Spatial fragmentation is the fundamental condition of Palestinian life, whether under occupation, or under siege, or in the global dispersal that has been the fate of refugees, denied their right of return to historic Palestine. Palestinian artist Emily Jacir’s work inhabits this space and time of fragmentation, committed to the redemption of the fragments of violently broken histories. Working in the mode of assemblage and installation, she pieces together into constellations of memory and correspondences the overlooked objects and damaged archives that bear historical memory and future hope. This article explores this dialectic of fragmentation as a response to the conditions of settler colonialism in Palestine that draws lines of solidarity with other sites of colonialism and resistance. The article focuses on her recent site-specific installation, ‘Notes for a Cannon’ (2016) at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, which explores the intervention of British and Israeli colonial regimes into temporality itself.
This article aims to provide the first comprehensive overview of the activities of the visual arts community active during the siege of Sarajevo (1992–1995), focusing on the shifts in practical and discursive artistic practice as well as on developments in curatorial practice. While most studies have focused on individual instances of cultural production, this article proposes a more extensive analysis of the visual arts as a whole, building a foundation for a study of changes in civilian life in response to the siege through the prism of the work of artists. This allows for the exploration of how everyday dangers of prolonged conflict heavily impacted the local art scene, encouraging the use of new materials and discursive framing based on the realities of war, and ushered in new and radical ways of integrating a traditional artistic community with the broader urban public.
This article explores how the large-scale performance Bombing of Poems by the Chilean art collective Casagrande becomes a non-event after the rejection of its realisation in the sky of Dresden, Germany. Based on ethnographic methods and an engaged scholarship approach of the author, as well as primary and secondary sources, the article analyses how the poetics of the performance and its open-close condition unfolds a contested space with content yet to come. I argue that the Bombing of Poems transforms into the reverse of a military strategy that actualises the victimisation of the citizens and the urban space destroyed in the past. In this context, the conflict of dropping poems over Dresden rests in the performance as a space of remembrance of the air-bombardment, but also in the more convoluted controversies lying behind the burning and destruction of the city in 1945.
In October 2016, the Fiscal Monitor of the IMF issued a report which stated that the global debt ‘is currently at an all-time high’. Both before and after the crisis of 2007–2008, the levels of debt have simply exploded. No wonder, then, that a lot of contemporary artists have responded to this unprecedented historical situation. In this article, I focus on the artist duo Claire Fontaine, through three key concepts: debt, depression, strike. Firstly, I analyse the ways in which the artist intervenes in the disastrous debt situation in the southern part of the Euro zone. Secondly, I argue that Claire Fontaine is concerned with the psychopathological consequences of the debt economy, in particular with the political problem of depression. Lastly, I show how the work of Claire Fontaine anatomises depression not only as a passive symptom, but also as a paradoxical form of active resistance to the neoliberal debt regime, ie as a human strike.
This article explores the work of contemporary artist Nicholas Mangan, whose film and sculptural practice is concerned with capitalist extraction and colonial exploitation in Australia and the South Pacific. It addresses the amnesiac nature of Australian contemporary art, which tends to distance itself from the country’s problematic history of intensive mineral extraction and violent settler colonialism. Framing Mangan’s practice within the Australian context, the article analyses two of the artist's most relevant projects to date: ‘Nauru — Notes from a Cretaceous World’ (2009–2010) and ‘Progress in Action’ (2013). In these films and sculptural installations, I argue, the quarry emerges as a space of colonial violence, but also one of potential creativity. The article concludes with an assessment of Mangan’s work in relation to the critical debate on the emergence of New Materialist philosophies in contemporary art. In particular, the article considers Mangan’s art in relation to the Marxist-post humanism advanced by McKenzie Wark.
THIRD TEXT is published in print and online by Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group