Issue #39, 2011
Scene

Decolonial Aesthetics: Collective Creative Practice in Progress
Assembled by Miguel Rojas-Sotelo and Raúl Moarquech Ferrera-Balanquet on behalf of the group on Decolonial Aesthetics

Decolonial aestheticsrefers to ongoing artistic projects responding to the darker side of imperial globalization. This is the terrain where artists are contesting the legacies of modernity and its re-incarna­tions in postmodern and altermodern aesthetics.

Aesthesisoraiesthesis, generally defined as “an unelaborated ele­mentary awareness of stimulation, a ’sensation of touch’”, is related to awareness, sense datum, sense experience and sense expression, and is closely connected to the processes of perception. Aesthetics, instead, is defined as a philosophical branch that is focus on the study of beauty as a rational investigation about existence, knowl­edge, and ethics. The Western concept of aesthetics colonized ais­thesis (senses, affects) by appropriating the meaning of artistic practice. Today there is an urgent need to decolonize aesthetics to liberate aiesthesis.

Today, artists around the world today, including migrant artists living in the West and North, and the multiple diasporas across the globe, are working based on the legacies of the Bandung Confer­ence (1955) and the Non-Aligned Movement (1961). Their legacy was the possibility of imagining other worlds beyond capitalism and/or communism. To contribute to the building of that world is the task of decoloniality and of decolonial aesthetics.

As a result of the debates taking place around the concept of Decolo­nial Aesthetics, during the intense and friendly hours of the many work­shops and exhibitions organized recently and within the larger histories of decolonization experienced and shared in real and virtual sites, a common argument (in the form of a manifesto) was co-written across continents. The nodes and friendships built are a demonstration of the will of the collective in action.

 

Decolonial Aesthetics (I). The Argument As Manifesto

A transmodern world has emerged, reconfiguring the past 500 hundred years of coloniality and its aftermath, modernity, postmodernity and altermodernity. A remarkable feature of this transformation is the creativity in/from the Non-Western world and its political consequences – independent thoughts and decolonial freedoms in all spheres of life. Decoloniality of knowledge and being, two concepts that have been introduced by the working group modernity-coloniality since 1998 are encountering the decoloniality of aesthetics in order to join different genealogies of re-existence in artistic practices all over the world.1

Transnational identities-in-politics have inspired a planetary revolution in knowledge and sensibility. The creativity of visual and aural artists, thinkers, curators and artifices of the written word have affirmed the existence of multiple and transnational identities, reaffirming themselves in their confrontation with global imperial ten­den­cies to homogenize and to erase differences. The affirmation of identities is tantamount with the homogenizing tendencies of globalization, which are celebrated by altermodernity as the “universality” of artistic practices. This notion chastises the magnificent diversity of human creative potential and its different traditions; it perennially aims at appropriating differences instead of celebrating them.

Decolonial aesthetics, in particular, and decoloniality in general have joined the liberation of sensing and sensibilities trapped by modernity and its darker side: coloniality. Decoloniality endorses interculturality, (which has been conceptualized by organized communities) and delinks from multiculturalism (which has been conceptualized and implemented by the State). Multiculturalism promotes identity politics, while interculturality promotes transnational identities-in-politics. Multiculturalism is managed by the State and some affiliated NGO’s, whereas interculturality is enacted by the communities in the process of delinking from the imaginary of the State and of multiculturalism. Interculturality promotes the re-creation of identities that were either denied or acknowledged first but in the end were silenced by the discourse of modernity, postmodernity and now altermodernity. Interculturality is the celebration by border dwellers of being together in and beyond the border. Decolonial transmodern aesthetics is intercultural, inter-epistemic, inter-political, inter-aes­thetical and inter-spiritual but always from perspectives of the global south and the former-Eastern Europe.

Massive migration from the former Eastern Europe and the global south to former-Western Europe (today European Union) and to the United States have transformed the subjects of coloniality into active agents of decolonial delinking. “We are here because you were there” is the reversal of the rhetoric of modernity; transnational identities-in-politics are a consequence of this reversal, it challenges the self-proclaimed imperial right to name and create (constructed and arti­ficial) identities by means either of silencing or trivialization.

The embodied daily life experience in decolonial processes within the matrix of modernity defeats the solitude and the search for order that permeates the fears of postmodern and altermodern industrial societies. Decoloniality and decolonial aesthetics are instrumental in confronting a world overflowed with commodities and “information” that invade the living space of “consumers” and confine their cre­ative and imaginative potential.

Within different genealogies of re-existence “artists” have been ques­tioning the role and the name that have been assigned to them. They are aware of the confinement that Euro-centered concepts of arts and aesthetics have imposed on them. They have engaged in transnational identities-in-politics, revamping identities that have been discredited in modern systems of classification and their invention of racial, sexual, national, linguistic, religious and economic hierarchies. They have removed the veil from the hidden histories of colo­nialism and have rearticulated these narratives in some spaces of modernity such as the white cube and its affiliated branches. They are dwelling in the borders, sensing in the borders, doing in the borders, they have been the propellers of decolonial transmodern thinking and aesthetics. Decolonial transmodernities and aesthetics have been delinking from all talks and beliefs of universalism, new or old, and in doing so have been promoting a pluriversalism that rejects all claims to a truth without quotation marks. In this regard, decolonial transmodernity has endorsed identities-in-politics and challenged identity politics and the self-proclaimed universality of altermodernity.

Creative practitioners, activist and thinkers continue to nourish the global flow of decoloniality towards a transmodern and pluriversal world. They confront and traverse the divide of the colonial and imperial difference invented and controlled by modernity, disman­tling it, and working towards “living in harmony and in plenitude” in a variety of languages and decolonial histories. The worlds emerging with decolonial and transmodern political societies have art and aesthetics as a fundamental source.

These artists are operating in what can be seen as the conceptual legacies of the Bandung Conference (1955). The Bandung Conference united 29 Asian and African countries, and was followed by the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement, in 1961, which included for­mer Eastern Europe and Latin America. The legacy of the Bandung Conference was the possibility of imagining other worlds beyond capitalism and/or communism, to engage in the search and building of a third way, neither capitalist nor communist, but decolonial. Today this conceptual legacy has been taken beyond the sphere of the state to understand creative forms of re-existence and autonomy in the borders of the modern/colonial world. The decolonial metaphor a “world in which many world would co-exist” implies pluriversality as a planetary project and demands the contribution of different notions of how an emerging global political society should feel, smell and look like. Decolonizing aesthetics to liberate aiesthesis has already been happening in all spheres of knowledge-production. We have been witnessing a continuation of epistemic shifts in the disciplines and the arts that have furthered the process of decolonization within and beyond the key elements of the colonial matrix of power.

