Art and Visibility in Migratory Culture by Mieke Bal, Miguel a. Hernandez-Navarro, and Miguel Hern Ndez-Navarro

2656a7a167c3406.jpg Author Mieke Bal, Miguel a. Hernandez-Navarro, and Miguel Hern Ndez-Navarro
Isbn 978-9042032637
File size 2.5 MB
Year 2012
Pages 354
Language English
File format PDF
Category art


Art and Visibility in Migratory Culture Thamyris/ Intersecting: Place, Sex, and Race Series Editor Ernst van Alphen Editorial Team Murat Aydemir, Maaike Bleeker, Yasco Horsman, Isabel Hoving, Esther Peeren Art and Visibility in Migratory Culture Conflict, Resistance, and Agency Editors Mieke Bal Miguel Á. Hernández-Navarro Colophon Original Design Mart. Warmerdam, Haarlem, The Netherlands Design Inge Baeten Printing The paper on which this book is printed meets the requirements of “ISO 9706:1994, Information and documentation – Paper for documents – Requirements for permanence”. ISSN: 1570-7253 E-Book ISSN: 1879-5846 ISBN: 978-90-420-3263-7 E-Book ISBN: 978-90-420-3264-4 © Editions Rodopi B.V.,Amsterdam – New York, NY 2011 Printed in The Netherlands Mission Statement Intersecting: Place, Sex, and Race Intersecting is a new series of edited volumes with a critical, interdisciplinary focus. Intersecting’s mission is to rigorously bring into encounter the crucial insights of black and ethnic studies, gender studies, and queer studies, and facilitate dialogue and confrontations between them. Intersecting shares this focus with Thamyris, the socially committed international journal which was established by Jan Best en Nanny de Vries, in 1994, out of which Intersecting has evolved. The sharpness and urgency of these issues is our point of departure, and our title reflects our decision to work on the cutting edge. We envision these confrontations and dialogues through three recurring categories: place, sex, and race. To us they are three of the most decisive categories that order society, locate power, and inflict pain and/or pleasure. Gender and class will necessarily figure prominently in our engagement with the above. Race, for we will keep analysing this ugly, much-debated concept, instead of turning to more civil concepts (ethnicity, culture) that do not address the full disgrace of racism. Sex, for sexuality has to be addressed as an always active social strategy of locating, controlling, and mobilizing people, and as an all-important, not necessarily obvious, cultural practice. And place, for we agree with other cultural analysts that this is a most productive framework for the analysis of situated identities and acts that allow us to move beyond narrow identitarian theories. The title of the new book series points at what we, its editors, want to do: think together. Our series will not satisfy itself with merely demonstrating the complexity of our times, or with analyzing the shaping factors of that complexity. We know how to theorize the intertwining of, for example, sexuality and race, but pushing these intersections one step further is what we aim for: How can this complexity be understood in practice? That is, in concrete forms of political agency, and the efforts of selfreflexive, contextualized interpretation. How can different socially and theoretically relevant issues be thought together? And: how can scholars (of different backgrounds) and activists think together, and realize productive alliances in a radical, transnational community? We invite proposals for edited volumes that take the issues that Intersecting addresses seriously. These contributions should combine an activist-oriented perspective with intellectual rigor and theoretical insights, interdisciplinary and transnational perspectives. The editors seek cultural criticism that is daring, invigorating and self-reflexive; that shares our commitment to thinking together. Contact us at [email protected] Contents 9 Introduction Mieke Bal and Miguel Á. Hernández-Navarro 21 I. Art Matters: Metaphor, Materiality, and Knowledge 23 Migrants: Workers of Metaphors Néstor García Canclini 37 The Place of Metaphor in a Metonymic World: Paulina Aroch Fugellie On Homi Bhabha’s “Democracy De-Realized” 53 Immigrants and Castaways: Smuggling Genres in Cornelia Gräbner Manuel Rivas’s La mano del emigrante 69 Staging Transition: The Oresteia in Post-Apartheid South Africa Astrid van Weyenberg 91 The Aesthetics of Displacement and the Performance of Sudeep Dasgupta Migration 107 II. Becoming Visible: Display as Tactics 109 Migratory Aesthetics: Art and Politics beyond Identity Jill Bennett 127 The Seventh Man: Migration, Politics, and Aesthetics Begüm Özden Firat 143 Limited Visibility Maaike Bleeker 161 Transgressing Time: Imagining an Exhibition of Works by Niamh Ann Kelly Alanna O’Kelly and Phil Collins 175 The Mosaic Film: Nomadic Style and Politics in Patricia Pisters Transnational Media Culture 191 Out of Synch: Visualizing Migratory Times through Video Art Miguel Á. Hernández-Navarro 209 III. Tension: Intention, Contention 211 Heterochrony in the Act: The Migratory Politics of Time Mieke Bal 239 Molding Resistance: Aesthetics and Politics in the Noa Roei Struggle