Lorenz: Summer Semester 2012

Decolonizing Art (1): Strange Encounters

 PhD in Practice Module Theories/Methodologies, 2 Semester hours, ECTS 5
Number of Seminar Participants: 15
Room: DG12
The term ‚research’ is inextricably linked to European imperialism and colonialism. The word itself, ‚research’, is probably one of the dirtiest words in the indigenous world’s vocabulary. (Linda Tuhiwai Smith)
How is it possible to pursue research in the art field against the background of (post)colonialism? Should we conceive our research projects and their publication as a “translation” with all its hurdles? Or, if we follow Sara Ahmed’s critique that the “stranger” does not come into being as an absence of knowledge, but that s_he is produced exactly as a category within knowledge, should we dismiss research and the production of knowledge altogether? Instead, Elizabeth Povinelli discusses her work with a woman from a native community as the establishment of a “queer sociality,” as a connection that is built on the basis of painful hierarchies and misunderstandings. Taking these considerations as a starting point, the idea of the seminar is to look for and discuss theoretical and artistic strategies of decolonization. We will take a close look at specific artworks and processes in the field of ‘artistic research,’ as well as at the research/art practices of the participants of the seminar.
Sara Ahmed, Strange Encounters – Embodied Others in Post-Coloniality, Routledge: London, New York 2000. Particularly Chapter 3: Knowing Strangers, p. 55-74
Elizabeth A. Povinelli, The Empire of Love – Toward a Theory of Intimacy, Genealogy and Carnality, Duke University Press: Durham and London, 2006
Elizabeth A. Povinelli, The part that has no part: Enjoyment, Law and Loss, in GLQ 17:2-3, Duke University Press: Durham and London, 2011 p. 288-308
Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing – Research and Indigenous Peoples, ZED Books,;London and New York, 1999
Shawn Michelle Smith, Photography on the Color Line, W.E.B. Du Bois, Race, And Visual Culture, Duke University Press: Durham and London, 2004
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