[-empyre-] welcome to paradise

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Thu May 3 22:59:59 EST 2012

thanks for the responses received,
and for the clarifications, Christiane.
Arshiya's reply is not entirely resolving my curiosity about media art and origin/place and issues of (self) representation or frameworks for such visibilities of lives  and forms past and present, and as you, Arshiya, write: "not content of the works but what influences the choices ...are they culturally determined?" -- what do you mean by choices here?  and, shall we use the example of Raqs Media Collective, as they have come to stand in perhaps for new media art in India (having of course been well positioned in western exhibitions such a documenta which made them become known), yes what determined their concepts and choices or, if we don's ask that question, what made their formal and conceptual modes of presentation or installation particularly interesting and perhaps different or seemingly different, in  the manner in which they displayed conversations between video or still images and text, sound, software, performance, sculpture and found objects and so on. Raqs of course have curated shows in Europe (manifesta 7), and so one would have to have further dialogue, Christiane, about your proposition that

My point being that a Venice Bienniale curated by Raqs Media Collective presumably would look very different from one curated by Francesco Bonami.

it is presumable point, but i am not so sure after all, whether it is quite so easy,

and Ana, you point to "Les Magiciens de la Terre",  and if i remember it, the outrage or discomfort that it caused for some had to do precisely with the fact that it did not do what you say it did, namely  "artists from Kuba, Africa and South America were presented for their own premises" ...... We'd have to go back and look at the controversy, perhaps;    but in your post, as you go on speaking about the different modernisms and modernities, of course i agree with you completely, also about the discourse creators and dissiminator engines;  and i think  "Les Magiciens de la Terre" was fascinatingly problematic in the apparent attempt to quietly display these modern or postmodern artists  side by side without acknowledging [any significant] different contexts or production environments and ritual or secular or political or distinctive frames and embeddings....

with regards
Johannes Birirnger

Ana schreibt:

In my nove to Montevideo I shipped almost my entire collection of books, around 3000 books now crambling my small apartament in Montevideo. I look often at some of the Art cathalogs of the exhibitions I saw and loved, Documenta X wonderful political texts, L'Immateriel, Lyotard's postmodern exhibition at Beaubourg.
And I read today, again, regading our discussion, the cathalog of "Les Magiciens de la Terre", if I don't remember wrong the first world exhibition where artists from Kuba, Africa and South America were presented for their own premises.
I think it's again a matter of paradigm, the Western had Modernity and Expressionism and all these changes produced by painters and artists working and living in the big European metropolis, London, Paris, Vienna, Barcelona, Madrid, Prag, Rome, Berlin, etc. And New York painters and artists come to Europe and moved back and forth and were also a part of these movement.
But the Middle East didn't have a Modernity, not either Africa. And the Latinamerican Modernity was shaped in other forms than the Europeans or North Americans.
But, again, the problem is who generates the discourse, who is the one giving certain Art the rang of Art and classifying other Art as naif or amateur or just primitive,
The critics have the monopoly of the discourse as well the curators and the marchands and the auctioners and the researchers, if their context or borders are not wide enough to reach to other parts of the world and see Art in their own context, we are never going to have a fair conception of Art who changes the world and our lives with it.

More information about the empyre mailing list