of Bil’in against the Wall 257 Ismaël Ferroukhi’s Babelized Road Movie Mireille Rosello 277 Interstellar Hospitality: Missions of Star House Enterprise Sonja Neef 297 Opacity and Openness: Creating New Senses of Dutchness Isabel Hoving 313 Global Art and the Politics of Mobility: (Trans)Cultural Shifts Joaquín Barriendos in the International Contemporary Art-System Rodríguez 335 The Contributors 339 Index 8 | Contents Thamyris/Intersecting No. 23 (2011) 9–20 Introduction Mieke Bal and Miguel Á. Hernández-Navarro This book explores the idea that, in the social domain, art can enact small-scale resistances against the status quo. These acts, which we call “little resistances,” determine the limited yet potentially powerful political impact of art. By “political,” we mean something other than what is equated with “politics,” in the usual sense of the word. Both art and the political are domains of agency: realms where action is possible and can have effects. In the case of the political effect of art, that agency is one and the same; art “works” as art because it works politically. In exploring what makes art political and what constitutes the political in art, we will explore where art’s political efficacy can be located; how it performs, how it achieves agency, and the ramifications of art’s political agency in the larger domain of culture—in the case of this book, migratory culture. In a clear and concise book that addresses the distinction between politics and the political, Belgian political scientist Chantal Mouffe defines the two terms as follows: . . . by “the political” I mean the dimension of antagonism which I take to be constitutive of human societies, while by “politics” I mean the set of practices and institutions through which an order is created, organizing human coexistence in the context of conflictuality provided by the political. (2005, 9) By this distinction, politics is the ensemble of organizational entities that resolve conflict; the political is where conflict “happens.” The political is an inherent qualitative aspect of the actions that comprise social life. Politics constantly attempts to repress or defuse the political. The political resists this by creating political spaces where conflict can exist. This view of conflict as a desirable, if not essential, dimension of social organization might seem counterintuitive to the extent that, in our own, Introduction | 9 personal, social environments, we generally tend to eschew conflict. Yet, the culture of consensus that is generated by politics is in fact highly exclusivist and is only perpetuated through “the negation of the ineradicable character of antagonism” (10). The current culture that we call “migratory” is an ideal lens through which we can perceive the exclusive nature of this consensus. We argue in favor of a conflictual nature of social life; the need, to put it politely, to “disagree,” to live in tension with one another. The French philosopher Jacques Rancière calls this kind of social tension “mésentente,” an untranslatable word that combines misunderstanding with not getting along, and which is unilaterally translated as “disagreement” (1999). The misunderstanding component is, however, just as crucial. Working with or through conflicts is necessary, not to eradicate them at the cost of plurality, but to turn enemies into adversaries, and to transform lethal struggle into vivid antagonism and negotiable critical tension. The former approach draws sharp us/them distinctions that cast the “them” into the role of an enemy to be fiercely combated; the latter accepts such distinctions while still acknowledging the legitimacy of the “them”—the adversary, to be engaged with in debate. In migratory culture, where not only newly arrived people but the entire society live in what we call productive tension, this step is still to be taken, and art can help to make this possibility visible, and thus make it happen. The American political scientist Wendy Brown, who takes a similar position, mentions the need, in democratic practice, for “political spaces” (1995). We take this phrase rather literally, and consider the spaces where art events occur to be such spaces. For, what Brown describes so tersely, yet is so hard to achieve—“images that evoke, suggest, and connote rather than transmit meanings”—is, according to the authors of this book, the mission of art (1995, 50). Once we succeed in understanding how meaning can “work” without being transmitted, we have created a vision of a political space. Nothing makes this clearer than the settings of art. The other key term here, “migratory,” is meant to indicate not a particular population but a state of the culture we share. This culture is replete with movement: people on the move, leaving traces and projecting new, provisional destinations. In the context of art and the question of its political agency, “migratory” refers to the sensate traces of the movements of migration that characterize contemporary culture. In other words, movement, once we notice its pervasiveness, is not an exceptional