The goal of decolonial thinking and doing is to continue re-inscrib­ing, embodying and dignifying those ways of living, thinking and sensing that were violently devalued or demonized by colonial, imperial and interventionist agendas as well as by postmodern and altermodern internal critiques.

 

Signed on Sunday, May 22, 2011, by Alanna Lockward, Rolando Vásquez, Teresa María Díaz Nerio, Marina Grzˇnic’, Michelle Eistrup, Tanja Ostojic’, Dalída María Benfield, Raúl Moarquech Ferrera-Balanquet, Pedro Lasch, Nelson Maldonado Torres, Ovidiu Țichindeleanu, Hong-An Truong, Guo-Juin Hong, Miguel Rojas-Sotelo and Walter Mignolo.

 

A Convoluted Time Frame

Argentinian Professor Walter Mignolo, scholar who has worked on the issues of colonialism and the coloniality of power from more than three decades, participated in the exhibition Modernologiesinaugurated in September of 2009 at MACBA and at the 4th Tate Modern Triennial titled Altermodernity. Mignolo was critical of the events and presented in one of the debates during the Tate Triennial titled “Global Modernities”.2 The other critical intervention, revealing the dead body in the closet of Altermodern, belonged to Nigerian curator Okwui Enwezor, during the first debate in the Tate Triennial.3

 

Modernologies. The exhibition “Modernologies”, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona, MACBA (23/09/2009 – 17/01/2010), curated by Sabine Breitwiese, was supposed to draw a critical map of moder­nity, presenting the uses and readings on the concept of modernity by artist around the world, from the last three decades. This exhibition took place three months after the inauguration of the 4th Tate Modern Triennial titled “Altermodernity”, curated by Nicolas Bour­riaud. “Modernologies“ was divided in three sections: “The Production of Space“, exemplified by a series of projects that explored the conflicts and correspondences between the architectural space of modernity and the social and political space; “The Idea of Universal Language“, which analyzes the ideology of modernism and its attempts to create a universal language of abstract aesthetic forms and symbols, and “The Politics of Display“, on the way art is presented and consumed. Featuring artists: Anna Artaker, Alice Creischer/Andreas Siekmann, Domènec, Katja Eydel, Angela Ferreira, Andrea Fraser, Isa Genzken, Dan Graham and Robin Hurst, Tom Holert and Claudia Honecker, Marine Hugonnier, IRWIN, Runa Islam, Klub Zwei (Simone Bader & Jo Schmeiser), John Knight, Labor k3000 (Peter Spillmann/Michael Vögeli/Marion von Osten), Louise Lawler, David Maljkovic, Dorit Margreiter, Gordon Matta-Clark, Gustav Metzger, Christian Philipp Müller, Henrik Olesen, Paulina Olowska, Falke Pisano, Mathias Poledna, Florian Pumhösl, Martha Rosler, Armando Andrade Tudela, Marion von Osten, Stephen Willats, Christopher Williams. Most of the participants were Euro-Ameri­can; the ones coming from other areas of the world, like Runa Islam (Bangladesh) or IRWIN (Slovenia), are well known and accepted in the contemporary art world; others such as Armando Andrade Tudela (Perú, but living in France) are making a contribution from within modernism.4

 

The Altermodern. Altermodern is a term coined by Nicolas Bour­riaud as an attempt to contextualize art made in today’s globalized world as a reaction against standardization and commercialism. Bourriaud has developed a concept that tries to deal with the multicultural dimension of art in today word, affirming that “artists are looking for a new moder­­nity that would be based on translation. What matters today is to translate the cultural values of cultural groups and to connect them to the world network”. The curator presented four main facets of the Altermodern: the end of postmod­ernism; cultural hybridisation; traveling as a new way to produce forms; and the expanding formats of art.5

 

Decoloniality and altermodernity are two projects and therefore two options. They are not the only ones on the globe today. What is clear is that both co-exist in conflict and tension. The decolonial option, which starts from an already existing set of aesthetic practices, is presented here as an option and not as a mission. At the same time, we hypothesize that the other(s) is also an option and cannot legiti­mately claim the right to assume a totalitarian universality. The decolonial option is as old as coloniality itself; it can be linked to the silenced voices of indigenous and afro descendants struggling to survive the colonial matrix of power (some in the codices of the con­quest), to writings during the independence wars in the Americas, or, more recently to the work of intellectuals in the Caribbean and by leaders in the post-colonial struggles in Africa. However, in aca­demic terms, it originates in Latin America. Scholars from the region had been working for decades with other scholars, meeting and debating the multiple facets of the issue. As an active group, they produced since 1998 a plethora of publications, workshops, meet­ings, events, classes, and more recently exhibitions.

 

In 1998, at the World Congress of Sociology in Montreal, Edgardo Lander organized the symposium “Alternatives to Eurocentrism and Colonialism in Latin-American Social Thought”, with the participation of Aníbal Quijano, Arturo Escobar, Fernando Coronil, Walter Mignolo. From this foundational meeting emerged the most known book of the group: La colonialidad del saber: euro­centrismo y ciencias socials, Buenos Aires, CLACSO, 2000. This meeting planted the seed of what will become the project Modernity/ Coloniality/Decoloniality, magisterially summarized by Arturo Escobar in his classic article “World and Knowledges Otherwise”.

 

Decolonial Thinking. In 1996, the Peruvian sociologist Aníbal Quijano was invited to the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton, to work with his American counterpart Immanuel Wallenstein. Both Quijano and Wallerstein had received international aclaim for their work in the seventies, Quijano as an active partner in the group of Latin American thinkers associated with “dependency theory“, Wallerstein as founder of one of the most innovative approaches of Western sociology at that time: the world-system analysis. Quijano gave lec­tures and seminars in the Sociology Department at SUNY-Binghamton and participated in seminars organized by the “Colo­niality Working Group“ led by Kelvin Santiago, a Puerto Rican socio­logist who like his fellows cadres, Ramón Grosfoguel (professor of sociology) and Augustine Lao-Montes (doctoral student), were working at that time in the same department. That group also includes the Afro-Caribbean thinker Sylvia Wynters, well known in the United States for her work on colonial legacies. In December 1998, Agustín Ramón organized the international conference “Transmodernity, Historical Capitalism, and Coloniality: a Post-Disciplinary Dialogue“ in Binghamton. Besides Quijano and Wallerstein, Argen­tine philosopher Enrique Dussel and Argen­tina-born semiotician Walter D. Mignolo were also invited. Dussel was known in Latin America as one of the founders of the “philosophy of liberation“ in the seventies, while Mignolo was beginning to be recognized in the growing circle of postcolonial studies as a result of his book, The Darker Side of the Renaissance. It was at this conference where Dussel, Quijano and Mignolo first came together to discuss their approach to the colonial legacy in Latin America in dialogue with the analysis of Wallerstein’s world system. The following year, the Bingham­ton group organized the event “Historial sites of colonial disciplinary practices: The Nation-State, the bourgeois family” which opened dialogue with postcolonial theories of Asia, Africa and Latin America. This event was attended by Vandana Swami, Chandra Mohanty, Zine Magu­bane, Sylvia Winters, Walter Mignolo, Aníbal Quijano and the Venezuelan anthropologist Fernando Coronil. This rapprochement between the world-system analysis and theories about the continued colonial legacies in Latin America and beyond bear fruit in March 2000,

