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Reading group discussion post

Stuart Hall Library reading group discussion post.
Thursday 9th December 2010

Vidal, Carlos. ‘Globalization or endless fragmentation? Through the shadow of contradictions,’ in Gerardo Mosquera and Jean Fisher (eds.) Over here: International perspectives on art and culture

Thanks to everyone who managed to attend last week’s reading group discussion. For those unable to attend, an audio recording of the discussion is now available here
We appreciate that many of you were unable to attend and that some of you also had difficulties in obtaining a copy of the text. A copy of the text is always made available in the library, if you have any problems accessing the text during library opening hours then please do contact us and we can make alternative arrangements for you to access a copy.

Key questions for discussion

  • What did you think of the text?
  • Carlos Vidal addresses some of the fundamental concerns of visual representation. What do you think of the way he develops his argument?
  • P.32 Vidal gives examples of artists who are redefining “ethnocentric representation”[which I think is a questionable phrase. Is most Western art not ethnocentric too?]: Lygia Clark, Helena Almeida, Mona Hatoum, Jimmie Durham, Francis Alys, Gabriel Orozco, Cildo Meirles, Santiago Sierra, Jac Leirner, David Hammons, Shirin Neshat and Abbas Kiarostami, Hou Hsiao. Are there commonalities between their works?
  • P.32 Vidal says that postcolonialism has been instrumental in redefining categories in aesthetics and politics such as ‘culture’, ‘vanguard’, ‘ideology’…’identity’, and ‘nation’. Do you think this is true?
  • P.32 The question of difference is approached when referring to the artists, but is then sidestepped, p.34, citing Badiou, who seems to be advocating a form of ‘universalism’ and rejecting the commodification of difference. How does this affect the development of a ‘cosmopolitan policy’?
  • P.35 What do you think of the idea of ‘representation as communication’? (Vidal argues that, ‘[…] without doubt it is […] one of the inevitable faces of the reality of the world.’)
  • P.40 Walter Benjamin quote: ‘Truth is an intentionless state of being, made up of ideas. The proper approach to it is not therefore one of intention and knowledge, but rather a total immersion and absorption in it. Truth is the death of intention.’

Leave your comments

We would like to use this blog as an online space to continue some of the ideas and discussions from the reading group. Please do use the comments section below to leave your feedback or interact with some of the ideas discussed in the audio recording.Leave your comments
We would like to use this blog as an online space to continue some of the ideas and discussions from the reading group. Please do use the comments section below to leave your feedback or interact with some of the ideas discussed in the audio recording.

Next Meeting

Our next reading group will take place Thursday 13th January 2011. We will be reading Boyce Davies, Carole. ‘From “post-coloniality” to uprising textualities: Black women writing the critique of Empire’ in Black women, writing and identity: migrations of the subject. Routledge, 1994.

To reserve your place please contact us library@iniva.org We are also keen to hear your suggestions for texts for next year’s reading group. If you would like to suggest books, articles, papers for discussion please leave your feedback in the comments below or email us.