occurrence in an otherwise stable world, but a normal, generalized process in a world that cannot be grasped in terms of any given notion of stability. In critical discussions, the current status quo is dominated by the paradigm of travel, the key figure of modernity. This paradigm is still firmly in place. The idea of travel, however, implies a directional notion of movement and a hidden ideology of control. An aspect of the kind of control that is implicated in contemporary models of mobility becomes apparent when we consider that even mobile phones are linked 10 | Mieke Bal and Miguel Á. Hernández-Navarro Thamyris/Intersecting No. 23 (2011) 9–20 to satellite technologies of localization. The paradigm that is looming but not yet established, and which we consider crucial to an understanding of the contemporary world, is, in contrast, “migratory.” It is characterized by a more contradictory and nonlinear, perpetual movement that multiplies temporal and spatial coordinates beyond the possibility of fixation. Migratory movement begins before departure, in the imagination, and, conversely, never ends, because no arrival is adequate to the imagined return that is part of the movement’s motivation. The resulting delocalization can be politically productive because the gaps in time and space the process leaves are “uncertain territories” (Boer 2006) that through their very uncertainty make little resistances possible by offering, as we argue in the book, ways of escaping technologies of control. Art is the tool that makes the political spaces, the platforms for such resistances, visible and hence, enables the spectator to experience and participate in the tensions of a nonconsensual society. Art can do this because of certain of its characteristics that the essays herein explore. The most obvious of these is its materiality. This materiality makes art tangible, and thus brings it closer to the social agents that interact with it. The resulting proximity encourages participation; no art can exist without its audience; therefore, art is by definition performative. In this volume, the migratory dimension of culture is connected to a fundamental metaphoricity that evokes a permanent state of movement. By virtue of these features of materiality, proximity, performativity and metaphoricity, art offers the systemic opposite of the hegemonic use of media, which promotes an illusion of immateriality and distance, an attitude of passive consumption, and a literal, affirmative assumption of reality. In view of this contribution of art, promoting the migratory as the paradigm of our time thinks migration beyond either tragedy or glorification, the two most common ways of thinking about the movement of people. Instead, the authors of this volume think critically about migration not as a topic but as an aesthetic. This term we use in the original, eighteenth-century, premodern sense of binding through the senses; hence, the emphasis on materiality and proximity. Rather than taking migration as a thematic center and speaking “about” it, we let the works speak in, through and from migration. Thus, migration becomes a double movement, a double metaphor: of transport, hence of instability—the first movement; and subsequent productive tensions—the second movement. Every culture has the aesthetics it deserves; contemporary culture, we contend, has therefore a “migratory aesthetics.” This project began as a double endeavor. On the one hand, we organized a series of “encounters”—workshops for reflection and discussion. On the other hand, we felt the need to practice what we preached, and organized a traveling exhibition, under the title of 2MOVE (Bal and Hernández-Navarro 2008). This exhibition, devoted to video art, was held, respectively, in Murcia, Spain; Enkhuizen, the Netherlands; Oslo, Norway and ended in a dual location in the two Irelands, Navan and Belfast. Introduction | 11 The exhibition transformed our way of thinking to the extent that in this book we reflect from the works instead of bringing an a priori bias of reality into play to “translate” the works. We experienced that art performs and embodies knowledge that is not a preconceived given. That knowledge is new or becomes newly visible because the works create the world along with the work; they do not represent it. Moreover, the ever-changing combinations and juxtapositions among the works made clear how much of art’s agency is embedded in its display and in its audience’s participation. Many details of those works we thought we knew so well kept changing in front of our very eyes. Thus, they demonstrated what we call in this volume “becoming visible.” In short, that appearance is being and being is becoming. This volume consists of three parts, all interconnected but each focusing on one key aspect of migratory aesthetics. The subject matter ranges from film, video, and music to literature, theater, sculpture, activist acts, and modes of display and circulation of art. Authored by an international group of scholars who worked together over an extended period of time, the essays were