when Ramón Grosfoguel held a conference in Boston for the edition of PEWS (Political Economy of the World-System), inviting Colombian philosophers Santiago Castro-Gómez and Oscar Guardiola Rivera from the Institute PENSAR of the Universidad Javeriana. Result of this meeting was the book The Modern/Colonial/Capitalist World-System in the Twentieth Century published in 2002 by Ramón Grosfoguel and Ana Margarita Cervantes Grosfoguel-Rodriguez. Parallel to the development described above were forming new nodes of the network in countries like Colombia and Venezuela. The Venezuelan sociologist Edgardo Lander organized in Caracas, at the Central University of Venezuela and with the support of the CLACSO, a series of events inviting Mignolo, Escobar, Quijano, Dussel and Coronil. From that event came one of the most important books produced so far by the group: The Coloniality of Knowledge: Eurocentrism and Social Sciences,edited by Edgardo Lander and published in Buenos Aires in 2000. The activity initiated by Santiago Castro-Gómez at the Insti­tute of Social and Cultural Thinking at Javeriana University, has been fundamental. In August 1999 he organized the International Symposium “The restructuring of the social sciences in the Andean coun­tries“. This event served as a cata­lyst for everything that has been happening in other network nodes, as it was from there that it signed an agreement of academic cooperation between the Javeriana University, Duke University, University of North Carolina and the Uni­versity Andína Simón Bolívar in Quito to arrange activities and publica­tions around the theme of the geopolitics of knowl­edge and the coloniality of power. Apart from Mignolo, Lander, Coronil, Quijano, Castro-Gómez and Guardiola, two female scholars begin to work in Bogotá at a transdisciplinary and multinational level, Argen­tinan semiologist Zulma Palermo and German Freya Schiwy. From the event also came two books, Theory and Practice of Postcolonial Criticism (1999) and The Restructuration of Social Sciences in Latin America (2000), both published by the Institute PENSAR. By 2001 things were ripe to organize the first group meeting and discuss progress. The event-meeting was organized by Walter Mignolo at Duke University under the name “Knowledge and the Known”, which gave birth to a dossier of the magazine Nepantla coordinated by Michael Ennis and Freya Schiwy. At the Duke event Bolivian cultural theorist and linguist Javier Sanjinés and Ecuadorian sociologist, professor at the Universidad Andína Simón Bolívar, Catherine Walsh joined the group. Walsh was responsible for organizing the second group meeting in 2002 in Quito. In addition to establishing a dia­logue between members of the indigenous and Afro-American intellectuals of Ecuador, the meeting produced the book Indiscipline Social Sciences: Geopolitics of Knowledge and Coloniality of Power,edited by Catherine Walsh, Freya Schiwy and Santiago Castro-Gómez and published by Abya-Yala, Quito. The third meeting took place at the University of California (Berkeley), organized in 2003 by Ramón Grosfoguel and José David Saldivar. There the group was joined by Puerto Rican philosopher Nelson Maldonado-Torres, who along with Ramón Grosfoguel and José David worked in the edition of the book Unsettling Postcoloniality: Coloniality, and Border Thinking Trans­modernity,Duke University Press, 2007. The fourth meeting was held in April 2004 at the University of California at Berkeley, this conference organized by Grosfoguel, Maldonado-Torres and Saldivar had as its main theme the “Decoloni­zation of the American empire in the 21st century”. As a result two volumes were published, a book entitled Latin@s in the World-System: Decolonization Struggles in the 21st Century U.S. Empire (Paradigm Press, 2005) a volume edited by Ramón Grosfoguel in an academic journal run by Immanuel Wallerstein was titled, From Postcolonial Studies to Decolonial Studies (REVIEW, Vol. XIX, No. 2, 2006). During the same year, the Group Modernity/Coloniality began a dialogue with Afro-Caribbean philosopher Lewis Gordon (President of the Associa­tion of Caribbean Philosophy) and the Portuguese sociologist Boa­­­­-ven­tura de Sousa Santos, one of the most important theorists and organiz­ers of the World Social Forum. The fifth meeting was organized a few months later in June 2004 by Arturo Escobar and Walter Mignolo in the cities of Chapel Hill (University of North Carolina) and Durham (Duke University) under the name „Critical Theory and Decoloniality“. An issue of the Journal of Cultural Studies,edited by Larry Grossberg and coordinated by Mignolo and Escobar, entitled “Globalization and Decolo­nial Thinking”. The sixth meeting, entitled “Mapping the Decolo­nial Turn” (also the title of the book to be released after the confer­ence) was held in Berkeley in April 2005, led by Nelson Maldonado- Torres and coordinated with Ramón Grosfoguel and José David, with the participation of members of the Caribbean Philosophical Association and a group of Latin American intellectuals, African Americans and Chicanos.

 

The activities and publications mentioned here are the product of group activity, but one should also highlight individual contributions which have been key to generate the common language that readers can identify in this article. The group refers to books like The Cover of the Other: Origin of the Myth of Modernity (1992) by Enrique Dussel, The Darker Side of the Renaissance (1995) and Local Histories/Global Designs (2002) by Walter Mignolo, The Invention of the Third World (1999) and the End of the Wild (2000) by Arturo Escobar, The Magical State (1999) by Fernando Coronil, Science, Technology and Political Issues (1994) by Edgardo Lander, Colonial Subjects (2003) by Ramón Grosfoguel and Critique of Latin American Reason (1996) and The Hubris of the Zero Point (2005) by Santiago Castro-Gómez, and seminal articles such as “Modernity, Identity and Utopia in Latin America” (1988), “Coloniality and Modernity/Rationality“ (1991) or “Coloniality of Power, Eurocentrism and Latin America“ (2003) by Aníbal Quijano.

The Group Modernity/Coloniality specializes does not specialize only in publishing books aimed at experts, but is involved in several academic and political projects. Some of its members are the core that animates the doctoral program in Latin American Cultural Studies at the University Andína Simón Bolívar in Quito, headed by Catherine Walsh, others organize activities within the World Social Forum. In the 2006 World Forum in Caracas, Venezuela, the group hosted three panels under the title “Decoloniality of Knowledge: Other’s Knowledge, Other’s Revolu­tions“. In Berkeley, the group is working with Chicano and Latino/a activists on projects on identity, the future of etnic studies and decolo­nizing the university (2010). The group is also committed to help afro-descendants in the Choco basin (Ecuador–Colombia) and to promote decolonial artists among its nodes.

