models, satellite imagery, and detention centres.
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Data Visualisation on Artists' Migrations. Research in Progress
Christiane Berndes, Joost Grootens
Mapping Collections is a data visualisation, initiated by L'Internationale as a tool in progress. It is based on data about the migrations of artists, represented in the collections of L'Internationale partners. The information is based on data from the different collection information systems of the partners, complemented with research on a selected group of individual artists. To contextualise their movements, we created a timeline with important or influential historical events. This historical timeline is given to complement the artists' biographies and speculate on their possible reasons for migrations, whether it is political, economic or personal.
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Objects/Subjects in Exile. A conversation between Wayne Modest, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, and Margareta von Oswald
Wayne Modest, Margareta von Oswald, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung
This conversations has been initiated in order to find a different approach to the notions of crisis and migration – through the perspective of objects, more particularly, the so-called ethnographic objects categorised as "non-European", and thus as "foreign". As it happened in response to the recent arrival of refugees in Europe, the heated debates around ethnological museums have re-drawn lines between "us" and "them". In both contexts, notions of difference and questions about who and what can be defined as "Western" or "European" reappear. It is therefore pertinent and urgent to ask: what does/can constitute a common "we"? Who is included and excluded from this common denominator, and on what bases? To what extent could it even be productive to think of objects as migrants in exile, and thus to think of "object diasporas", as the archaeologist Paul Basu did?
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Şam'da Kayısı
Atıf Akın, Dilek Winchester
In 2015 Dilek Winchester teamed up with one of the original contributors, Atif Akın, to collaborate on a new zine and an exhibition program that was presented at SALT Galata in Istanbul and later at SALT Ulus in Ankara between 2015 and 2016. The title of this collaborative project, Apricots from Damascus, is translated from the Turkish "Şam'da Kayısı" that forms part of an idiomatic expression meaning "It doesn't get any better than this." The zines were printed in Arabic, English and Turkish. Apricots from Damascus took place as an apexart franchise exhibition in collaboration with SALT. A selection of the zines, namely those by Atıf Akın, Nadia Al Issa, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan and Dilek Winchester, Khaled Barakeh and Pınar Öğrenci, that most closely relate to the themes of this e-pubication are reproduced here.
Apricots from Damascus
Atıf Akın, Dilek Winchester
In 2015 Dilek Winchester teamed up with one of the original contributors, Atif Akın, to collaborate on a new zine and an exhibition program that was presented at SALT Galata in Istanbul and later at SALT Ulus in Ankara between 2015 and 2016. The title of this collaborative project, Apricots from Damascus, is translated from the Turkish "Şam'da Kayısı" that forms part of an idiomatic expression meaning "It doesn't get any better than this." The zines were printed in Arabic, English and Turkish. Apricots from Damascus took place as an apexart franchise exhibition in collaboration with SALT. A selection of the zines, namely those by Atıf Akın, Nadia Al Issa, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan and Dilek Winchester, Khaled Barakeh and Pınar Öğrenci, that most closely relate to the themes of this e-pubication are reproduced here.
Apricots from Damascus
Atıf Akın, Dilek Winchester
In 2015 Dilek Winchester teamed up with one of the original contributors, Atif Akın, to collaborate on a new zine and an exhibition program that was presented at SALT Galata in Istanbul and later at SALT Ulus in Ankara between 2015 and 2016. The title of this collaborative project, Apricots from Damascus, is translated from the Turkish "Şam'da Kayısı" that forms part of an idiomatic expression meaning "It doesn't get any better than this." The zines were printed in Arabic, English and Turkish. Apricots from Damascus took place as an apexart franchise exhibition in collaboration with SALT. A selection of the zines, namely those by Atıf Akın, Nadia Al Issa, Hera Büyüktaşçıyan and Dilek Winchester, Khaled Barakeh and Pınar Öğrenci, that most closely relate to the themes of this e-pubication are reproduced here.
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Opinion | African Art History and the Formation of a Modern Aesthetic
In this blog, collaborators of the project African Art History and the Formation of a Modern Aesthetic examine collections of African Modernisms that are housed in museum and university collections and look at past, present and future connections between them. The three collections are at the Iwalewahaus at the University of Bayreuth, the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt a. M. and the Makerere Art Gallery/Institute of Heritage Conservation and Restoration (IHCR) in Kampala (Uganda).
The "Refugee Crisis" and the Current Predicament of the Liberal State
Denise Ferreira da Silva
What we find in the global present, in the nationalist challenges to the liberal states that find excuses in the recent "refugee crisis", is how raciality (racial difference and cultural difference) function as an ethical device – which checked the universality attributed to the human being and law. It enables the collapse of the administration of justice into law enforcement (with distinct levels of lethality) – when its tools are deployed to write the global/ racial subaltern as an affectable I, or as a modern subject that thrives in violence.
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Škart Maps
Đorđe Balmazović
In 2013, Group 484 invited several associates, artists, to work with asylum seekers in an asylum centre near the village Bogovađa, in the vicinity of Valjevo in Serbia. Several years before, Group 484 had collaborated with that asylum centre and others in many ways. The idea was to expand cooperation and introduce different research methods by working with asylum seekers thus developing new contents in their everyday life. Twenty nine of asylum seekers were asked why they had embarked on such a journey, what troubles they had survived, how they had crossed the borders, how much they had paid the smugglers, about their experience with the police, with the people in the countries they had passed through. Together with them, the artists sketched their answers in the form of maps, in order to piece together their routes, which in some cases lasted up to seven years.