originally written for the encounters, since which they have been thoroughly revised in response to ongoing and extensive discussion. Implicitly and explicitly, they address one another and thus constitute a network, rather than a series. Together, the three parts articulate key aspects of what we consider crucial to an understanding of migratory culture: the possibility for art to know and, subsequently, contribute to transforming, the world—a transformation that is conditional on the visible manifestation of what could hitherto not be perceived— and, equally essential, the receptive attitude that makes this process possible, comprising the acceptance, experience, and extending to the endorsement and management, and, potentially, the enjoyment of the tensions that consensus culture has obliterated from our collective vision. Art Matters: Metaphor, Materiality, and Knowledge In the pursuit of knowledge about the world, art, as permeably distinct from other forms of discourse, is capable of reducing distance. The materiality of the work of art sustains the communication between the object and the viewer, reader, consumer, or otherwise engaged person. Thus, art works do not simply “think,” but facilitate and even embody thought. In the reflections presented here, these thoughts concern the world of migratory culture. Our world, which comprises the current but also past states of the globe, is on the move. Theoretical and critical discourse cannot quite grasp this movement. They can describe it, but always at a distance; they are always engaged with the other part, on one part of the two or more that continue to intersect and interact. Art, in contrast, can reduce that distance, that divide, and demonstrate how artificially constructed it is. The messiness of embodied reality is more adequately conveyed through the equally messy, often multimedia materiality of the art work. Whereas discourse is 12 | Mieke Bal and Miguel Á. Hernández-Navarro Thamyris/Intersecting No. 23 (2011) 9–20 desynchronized from reality, art, in its reception, its performance, is synchronized with the world to which it relates. This dechronization results from the single temporality of discourse. Metaphor exists in two realms at the same time; realms that are each enfolded in their own temporality. Hence, metaphor is able to bridge the gap between temporalities as well as spaces or semantic units. Accordingly, metaphor is multidimensional and, specifically, multitemporal. One of the key tools by means of which the synchronization of which art is capable is accomplished is metaphor, the figure of moving meaning. Néstor García Canclini opens this section with a probing analysis of the centrality of metaphor in migratory culture. This usefulness of metaphor resides in the concept’s own materiality: its refusal to let go of its etymological past where it stood for transport: and its persistent association with uncertainty, mobility, and, we insist, multitemporality. García Canclini therefore associates metaphor with migration through their shared element of the journey, thus setting up the volume’s central focus. In a migratory culture the people we call migrants are always translators, García Canclini argues. The constant borrowing and creating of new words, ideas, and things becomes the normal mode of existence for everyone. In the next chapter, Paulina Aroch Fugellie performs what García Canclini explicates. She takes on an oral intervention, a recorded videoconference, by postcolonial theorist Homi Bhabha held during documenta XI in 2001, and enacts a heterotemporal dialogue with “it” or “him.” She examines the materiality of metaphor in her search to grasp metaphor’s ability to make leaps across borders. According to Aroch Fugellie, metaphor acquires a specific political potential in its distinction from metonymy. The latter trope is trapped in its own constant movement, but that movement remains linear. Thus it tends to separate language from that which is beyond it. Metaphor, in contrast, is entangled in a constant circularity that never reaches an endpoint. Hence, the distinction between literal and metaphorical does not hold. Cornelia Gräbner brings the value of metaphor as a key to migratory culture to bear on the domain from which it derives in the first place, literature. The hand of the immigrant of the novel she discusses is the materializing metaphor of access to knowledge. She demonstrates the crucial import of material experience—the experience the hand has—for insight into migratory life. This pertains particularly to the North of Spain, a longstanding area of migration. But beyond the specific case, Gräbner persuasively argues for the specific production of knowledge by literature— rather than in literature—of experiential domains for which even a specialized field such as postcolonial theory is less than adequate. In line with Aroch Fugellie’s position, the “smuggling” of her title leads to the acknowledgment of the benefits of metaphor over metonymy. The next chapter is devoted to a widely acknowledged issue, the relevance of classics for