 

Responding to the events mentioned above, in November of 2010 took place an academic event comprising the publication of a two-volume issue of the journal of art practices Calle 14, accompanied by an exhibition on decolonial aesthetics (“Esteticas decoloniales“in Spanish), opened in Bogotá, Colombia, and organized by ASAB (Academica Superior de Artes de Bogotá). The exhibition was co-curated by Pedro Pablo Gómez (director of Calle 14), Maria Elvira Ardila (curator of the Museum of Modern Art, Bogotá), and Walter Mignolo.6

This was followed in May 2011 by a workshop and an exhibition titled +Decolonial Aesthetics, organized at Duke University by the Center for Global Studies and the Humanities. For this event, participants from another area of the world, Asia, were invited to share their experiences of decolonization. The international exhibi­tion titled +Decolonial Aesthetics opened at the Fredric Jameson Gallery, the Nasher Museum of Art and other alternative venues at Duke University. The exhibition brought together creative projects responding to the darker side of imperial globalization form artists/scholars from around the world, including Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America and the diasporas in the US. Along with the artists participating, this meeting counted on the presence of a group of scholars, activists, and community organizers debating different aspects of the decolonial option. Among them: Alanna Lockward, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin; Nelson Maldonado-Torres, Rutgers University; Luigi Fassi, curator, Turin, Italy; Roberto Dainotto, Duke University; Marta Lucia Bustos, Pedro Pablo Gómez, and Ricardo Lambuley, all from ASAB, Bogotá; Viet Le, artist, creative writer, independent curator, USC Zoe Butt, curator, and Q. Le, artist, all from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Nayoung Aimee Kwon, Duke University; Lewis Gordon, Temple University; and Catherine Walsh, Universidad Andína Simón Bolívar, Quito, Ecuador.

 

The Workshops: A Way to Build Collectively

The meetings and exhibitions aimed at creating a collective discus­sion on the ways in which decolonial transmodernity and aesthetics are bringing coloniality to the foreground, unveiling the darker side of modernity that continues to be a blind spot of postmodernity and altermodernity. The events at Museo de Arte Moderno and other venues in Bogotá and Duke University were conceived as a response to the current Euro-Anglo-American concern with modernity. However, the concern beyond Western Europe’s and the US’ discourses is “coloniality”, and its subsequent incarnations in post and alter-moder­nity. Although modernity/coloniality (and its variations) originated in Europe it was (violently) imposed throughout the world. In a parallel and reversed direction, decoloniality, which originated in former European colonies and then later in those regions subject to US’ imperialism and interventionism, has been steadily challenging the hegemony of the modern/colonial matrix and its territoriality. The subjects of “coloniality” (the colonized) are voicing their con­cerns on the devastating consequences of modernity/coloniality, conse­quences that are perennially hidden by and embedded in notions such as “progress”, “development” and “innovation”. As witnesses, components and thinkers of this state of affairs, our vision is to reach a trans-modernity, to move towards a moment where coloniality will finally be eradicated, where we cease to engage in the normalized Euro-centered conceptions of human existence and socio-political dynamics. Decoloniality and decolonial aesthetics are moving in the direction of (inter) democratic futures beyond Western concepts of democracy. In order to accomplish this, it is imperative to establish that human dignity is embedded in different forms of identity and identification. This dignity is radically incompatible with homogenizing notions of “culture” and the “universality” of artistic discourses and practices so extensively theorized in modernity, postmodernity and now in altermodernity.

In spite of the contributions from non-hegemonic thinkers and art practitioners that have questioned these paradigms for decades, the complexity of identity issues in the arts is still not considered rele­vant for altermodernity, which flattened the world in the best modern way. What continues to count is the “universality” of art; artistic productions are profiled and analyzed solely in regards to their contributions to the modernist normative universe of “aesthetics” and “art”. That “universe” and those norms were not originated in Zim­babwe, Bolivia or Serbia. Therefore the arguments of altermoder­nity are based on a self-explanatory, invisible and pervasive (white-male-Christian-Western) European identity. This silenced Norm offers the epistemic foundation for altermodern critique of identity issues while at the same time conceals its own identity as a (white-male-Christian-Western) construction. Accordingly, the Norm remains as in the most “productive” moments of early European colonialism and subse­quent­ly in modernity/coloniality, as well as in imperialism/inter­ven­tionism, untouched, unquestioned, and undefeated.

Coloniality does not operate anymore on tobacco and sugar production, or on the slave trade, but on the control of global finances, public opinion (via the production of hegemonic imaginaries through media), and subjectivity in order to perpetuate and magnify the salvationist rhetoric of modernity. For the decolonial option, identities, identification, de-naming, and de-linking are crucial because they assist constructed Others in unveiling the hegemonic legitimacy of “knowledge” intrinsic to modernity, which denies agency and validation to the identities it constructed in the first place. Nationalism did not originate in Africa or the Arab World but in Europe. Nationalism beyond Europe is a derivative phenomenon – a direct consequence of coloniality. It is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, nationalism in the Non-European world provides a tool to confront Western encroach­ments; it is instrumental in counteracting those neo-liberal ideologies that are conveniently chastising nationalism in the name of globalization and free trade for the benefit of model “global citi­zens” (corporations). On the other hand, nationalism in Non-Euro­pean countries could also lay the discursive foundation for the political and financial elite that would allow them to alienate and exploit their own population. Furthermore, it could also justify imperial expan­sion in other Non-Western countries (as happened after independence in many places, a sort of internal coloniality). Emerging in-between the monoculture of globalization and regional nationalist cultures, the decolonial establishes itself as an option of delink­ing from both globalization and nationalism by means of promoting transnational identities-in-politics beyond the globalized market, the state, institutional religions and normalizing aesthetics. This forms the basis of the discourse on the decolonial option.

Decolonial aesthetics is based on artistic practices, that sometimes, in order to obtain visibility, are still co-habiting the institutions of modern and contemporary art. How, then, is an argument for the decolonial option possible in practice? This is the task of the newly constituted group on decolonial aesthetics, a collective formed organically in the gatherings, events and open debates mentioned above, building collectively on the legacy of the scholarship pro­duced in the recent past, and animated among others by the Center in Global Studies and the Humanities, at Duke University, headed by Walter Mignolo; the Doctorate in Cultural Studies at the University Simón Bolívar in Quito, Ecuador, lead by Catherine Walsh; The Research Unit at ASAB (Academia Superior de Artes de Bogotá), lead by Pedro Pablo Gómez, and the recently created Transnational Decolonial Institute, lead by Alanna Lockward. The challenge pre­sented here is to practice the decolonial option from the artistic front.

