The Global, the Post-Abyssal and the Cosmopolitical: Casting a Creative Post-Underdeveloped, Post-Peripheral, Tropical Eye

Dohmen, Renate (2018). The Global, the Post-Abyssal and the Cosmopolitical: Casting a Creative Post-Underdeveloped, Post-Peripheral, Tropical Eye. In: Di Paola, Modesta ed. Cosmopolitics and Biopolitics. Ethics and Aesthetics in Contemporary Art. Art, Globalization, Interculturality. Barcelona: Barcelona University Press, pp. 77–94.

Abstract

Driven by the flow of global capital the much-cited ‘global turn’ in contemporary art has expanded art markets and introduced a degree of geographic decentring, allowing for new connectivities. The challenge is to harness the potentiality offered by this new proximity for the incomplete project of decolonisation and to generate a future of positive difference. Taking my cue from Boaventura de Sousa Santos’ notion of the abyssal cartography of the modern, and his call for the creation of post-abyssal epistemologies, the discussion focuses on the exclusion of indigeneity in contemporary art explored in view of Indian floor designs from Tamil Nadu and draws on Deleuze-Guattarean post-human aesthetics to do so. A further argument revolves around questions of method and the proposition that as artists are responding to this scenario, developing creative strategies to address these challenges, art’s writerly ‘other’ is lagging behind, generating a mismatch between new aesthetic departures and the staid models of creating meaning employed in disseminating such projects. I propose that a greater creative co-implication of art and art writing constitutes a key, untapped dimension for engendering the positive potentialities the global harbours in response to present day multi-directional transcultural linkages that exceed existing narratives of art and push up against the Eurocentric dualisms of objective and subjective, fact and fiction, the verbal-textual and the visual-aesthetic.

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