the contemporary world. Astrid van Weyenberg establishes a metaphoric link Introduction | 13 between past and present, and thereby demonstrates the ongoing relevance of classic works of art. Her analysis boldly claims political relevance for the Greek tragedies of the Oresteia today, in the post-apartheid, conflicted culture of modern South Africa. The key to her analysis is the simple fact that narratives have, or lead to, an ending. Merging the fabric of the ancient text with contemporary concerns, including the ambiguities of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, this feature of narrative enables a creative engagement with the changeability of ending. The theatrical nature of the plays—both ancient and contemporary—facilitates an engaged imagination in a situation where a future is difficult to imagine. This analysis foregrounds the way metaphor stimulates the imagination, which is, in turn, indispensable for political agency. In the concluding essay of the first section, Sudeep Dasgupta discusses the materiality of art within the framework of aesthetic experience. Bringing together migratory aesthetics and aesthetic migration, Dasgupta analyzes Indian films impossible to locate in any single place. Moving between theater and cinema, between sound and image, and between different locations, the films incarnate the metaphor-driven state of constant becoming, moving, and migrating that this book examines. Art is particularly well constituted to harbor this movement of experiences into ideas through a productive displacement that also calls into question the “re” of representation. Dasgupta makes the most of the concept of performance as a counterpoint to the stability implicit in that of representation. Aesthetics, bringing together sounds and images and the movement of both, becomes reconfigured as a network of multiple experiences of migration. Becoming Visible: Display as Tactic We can now extend the metaphorical quality of art to include a move that impacts our modes of being in the world. Art is engaged in making the move from (absolute) nonvisibility to (provisional) invisibility. What we are unable to perceive because it does not fit any of our frameworks must be made to become potentially visible, available for perception. The second section is devoted to tactics, small operational moves that facilitate that transformation. Without dictating its politics, as propaganda would, art opens up the possible visibility of situations, issues, events, and people and leaves it to its viewers or readers to enact that visibility; to answer its call by seeing. Art is neither didactic nor apodictic but only proposes possibilities. In other words, art proposes, the audience disposes. Thus, art exercises its agency on a level that is itself invisible. The essays here discuss the disruption of non-visibility, the insertion or insinuation of (in)visibility. They demonstrate how the art works make the observer aware of what, before, seemed non-existing because it was too “normal,” too self-evident, and thereby in fact non-visible. Covering many different art forms and strategies of 14 | Mieke Bal and Miguel Á. Hernández-Navarro Thamyris/Intersecting No. 23 (2011) 9–20 display, they examine the tactics—small acts of resistance in contemporary art events. Becoming visible is a way of materializing “aesthetics”—in ways that involve experience, movement, and social change, as brought about by the current culture of migration. In the first chapter of this section, Jill Bennett dives into the murky problem of identity—a notion that has become problematic in concert with the acknowledgement of “becoming” rather than “being” as a generalized contemporary way of life. Analyzing a number of transnational exhibitions, such as Les magiciens de la terre, documenta XII, and above all, Contemporary Commonwealth 2006, she contends that migratoriness is the now-common form of aesthetics. Connecting her argument to that of Aroch Fugellie, she shows the distancing effect of art about migration as opposed to migratory art. For her, migratory aesthetics is a strategy—we would say, a tactic—that serves as a transitional politics. This tactic can be observed in exhibitionary practice because, in exhibitions, art works are put together, provisionally and outside of their context of making, to form transitional or provisional “communities.” The stage as the temporally unstable common ground facilitates the establishment of productive connections where things can, so to speak, be-in-common. Those connections did not exist before—and will all dissolve again after, forming new links elsewhere. Here lies the special political relevance of the temporally ephemeral arts of the stage, performance, and exhibition. Continuing the discussion of bringing to visibility, Begüm Özden Firat moves the discussion of display to include image/texts and then literature, while remaining firmly committed to the issue of (in)visibility. The (non)identity of the “sanspapiers”—“illegal immigrants”—occasions reflections on how people can be perceived as doubly