 

An Open-Live Arhive:

+Decolonial Aesthetics, Durham, May 2001

A Brief and Inadequate History: In 1887, Vietnam was conquered by the French and three regions named Tonkin, Annam, and Cochinchina were added to the French colonial empire in southeast Asia. This state subjugation came after two cen­turies of Catholic mission-ary influ­ence, initially by the Portu­guese, followed more effectively by the French. Most significant was Alexandre de Rhodes, who estab­lished a writing system of the Vietnamese language based on the Latin alphabet in the mid 17th century. French imperial control ended with the Battle of Diê’n Biên Phú in 1954, however Vietnamese writing continues to be based on de Rhode’s system today. It is called Quoˆ’c Ngû,, which literally means „national language”.

 

Most of photographs in the installation were taken inside Vietnamese Catholic churches and convents built during French colonialism in rural northern Vietnam. In 1954, after the Communist Party took over northern Vietnam and the country was divided into two, most Catholics fled south. Those who remained in the north held uncomfortable positions, negotiating their places within the Communist Party and within the church. Another series of images include the interior pages of a notebook, belonging to a young woman who was living at the convent and studying to become a nun. The installation, which also includes a series of brightly colored fluorescent lights, is an attempt to examine post-colonial subjectivity: the uneasy rupture of the complete self, organized as a named identity in response to structuring violence. Such a rupture happens on the inside and the outside. The historical trace asks: What happens when the Other becomes a spectre from both sides? Resistance Can Be Quiet engages this question and gestures towards a way to consider post-colonial subjectivity along multiple temporalities. The objects and images in the installation work together in a kind of rhizomic confluence, nodes that come into one another, suggesting the richness and denseness of both the absurd and the unexpected in the grotesque logic of colonialism.

 

 

 

Carnal appetites are addressed in Truong’s Furniture to Aid in the Viewing of the Lover. In order to view the piece, one must lay face down on worn wooden table and peer through a “peephole”. One can see bits of bifurcated lushly colored scenes, framed in black widescreen format, from Jean-Jacques Annaud’s 1992 adaptation of Marguerite Duras’ semi-autobiographical 1984 novel L’Amant (The lover), the story of an illicit affair between an impoverished adolescent French girl and a rich Chinese playboy in 1930s Saigon. In split-screen, the film’s narrative is distilled: the Chinese man picks up the French girl in his sleek chauffeur-driven sedan; a medium interior shot of him timidly reaching for her hand in the vehicle; they arrive in the Chinese quarter. On the left panel: a zooming shot of a large room in dusky late afternoon, their abstracted limbs sex-entangled as passerby cast shadows on wooden blinds. On the right panel: a medium interior sedan shot at night – the man, self-possessed, grabs her hand as she looks forlornly at the bustling traffic; they do not speak. The only sound audible is of one’s body upon the table, one’s own breath. Silence and void. (Text by Viet Le.)

 

The piece is a multi-screen, multi-location installation. Footages from various historical junctures of Taiwan’s history are brought into tension – Japanese colonial/imperial war propaganda, nationalist state-produced commercial cinema under martial law, and global art cinema in the 21st century. Though from seemingly different histori-

cal periods and political contexts, those images mimic, resonate and contend with one another in their shared cir­cuminsular movement around the Taiwan Island. On each screen at six different locations on Duke Campus, only a partial view of the entire circular movement of those images is visible, highlighting the incomplete nature of any decolonial project still at work.

This a collaborative work by Guo-Juin Hong, who is a native of Taiwan currently teaching at Duke University, with Sega Huang, Pei-Chyi Wan, and Ying-Shun Wang. Together, they have been a creative team since 1999 and are co-founders of Moving Shadow Studio based in Taiwan. Wan, Wang, and Huang all received their MFA in documentary filmmaking from the Taiwan National University of Fine Arts and their creative works include documentary and video installations.

Decolonial Diasporic Aesthetics: Black Europe Body Politics

Alanna Lockward

 

I have conceptualized the Diasporic as a specific approach within Decolonial Aesthetics with the aim of theorizing artistic practices in the context of the Black and African Diaspora in Europe. With this it is my intention to address the singularity of Black experience within the wider scope of this field. Some of these practices are a byprod­uct of the transatlantic trade of enslaved people from the African continent, as it is the case in those created from the perspective of the Caribbean, the US and Latin America. Decolonial Diasporic Aesthetics also focuses in those discourses from the African Diaspora not directly related to this trade but which discuss and challenge the very notions of “primitiveness”, “ethnicity”, “tribalism”, “animism” and so on, that made this inhuman commercial enterprise possible and “justifiable” by means of exposing the acceptance (or not) of Black European citizenship today.

For the exhibition at Duke, I presented a preview of BE.BOP 2012 – BLACK EUROPE BODY POLITICS7a symposium/workshop centered on Black European citizenship in connection to recent moving image and performative practices, that will take place in Berlin in from May 5th to 7th. The time-based positions discussed at this meeting have been selected because they contest (racialized) fantasies on European citizenship. By means of analyzing these narratives of resistance, BE.BOP 2012aims at facilitating a long-term exchange between specialists and time-based art practitioners of different spheres of the Black European Diaspora. The symposium-workshop will be accompanied by a screening program and its content will be published in the form of an online publication, creating therefore the basis of a visible platform on this field in order to contribute to current debates on citizenship in the public sphere globally. As the first edition of a series entitled OTHER EUROPE BODY POLITICS, BE.BOP 2012will be entirely dedicated to the Black European Diaspora. Future editions will also include other racialized subjects in Europe in the same format.

At the Duke exhibition, the video-art pieces of Teresa María Díaz Nerio and Jeannette Ehlers were installed next to each other on a corner. On the right side, Sara Bartman articulated in her motionless silence the representation of Black individuals as Non-citizens, or to be more accurate: Non-humans; and on the left side, Jeannette Ehlers revived Black ancestry in Denmark through Voudoun music and dance.