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Brexit, New Nationalism, and the New Politics of Migrancy
John Byrne
The role, function, ideological position and real legal (or illegal) status of migrancy has again come under closer scrutiny and the possibility of multiple abuse and/or reuse. Far from a simple noun to denote the positive neoliberal condition of human movement, or a verb to identify the action of this desired movement, migrancy has become, once again, a contradictory symbol of our status, fragility, precarity and provisionality under the present conditions of globalised capital, emergent nationalism and the overt shift towards government as business.
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The Shame and Misery of Liberal Democracy: Europe and Migration Flows
Carlos Prieto del Campo
The excess (of the exploitation) is now the normality (of the dispossession and subalternisation). Today the dystopia of capitalism is the barbaric medicine against revolution. Only the constituent power of dominated classes and subaltern groups have, for short periods, tipped the balance of this democratic-liberal logic of poverty and annihilation, albeit at the immense and phantasmic costs of repression, war and misery. The world's misery is the misery of liberal democracy, now called the European Union in Europe. Today the world's wealth is the constituent power of its migrant, impoverished and excluded populations.
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Interview with Oliver Ressler
Oliver Ressler, November Paynter
Borders have become tools for managing, governing and calibrating the movement of people and of course of goods and other things as well. Borders can be imagined as a kind of membrane that lets certain movement through and blocks others. Their fictive nature, rather like the fictive nature of nations, does not make them less real in their effects. Borders are a central element in configuring the capitalist world, through the creation of zones with different modes of labour, different kinds of exploitation and different forms of consumption.
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Solidarity in Arts and Culture. Some cases from the Non-Aligned Movement
Bojana Piškur
Words like solidarity, fraternity, equality, peace, and fight against imperialism, colonialism, and apartheid resonated at the Non-Aligned Movement's summits, at UNESCO seminars on culture, at political rallies around the world, in museums. It seemed as though art and politics were united in their quest to create utopian models adapted to social and political changes. It is no coincidence that experimental museology and concepts such as the integrated museum, the social museum, the living museum, and the museum of the workers were widely discussed in the so-called Global South.
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Opinion | pantxo ramas
Institutions as Ecologies
To deal with the institution as an ecology means not analysing the institution as a closed system of equivalences and equilibriums anymore, but rather as a series of dynamics that constitute themselves in the open urban space. To use a powerful expression written on the walls of the former asylum of Trieste, the institutional practice "enters outside" in the city.
Opinion | Amy Franceschini, Futurefarmers
Recordings for the Birds: Finding our way from Antwerp to Istanbul through Jules Verne
Amy Franceschini of Futurefarmers is writing her blog during Seed Journey, a seafaring voyage connected to a public art project in the former port of Bjørvika in Oslo, Norway. Seed Journey moves people, ideas and seeds through time and space. Recordings for the Birds is a collection of stories gathered during Seed Journey which serves as a means of documentation – one that mirrors the slowness of our wind-powered vessel and the long march of domestication of plants through trial and error.
Publication
What's the Use?
Is art only art insofar as it refuses to be useful? Or can art practices serve a wider purpose in the world? The reader "What's the Use? Constellations of Art, History, and Knowledge" starts from the premise that art is an integral part of the social, economic, and political process. Art is best understood through its dialogue with the social sphere, rather than as a 'thing in itself'. By mapping a diverse terrain of examples and ideas, this book explores the complex interplay between art, use, history, and knowledge. The contributing writers and artists demonstrate how in past and contemporary practice these relationships are set up and played out. Editors: Nick Aikens, Thomas Lange, Jorinde Seijdel, Steven ten Thije.
Glossary of Common Knowledge | MG+MSUM
Palimpsest | Commons
For the referential field Commons of the Glossary of Common Knowledge taking place at MG+MSUM the narrator pantxo ramas proposed a term "palimpsest": "In Trieste writing on the walls become a practice for claiming an appropriation of public space, a political voice that is composed through a palimpsest of walls, and floors, and letter boxes, throughout the city. [...] Palimpsest is the explosion in the public space and another practice of commonality, one typical of the interns of total institution. In the inscription, accumulation and overlapping of words on a wall, a conversation emerges between the one interned now, the one that was here before, and the one that will be here again after you; this silent conversation allows the inmate to become a living agent in and against the endless and identical objectivation of confinement, imposed by the institution."
Bookshelves
Ecologising Museums
The e-publication Ecologising Museums explores how museums and cultural institutions can face the issue not only head-on, but from all angles. To what degree are the core activities of collecting, preserving and presenting in fact attitudes that embody an unsustainable view of the world and the relationship between man and nature?
Bookshelves
Decolonising Archives
The e-publication Decolonising Archives aims to show how archives bear testimony to what was, even more so than collections. Archives present documents that allow one to understand what happened and in which order. Today Internet technology, combined with rapid moves made on the geopolitical chessboard, make archives a contested site of affirmation, recognition and denial.
Opinion | L'Internationale Online
Tearing Down Bridges – Turkey's Withdrawal from Creative Europe
In September 2016, the Turkish government unilaterally withdrew from the European Union Creative Europe programme – the programme that funds artistic production and exchange – without articulating why. This act in the light of the recent changes in Turkey may be small, yet it marks a further deepening of the bleak situation in the country. The harsh application of the state of emergency makes it increasingly impossible to have constructive cultural dialogue both inside Turkey and between Turkey and the rest of the world.