invisible: “nonvisible” to the extent that they lack recognized status in the public sphere, and invisible to the extent that they are neglected as full participants. The image/text she discusses adopts the tactic of morphing non-visibility into invisibility, so that visibility becomes possible. It establishes the conditions of visibility. The people who hitherto remained unrepresentable, Firat argues, create a polemical space within which they are able to appear. The space is polemical to the extent that it allows for disagreement, antagonism, and ensuing political struggle. In such a sphere, for which the stage or the exhibition space could be a model, the possibility of becoming visible entails participatory agency—to speak and be heard. Firat makes this argument through three different art works or “art events”—an image/text, an exhibition, and a novel. A specialist in performance studies, Maaike Bleeker employs the concept of theatricality to characterize the potential of the theater as public sphere and, conversely, the public sphere as theater, to offer a “critical vision machine.” This machine generates visions ordinarily invisible and perhaps, over time, in danger of becoming nonvisible, and facilitates a critical engagement with such visions. Bleeker Introduction | 15 starts with a billboard that was staged in the space of advertisement but that functioned differently. As a result, the space itself was disrupted, made unfamiliar, and increased the public awareness of visibility. For Bleeker, this awareness of visibility produced by critical distancing becomes the key to theatricality. She then moves on to discuss opera, specifically Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail, in a Turkish performance, as another such disruptive deployment of space. This performance of an ironic displacement of what initially was a displaced “Turkishness” puts a new spin on orientalism and makes visible the complexity of such projections. The performance, Bleeker claims, complicates the relationship between appearance and the reality that representations “mirror.” As Bleeker’s analysis suggests, the imagination has a lot to contribute to the possibility of becoming visible. Niamh Ann Kelly engages the issue of how curatorial practice, in a concrete case comprising two artists, can enable this capacity. She probes in detail how putting works together can produce new meanings and engage new contexts. The art works she analyzes bring characters or figures face-to-face with alterity, and the viewer is solicited to do the same. These figures are defined not by who or what they are but by their movements of displacement, in the way that a ballet is defined through the dance from which the dancers cannot be distinguished. Their ephemeral identities allow the artists to interweave these identities so that the “visibilization” of moments of change, not stability, can literally reveal cultural alterity. In this way, the works enact aesthetic practices that indicate the boundary between visible and invisible, thus making the invisible visible. This unsettling of a culturally firm boundary unsettles the viewer in a productive way. This unsettling is also possible in media destined for larger audiences. Patricia Pisters discusses films that defamiliarize narrative structure, replacing it with spatial spreads and incongruous simultaneities. She focuses on three recent films representative of the new genre “mosaic film”—a transnational genre—related to migratory movements and contemporary globalized media culture. These films deploy intensity in their engagement with the external, extradiegetic world, an intensity that enhances visibility. According to Pisters’s Deleuzian reading, the nomadic aesthetic of the films makes a difficult fit with representational logic, in both meanings of representation—speaking as, and speaking for. The tactic of “becoming minoritarian” as a form of resistance, in particular in the films’ affective encounters with viewers, is not normative or apodictic, but descriptive in the sense of making visible. They are nonjudgmental and non-normative, and through that openness they produce the “critical vision machine” of which Bleeker writes. In a transition from the conditions of visibility to the tensions that seem to hamper them, Miguel Á. Hernández-Navarro’s analysis explores the ways in which tensions and conflicts can become visible, and thus prepares us for the final section. His special focus is the issue of time and technology, with the contradictions and 16 | Mieke Bal and Miguel Á. Hernández-Navarro Thamyris/Intersecting No. 23 (2011) 9–20 collisions that occur between communication regimes, especially in relation to the experience of migration. He examines how migrants introduce themselves to Western technology while avoiding the indoctrination process that is usually required for their “integration.” An appreciation of this innovative use of older technologies, or use of new technologies from an “older” point of view, can provide us with new, more affective and proximate ways of relating to technology