 

 

 

The performance and video work Hommage à Sara Bartmanelucidates the life, death and afterlife of a South African Khoisan woman who was exhibited in England and Paris at the beginning of the 20th century as part of a popular enter­tainment industry of freak shows, menageries, theatres and pleasure gardens. The fascination biolo­gists found in Khoisan women’s genitalia, tablier or elongated labia, that accompanies the large buttocks or steatopygia was indeed one of the reasons why Sara Bartman, under the iconic name “Hottentot Venus”, was kept as an object at the Musée de l’Homme in Paris. Her skeleton, cast of her body, brain and geni­talia were exposed until the 1970s when feminists’ protests against her display succeeded; in 1995, Nelson Mandela requested the repatriation of her remains, which only found peace in 2003. She is the only human being that appears in the Histoire naturelle des mammifères,being surrounded by different kinds of monkeys and apes. The work touches on the fact that Blackness has a history of being performed in a denigratory way, the artist remains motionless suggesting a helpless state of objectification of the Black female body, raped, exhibited and voyeuristically illustrated through­out the centuries as another trophy for “Man”. The focus of the piece remains in the fact that the audience is expected to “see themselves seeing“ and not in playing to recognize or not the humani­­ty of Sara Bartman. She is acknowledging herself in that historical context, only that this time she doesn’t bow, doesn’t look, doesn’t dance, doesn’t play a stringed instrument, she just doesn’t.

 

 

 

The invisibility of Black ancestry in Denmark connected to its crucial role in the Transatlantic Trade and in colonial domination in the Caribbean is challenged by Jeannette Ehlers (2009). Through digitally manipulated footage this poetic re-enactment exposes Danish accumulation of capital with filigree technical dexterity. In the video Black Magic at the White House,Ehlers is performing a Voudoun dance as an evanescent spirit inside one of the beautiful rooms of Marien­borg, a magnificent white building that has a strong connection to the Triangular Trade. It was built, in 1744, as a summer residence for Commander Olfert Fischer who sold it afterwards to Peter Windt, a merchant who earned most of his wealth from the slave and sugar trade, and who even brought enslaved peoples to this landmark residency. Several other traders of that period later owned and put their stamp on Marienborg which today still plays an important role in Denmark as the official residence of the country’s prime minister.

Citizenship has been proclaimed as a “universal” right for all white, Christian and Western individuals. This moving image selection brought into focus the permanence of the historical legacy of racism in our current understanding of who has the right to be where and for how long with poetic defiance and relentless accuracy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography:

Lockward, Alanna. Black German Diaspora and the Decolonial Option,  2010. http://alannalockward.wordpress. com/black-german-diaspora/

Mignolo, Walter. Citizenship, Knowledge and the Limits of Humanity. Published by Oxford University Press. Courtesy of Project Muse, 2006. http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/ journals/american_literary_history/ v018/18.2mignolo.pdf.

Mignolo, Walter. Delinking: The Rhetoric of Modernity, the Logic of Coloniality and the Grammar of De-Coloniality. Durham, Duke University Press, 2008. http://townsendcenter.berkeley.edu/pubs/De-linking_ Mignolo.pdf.

Racism, Europe, Latin America, Memory, Queer (2011)

Marina Grzˇnic’

 

The exhibition analyses the new coloniality effected through capital investments, constructions of hegemonic knowledge, and borders erections. Actually nothing is tender regarding the borders, regarding the freedom of enunciation, regarding memory cleansing and its re-appropriation. The question is posed clearly by Hoffner in “hir” work: “Should I play the pervert for each of you? WHO has to be the animal, the migrant, the pervert, and who will be the masters, citi­zens and artists?” This line of separation is, as stated by Angela Mitropolous, “tender, legal” precisely as it is also murderous in its spectrality on one side, and being judicially hegemonic and colonial on the other side.

Modernity in Eastern Europe has been and is still passing through capitalist visions of modernity that are seen only as a historical repetition of Western modernism in the local (Eastern) framework. What we have “managed to bring to the present” is the old and dead conceptualism from the 1960s/1970s, now rediscovered in the former Eastern European context, but not as a political demand to change the ossified institutions of art, but as an individual “existential ethos”. Therefore, the social space of socialism is nullified through Western individualism; Rambo politics is repeated in the former Eastern Europe through the figure of the existential conceptual artist that fights for freedom in the totalitarian society.

Some of the processes of the “vanishing Eastern Europe” parallel the Latin American situation. Instead of recognizing larger social, self-organizational and communal possibilities for new politics, Latin America was “sold”, sacrificed to the infrastructure of a capitalist mode of production. With such a move, a critical power was taken from communities and a passage from public to private took place. In such a way, a perverse process of capitalist modernization took place, one that expropriated the social space and nullified indige­nous revolutions and other systems of knowledge.

 

 

 

 

Ana Hoffner’s re-enact­ment of Bruce Nauman’s video performance Walking in an exaggerated manner in the parameters of a square, from 1968, is an attempt to re-articulate the relation­ship of body and space into the present time. Nauman’s movement along the perimeters of a square takes place within the closed boundaries of his studio and is only acces­sible for the audience through the video medium. Using the example of sexual-political movements absorbed in neo-liberal capitalism and brought to a standstill, Hoff­ner makes it visible how a self-explained capitalistic and hetero-normative centre overspills its edges and undermines the possibility of oppo­sition.

Ana Hoffner is performance artist working in the fields of queer and migratory/(post)colonial politics. Her performance practice aims to explore elements of re-enactment and intervention in order to articulate an artistic political form for the present. Currently s/he is working on homo-normativity and queerness as sexual politics of European unity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plan Rosebud 1: Crime Scene focuseson the recent social debate around “The Historical Memory Act” in Spain, and the current relations between the sites of memory and the politics of memory that are produced through cultural industries.Citizen Kane in Orson Welles’s 1941 film is a story revealed through the research of a newspaper reporter seeking to solve the mystery of the newspaper magnate Kane’s, dying word: “Rosebud”.

 

 

 

Plan Rosebud 2: Calling the Ghostsfocuses specifically on the Spanish Transition period and on its cultural context, as well as on the last years of the British labor period in the 1970s and the arrival in power of the conservative leader Margaret Thatcher. It tries to dismantle, through analysis of some specific cases of social movements and productions of popular culture, the idea of Transition as a pact among elites. Last but not least, there is the cycle of struggles and the possibility of appropriation of our own bodies and subjectivities that was brought by the different feminist movements and the different move­ments of gays and lesbians during the decades of the Transition and Pre-Thatcherism.

María Ruido works as a filmmaker, researcher and cultural producer. She is a teacher at the Department of Media at Barcelona University, and has published many texts about representation and its contextual relationships.