across temporal divides. He looks to the potentiality of works of video art to deploy the tactic of demonstrating, on the one hand, the artificiality of the medium’s own ideology, which they disrupt, and, on the other hand, the advantages of unlearning and the benefits of a certain technological illiteracy in experiencing reality. Tension: Intention, Contention The political arena of the world is constituted by tensions between each individual’s intentions and the arguments, disagreements, and antagonisms with which they must contend to get those intentions across. Those tensions occur in time and place. As a consequence, they affect the ways we live in time and place. This makes for a fabric of tensions, with the proviso that this fabric has no stability. In migratory culture, the instability of political tensions is not only primary, but actually productive; it helps us to recognize the livability of instability. Movement happens in time and place; it takes one from one situation and place to another, and this occurs over time. Thus, movement embodies tension. Art, in turn, makes tension visible, because it stages it. Thanks to the reduction of distance, art is capable of bringing forth; at the moment in which art makes tension visible, the viewer can experience tension differently. Because art makes tension visible, it becomes inhabitable, providing a sense of welcome instead of repulsion. In this section, we focus on the art’s potential for providing a kind of “hospitality” that is not fixed but in constant movement. Returning to the material conception of metaphor as transit, art can provide a platform with which we can situate ourselves in that transit from one place and time to another, as a permanent state of impermanence. Mieke Bal opens the section in close relation to Hernández-Navarro’s argument. She probes these tensions specifically in relation to time. Here, again, the migratory situation exemplifies a more general state of which we are usually not aware: that time experience is by definition, not coincidentally, heterochronic. She seeks to put the finger on a few instances where this becomes visible concretely and in detail in selected works of video art. This art of moving images sometimes multiplies its own moving quality by not just showing but embodying heterochronic movement. Conflicted temporalities are especially, but by no means exclusively, palpable in migratory situations. Art can mobilize that potential and make it visible for all. She addresses the relations of memory, narrative, and performance to temporality, so as Introduction | 17 to better understand how the art works manage that mobilizing. Through these experiments with time, they contribute to a becoming-visible of the dense and complex temporal texture of the contemporary world. Noa Roei moves from time to space in her close analysis of the popular resistance movement in the Palestinian village of Bil’in. Deploying Jacques Rancière’s theory of the “distribution of the sensible,” she examines two versions of the movement’s “work”: an event and an exhibition; an activist, political moment of confrontation and resistance at the site of the Wall, on the one hand, and the exhibition in an art gallery of the sculptures produced for and during that event, on the other. Thus she explores the different roles that art plays in different spaces. One is activist, the other memorial. But there is also continuity between the two manifestations. They each engage different audiences, and this modifies their agency. The fact that the objects were exhibited as sculpture, Roei argues, testifies to the successful redistribution of the sensible. The objects and the situation had both become visible. In film, conflict seems to have a “natural” home, due to narrative traditions. In a detailed analysis of a narrative film, Mireille Rosello addresses conflict in situations that are in time and space together, such as religious belief, language, and experience, in a transgenerational setting. The film Le grand voyage by Ismaël Ferroukhi depicts a father and son on a journey. This offers the author the ideal opportunity to explore the often unspoken ways through which a first-generation migrant and his son negotiate their tensions. Resonating with Pisters’s mosaic genre, her analysis makes visible the postcolonial logic that ineluctably remains in place along the FranceMaghreb axis. Conflict is a tool for improving relations that is not hobbled by the need for resolution. And, although in the film the differences are played out in language, among other modes, Rosello argues that this does not mean that conversing in one language precludes conflicts, misunderstandings, and silences. This conclusion proposes a new way of dealing with the contemporary multilingual world. In the next chapter, Sonja Neef looks to the unlikely universe of Star Trek to argue that hospitality is based on an irresolvable tension. This is the case because the relationship between host and guest is always in movement; host can become guest and vice versa. She calls on philosophers such as