 

 

 

 

 

ESPIRAL: A Dance of Deathengages with the domineering intrusion of the Austrian banks that profoundly affected the transitional processes in East Europe, and operates on multiple levels: dance, aesthetics, language; capital expansion; Austria, Eastern Europe, South America. The video adopts and re-interprets the work of the German choreographer Kurt Jooss, inventor of political ballet in Germany during the Weimar Republic, and the rise of National Socialism. The work uses a text by Hannes Hoffbauer on Austrian financial imperialism, in an attempt to de/link art, culture, capital, and thus the role of art in neoliberal capitalist societies. (Ivan Jurica)

Born in Salzburg, Austria,Isa Rosenberger lives and works in Vienna. She studied Visual Arts at the Academy of Applied Arts in Vienna and completed postgraduate studies at the Jan van Eyck-Akademie, Maastricht. She exhibited widely: Shrinking Cities,Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York; Donaumonarchie,Billboart Gallery, Bratislava; Geschichte(n) vor Ort,project in public space, Volkertmarkt, Vienna; Schrumpfende Städte 2 – Interventionen,Galerie für zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The work is based in Bogotá, Colombia, where in November 2010 a project Esthetics of Decolonialitywas realized. The project was a platform to develop a video film that refers to explicit and implicit antagonisms and differences in global capitalism. What we call democracy is actually a state of emergency. We can achieve a utopia today but it is called globalization, it is called late capitalism. Therefore it is a kind of failure all around us and less thoughts of resistance or a critical action based on utopia! “Underdevelopment”, which is today the main matrix of coloniality, receives harsh criticism. “Underdevelopment” indicates the colonial policy for under­mining new paradigms of trans­forming the social and political space.

 

 

 

In August 2000, I started the projectLooking for a Husband with EU Passport. After publishing an “ad” with this title, I exchanged over

 

500 letters with numerous applicants from around the world. Following correspondence over six months with a German man, Klemens G., I arranged our first meeting as a public performance in the field in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade in 2001. One month later, we officially married in New Belgrade. With the international marriage certificate and other required documents, I applied for a visa. After two months, I got a single-entry family unification visa for Germany, limited to three month, so I moved to Düsseldorf, where, on the basis of my next visa, I lived officially for three and a half years.

In spring of 2005, my three-year permit expired, and instead of granting me a permanent residence permit, the authorities granted me only a two-year visa, since I didn’t have a family tax declaration. Subsequently, K. G. and I got divorced, and on the occasion of the opening of my Integration Project Office installation at Project room Gallery 35 in Berlin on 1 July 2005, I organized Divorce Party.

 

 

 

 

These images are fragments of San Cristóbal de las Casas and Mexico City, fragments that bear witness to the encounter between multiple hands and multiple times. They are the offspring of plurality.

Since its inception photography has been a key tool in the modern appropriation, production and reproduction of the visible. The task of a critical photography is neither to capture the uniqueness of a moment nor to fix the perfect geographies of reason, of architecture, of perspective like much of modern photography.

These photographs want to be images that speak of the other, of them, of us. They question our visual confinement, the geometries of modern life, the coloniality of the visual. In drawing the margins of the visible, they show the finitude and frailty of the present. In them the present is received as efflorescence and withdrawal; they reveal its borders and deprive it from its semblance of totality.

Presence appears as a veil, under which the past is a living force and a shared territory.

 

Untitled, 60 ×40 cm prints on semi-mate paper mounted on aluminum

 

 

The 1810–1910–2010: Independence–Revolution–Narcochingadazo(Narcoclusterfuck) is a project that invited initially participants to create collaborative spaces that critically engage with the various national and international celebrations of inde­pendence happening across Latin America in 2010 and 2011. Under the Mérida Declaration (June 2009) which resulted from an automatic writing exercise with Maya communities in Yucatán (MX) and its multiple readings, re-readings, translations, and transformations from Maya to Spanish to English to Creole, the call was made. Another general call to act “against the oligarchies and their official celebrations” was released in Bogotá (Colombia) in July 2009. The first stage of the project (May to December 2009) was thus mostly dedicated to establishing connections with individuals and social groups who wanted to produce events, actions, and interventions during 2010–2011. All of the interventions and pieces were autonomously organized and produced in each location; many of them tactically disguised as official ones, some of them covert, others public.

 

 

 

 

 

President Juan Manuel Santos meets with indigenous Kogui & Wayu leaders and the Sierra Nevada on August 7, 2010. Some weeks after the government ratify the Amnesty Act, Restitution of Land, and Agrarian.

 

 

The legal initiative named Production and Marketing of Drugs for Use in Health and Recreation (ProCoFaRe) frees from conviction and persecution the producers, distributors, and con­sumers. The ministries of economy of both countries seek ways to establish markets and rev­enues to public budgets. Public prevention campaigns and health funds get historic funds, unparalleled in the Western world. Southern presidents celebrate this great achieve­ment and the end of neocolo­nial presence in the continent; they said “yes, the right-wing can”. Washington and the DEA have not yet made public any response. Drones are prepared to monitor the southern borders.

 

 

 

The logo of the Organization of American Inter-States is the central element of the institutional identity of this bizarre organization, the counter ver­sion of the OAS. The OA(I)S logo incor­po­rates and represents its 36 member states (counting Cuba) through their flags, arranged in an arc with ten flag­poles at the bottom and framed by a circle and in the negative of the spectrum. The logo symbolizes the reversal of the policies faced by the Americas. The image also reflects the role of the OA(I)S will take in assisting member states to counter act the priorities given by international development organiza­tions that try to engaged in neo-colonial policies in the hemisphere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is a tri-color flag consisting of three equal horizontal bands colored red, black and green. The flag was originally created as the official banner of the African Race by the members of the Universal Negro Improve­ment Association and African Communities League (UNIA). For this new version, the reversion of the OAS seal and the introduc­tion of the non-participant countries and the adoption of the UNIA flag juxtaposed two institutional dimensions in the creation of a one supra-diasporic imagined territory.

 

 

This emblem underlines the relationship between indigenous aesthetics and modern abstraction (pixels). It is based the Kuna (indigenous group of Panama) concept Abya-Yala that means, “land in its full maturity“, and was/is used by the Panamanian Kuna people to refer to the American continent since before the Columbus arrival, the visual representation comes from the Wiphala, a square emblem that used to represent the Inca Empire (Tawantin Suyu) and each of its former regions (suyus). It is also used in the Andes to represent the seven colors of the rainbow (the Cuzco Whipala). Additionally, the Wiphala flag was also used by Túpac Katari and the Túpac Katari Guerrilla Army; today is part of the Bolivar official national flag.

 

 

 

This emblem memorializes the past and future of resistance, an alphabet to imagine many organizations and groups past and future (Zapatista Army of National Liberation, Zapatista National Liberation Front, etc.) through the reinvention of language. Based on the Tzeltal, Tzotzil and many other indigenous languages in the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the cut, from the wound. In Hotel/Pana­má,the practice of a decolonial aesthetics is a pro­cess of unfolding layers of time, space and story. The Panama Canal is the cinematic field for this engagement. “The Land Divided, the World United”: This is the phrase that adorns the seal of the Panama Canal. Whose land? Whose world? The narratives of the Canal are multi­valent: it is a site of contestation, of coloniality and de-coloniality. The land is continually divided, and the world united, across multiple bodies, territories, time-spaces. My body is there, as is my mother’s. Our narratives collide and co-exist with other mothers and lost chil­dren. The hotel in the title refers to a single administration building, which became the School of the Americas, and is now a resort hotel. In this edifice we find apparitions and shadows. Fragments are gather­ed and reordered to build other knowledges, a decolonial symbolics. There are many horizons and beings. We see and hear them together.