Derrida, Benjamin, and Heidegger to lay out this argument. Hospitality entails the imposition of a particular position: the host expects the guest to side with him. This is a conditional, relative hospitality. Absolute hospitality, in fact the only kind, does not pose conditions. The translation machine in Star Trek, called a Universal Translator, embodies this conditional essence of hospitality. Translating “alien” language into the universal, meaning English, human language, the machine eliminates, adapts, and, hence, modifies the language of the other and consequently represses a host of meanings. Contributing an example of one national culture, Isabel Hoving takes on another aspect of hospitality, the allegedly “typically Dutch” tolerance. This somewhat 18 | Mieke Bal and Miguel Á. Hernández-Navarro Thamyris/Intersecting No. 23 (2011) 9–20 mythical feature of Dutch society assumes openness and directness as the straight road to visibility. The author reads a number of novels by migrant authors living in the Netherlands to learn how the feature of national pride in fact obscures a sense of superiority, in turn occluding visibility, for it makes the non-superior people nonvisible; they do not belong to the visible category. In short, tolerance is an avoidance of tension. Her alternative is a subtle unpacking of the ins and outs of representation. She binds representation in the political sense, according to which migrants should have adequate representation, to representation in the aesthetic and semiotic sense, according to which they can create that polemical space within which they can represent themselves. At the same time, she argues for an anti-representational aesthetic because it can be anti-identitarian. In conclusion, Joaquín Barriendos Rodríguez takes issue with the current international art system. He discusses the relevance that the politics of mobility can have for that system. He emphasizes the tensions emerging in transcultural art practices. Moreover, the validating usages of such terms as hybridization and periphery, marginalization and subalternity, confuse and obscure the inequalities they harbor. To make matters even more problematic, between these two attempts to open up the world, new tensions arise. Not only is there a gap between the discourse and the “official” international practice embodied in biennales and other large-scale circuits of art, but the practice is modified by the discourse. On the other hand, there remains an international practice unaffected by this discourse-infested one. Thus, Barriendos Rodríguez sums up the consequences of the becoming official (rather than visible) of a particular, apologetic translationalism against which much of the art discussed in this book offers “little resistances.” Introduction | 19 Works Cited Bal, Mieke and Miguel Á. Hernández-Navarro (eds.) 2MOVE: Video, Art, Migration. Murcia, Spain: Cendeac, 2008. The Identity in Question. Ed. John Rajchman. New York and London: Routledge, 1995. 199–227. Boer, Inge E. Uncertain Territories. Eds. Mieke Bal, Bregje van Eekelen and Patricia Spyer. Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2006. Mouffe, Chantal. On the Political. London and New York: Routledge, 2005. Brown, Wendy. “Wounded Attachments: Late Modern Oppositional Political Formations.” 20 | Mieke Bal and Miguel Á. Hernández-Navarro Rancière, Jacques. La mésentente: Politique et philosophie. Paris: Galilée, 1995.

Author Mieke Bal, Miguel a. Hernandez-Navarro, and Miguel Hern Ndez-Navarro Isbn 978-9042032637 File size 2.5 MB Year 2012 Pages 354 Language English File format PDF Category Art Book Description: FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrDiggMySpaceShare This book explores the idea that art can enact small-scale resistances against the status quo in the social domain. These acts, which we call “little resistances,” determine the limited yet potentially powerful political impact of art. From different angles, seventeen authors consider the spaces where art events occur as “political spaces,” and explore how such spaces host events of disagreements in migratory culture. The newly coined word “migratory” refers to the sensate traces of the movements of migration that characterize contemporary culture. In other words, movement is not an exceptional occurrence in an otherwise stable world, but a normal, generalized process in a world that cannot be grasped in terms of any given notion of stability. Thus the book offers fresh reflections on art’s power to move people, in the double sense of that verb, and shows how it helps to illuminate migratory culture’s contributions to this process.     Download (2.5 MB) Performance, Identity, and the Neo-Political Subject Rethinking Contemporary Art And Multicultural Education, 2 Edition Art And Politics: A Small History Of Art For Social Change Since 1945 Vanishing Points: Articulations of Death, Fragmentation, and the Unexperienced Experience of Created Objects Ornament and Order: Graffiti, Street Art and the Parergon Load more posts

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