 

 

 

 

Synopsis. Nomad Dreamsis an experimental interactive documentary, game and social performance interro­gating the colonial mecha­nisms of the virtual and the physical results of irregular population movements taking place at the fixed iron wall constructed across the US-Mexico border. Exploring aiesthesis decolonially, the project proposes an intermedia approach where the viewer/spectator and its sensorial experience become an important axis in the construction of the narrative deployed on the video screen, the com­puter interface, the game and the social interaction. As the social performance takes place, the participants must readjust the sensorial, especially the tactile, the sense indicating the way in which we place ourselves within the inhabited space that is already marked by coloniality. Decolonial aes­thetics function as corporal strategies, directed toward the sensorial mechanisms where interpretation, knowledge, stereo­types and memories framed by coloniality of knowledge and of being have accumulated and now must be ques­tioned. Decolonial aesthetics invites the spectator to unlearn what he/she learned, to reposition the constructions of the self and to unveil the imperial mechanisms of knowledge and allow social and personal agency, as well as the construction of non-Western subjectivities.

Inspired by the writing of Gloria Anzaldua, Edouard Glissant, the astronomical and geometrical foundations of the Mayas and the cinematic practices of the Argentinean media collective Tercer Cine where viewers are constantly asked to discuss the issues presented on the screen, Nomad Dreamsinterrelated the life of an undocu­mented Latino immigrant, the experience of transplanted people, and its impact in a transnational city such as Los Angeles, as well as in the territory left behind. Coloniality shape the life of the migrants and therefore decolonial aesthetics allows the project to encompass a variable geometry such as the Maya to decenter from chronological history, linearity and closed circular structures, opening the project to a multidirectional imaginary closer to experience of the Lati­nos immigrants who have become powerful agents of decolonial transformation.

 

Narrative Treatment. Nomad Dreamsfocus in the different stages of irregular population movement and in the new spatial logic that is specific to the Information Age where cities and urban centers face a transformation highlighted by an increasing migration from rural areas and other countries. The project is divided in seven acts: The Dream, Crossing, Connecting, Reversion, Detour, Deportation and Passing. Rather than creating a dark space for viewing, the project simulates an enclosed territory whose entrance denotes the many mechanisms taking place at a geopolitical border.

The fast access to information via the Internet, cable television and cellular phones offer a series of images, texts and audiovisual materials, a contribution to the formation, within local territories, of the desire to seek the American Dream. Next to theses technologies, we had seen the proliferation of many surveillance technologies employed to limit the access to the border. The new anti-immigration laws and the survival conditions in which the undocumented live, have forced us to interrogate the imaginary of the future immigrant, as well as the real conditions of the local territories and the effects of globalization in a city like Mérida.

After producing several single channel and new media works, I have developed a model of interactive cinema that must readjust the sensorial, especially the tactile. Paul Virilio argues, the tactile is related to movement. Nomad Dreamsestablishes new dimensionalities with a type of intermedia experimental cinema that I have envisioned to invite the user/viewer to activate their experience and interpretation of the work.

With this project, I would like to call attention to three main situa­tions: the decolonization of the ideology of the visual, the emancipation of the sensorial intelligence and the need for understanding the geometrical dimensionalities of the art of this century; the under­stand­ing of migration and its relation to movement, speed and variability; and the recognition of other forms of creative expressions that are not, necessarily, object based.

The expansive nature of this project (media performance, screen projection and sound mixing) allows for its implementation in many locations such as parks, museums, media festivals, community centers, as well as outdoor locations.

 

 

Performers: Dalída María Benfield, Miguel Rojas-Sotelo, Raúl Moarquech Ferrera-Balanquet, Ilse Morfin, Noe Tamayo, Marpi Jiménez, Armando Pacheco

Production/Directing: Raúl Moarquech Ferrera-Balanquet

Technical Production: Miguel Rojas-Sotelo, Noe Tamayo

Programming: Santiago Pérez Alfaro, Ricardo Loria, Jim Fields

Photography: Raúl Moarquech Ferrera-Balanquet

Graphic Design/Infographics: Elías Fallas

Script/Video Editing: Raúl Moarquech Ferrera-Balanquet

Original Music: Robin Suárez

Sound Mixing: Amaury León

Assistant Director: Armando Pacheco

Production Assistant: Fabiola Farías Barragán

Documentation: José Luís García

Printing Services: El Gremio

This project had been partially funded by Dirección de Cultura del H. Ayuntamiento de Mérida 2010–2012. Laboratorio Cartodigital. Escuela Superior de Artes de Yucatán

 

Prologue

These are just a number of possible entries to an open archive of decolonial artistic practices, experienced in the territories of former colonial powers, and in other territories subjected to the dark side of imperial globalization.

A general catalog is in production in Colombia collecting the memo­ries and the other half of the artists participating in the first version of the exhibit. Five volumes on decolonial aesthetics from a global per­spec­tive are now under preparation by the collective. One of our goals, which goes along these lines, stands that in order to re-estab­lish ways of knowing, a street muse­um(s) and the university of the field (the country, the folk, the farmland, the land) may be erected where the medieval and burgeoning institutions of knowledge used to rule. Soon another way to know and experience will be able to be shared, also in the hegemonic spaces of the uni­versity and the museum...

 

September 2011

 

Notes:

1. �See a brief history of the group at:               http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grupo_modernidad/colonialidad.

2. �Walter Mignolo’s text “Coloniality: The Dark Side of Modernity” was published in the catalog of the exhi­bit Modernologies. In the mean­time Mignolo had finished a manuscript on the issue now in print. See: Walter Mignolo, „The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options“, Latin America Otherwise (October 2011), Durham, Duke University Press, p. 389.

3. �The text presented by Enwezor was titled “Specious Modernity: Speculations on the End of Postcolonial Utopia”. The session was chaired by London-based writer, curator and artist J. J. Charlesworth under the title “Prologues”. See “Prologue 1: Altermodern”; a video debate on:     http://channel.tate.org.uk/media/31067749001.

4. �For more information, see www.macba.cat.

5. �About the Triennial see: http://www.tate.org.uk/britain/exhibitions/altermodern/default.shtm.

6. �For more information on the debates around “Esteticas decoloniales“ in Bogotá see: http://esferapublica.org/infoesfera/?p=2460, and on Calle 14: http://gemini.udistrital.edu.co/comunidad/grupos/calle14/index.php.

7. �http://blackeuropebodypolitics.wordpress.com/