In Medias Res
“In Medias Res: Visiting Nalini Malani’s Retrospective Exhibition, New Delhi, 2014”, Qui Parle: Critical Humanities and Social Sciences”, 24,1: 31-62, Fall/Winter 2015
I am more and more interested in the notion that what we do, as academic researchers and artist researchers, is always already part of something else, something we didn’t even consciously know about. Being in the middle of things - times, places, institutions, politics - is just part of what being human is. This is a first installment of my book project on the shadow plays of Indian artist Nalini Malani - see Book Projects.
La Maison Rouge
“Eccentricity in Order to Re-centre: La Maison Rouge”, Journal of Curatorial Studies, 4, 214-236, 2015
I have followed the developments in the Maison Rouge, a then-new exhibition space in Paris based on a private collection. They do exciting exhibitions, and I have analyzed their policy and practice.
Reflection: Memory and Storytelling in Proust
“Reflection: Memory and Storytelling in Proust”, 220-227 in Memory: a History, edited by Dmitri Nikulin. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2015
Too short - the article was requested for a short slot on a historical volume on memory.
Power to the Imagination!
“Power to the Imagination!” in Krisis, special issue Perspectives for the New University, 2, 68-76, 2015
This article is a revision of a lecture I gave in the framework of the protest movement in Amsterdam, last Spring. A trip down memory lane!
From Documentary to Fiction and Back
“From Documentary to Fiction and Back” (with Michelle Williams Gamaker) … (Ellipsis) WSOA Art Journal, 2015
For the new South-African Online journal we wrote an overview article about our entire filmic oeuvre. Just when circumstances forced Michelle and me to go our separate ways, this was a nice moment to look back. To read the article, see (here)[[http://www.ellipses.org.za/project/from-documentary-to-fiction-and-back/]
An island of madness
“An island of madness: the social force of mental fortresses – a visual essay” (with Michelle Williams Gamaker) Transnational Cinemas, 1-15, 2015 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20403526.2015.1071040
This is my first “visual essay”. Together with Michelle we composed a selection of photographs from the Madness Project (A Long History of Madness) with short bits of text interpreting the photographs.
The Last Frontier
“The Last Frontier Migratory Culture, Video, and Exhibiting without Voyeurism.” In The International Handbooks of Museum Studies: Museum Transformations, edited by Annie E. Coombes and Ruth B. Phillips, vol. 4, 415-438. London: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Here I continue my analysis of migratory culture. In the specific context of museum display, migration requires reflection on visibility, the risks of seeing as one-sided, and the potential deployment of display to engage a dialogue rather than solicit voyeuristic pleasure. Again, an exhibition of my own work is the empirical basis of the analysis.
In Your Face
“In Your Face: Migratory Aesthetics.” In The Culture of Migration: Politics, Aesthetics and Histories, edited by Sten Pulz Moslund, Anne Ring Petersen and Moritz Schramm, 147-170. London: I.B.Tauris, 2015
At the insistence of the volume editors I reviser my earlier (2012) article on facing. This version, like the previous one, is a dialogue with my video installation Nothing is Missing. Here, I concentrate the reflections around the concept of facing as the most effective tool to come to terms with migratory culture in a positive way.
“Zin zien.” Vooys 33, 2, 17-27, 2015
The journal Vooijs came out of an initiative of students of Dutch literature and has grown into a serious, mature magazine where questions of literary scholarship are discussed. I admire the energy and intelligence of the editors, which is why I cannot resist when they ask me for a contribution. The special issue in which this article appeared is devoted to revisiting the theories of literature that emerged in the general endeavor to make the Humanities more methodologically responsible, and see how such tools can respond to the contemporary world. Of course, I discuss narratology.The article is in Dutch.
Im Wirbel der Zeiten.
“Im Wirbel der Zeiten. Lob des Anachronismus.” Sind alle Denker Traurig? Fallstudien zum melancholischen Grund des Schöpferischen in Asien und Europa, Günter Blamberger, Sidonie Kellerer, Tanja Klemm und Jan Söffner (ed.). Köln, Morphomata, 63-92, 2015
This article was written in the context of a fellowship year in Köln, Germany, in the “Wissenschaftcolleg” (research institute) Morphomata devoted to the question of the persistence and transformation of forms. It takes the concept of melancholy to Dürer’s famous print to question the usual interpretations of melancholia as well as of the print. True to the brief of the Colleg, I take the formal aspects of the print as a starting point. Staging a dialogue between Freud and Dürer, I reverse the chrono-logic and examine how Dürer “speaks back” to Freud. I also bring in contemporary views of depression.
“Documenting What? Auto-Theory and Migratory Aesthetics”. A Companion to Contemporary Documentary Film, edited by Alexandra Juhasz and Alisa Lebow, Oxford, UK: Wiley Blackwell, 2015, 124-144
In this article I discuss issues of the ethics of documentary-making from within my own practice. The essay, thus, also proposes on the side how it is possible to reflect on one’s own practice without falling into self-indulgence and narcissism. The analysis concerns some of my documentaries on migration and focuses on the dialogic nature of documentary making. The “what?” question of the titel leads to the relational aspects of the process, rather than the empirical situation of the people I don’t like to call “subjects”.
The Time It Takes
“The Time It Takes”. In How to Construct a Time machine, edited by Marquard Smith, 34-49. London: MK Gallery 2015
Although this is technically a catalogue essay, I present it in this rubric because it is heavily theoretical. I don’t discuss the works in the exhibition at all. Instead, taking off from Christian Marclay’s famous 2010 installation The Clock I discuss time and the image, and alternatives to the bossiness of clock time.
Always Too Long
“Always Too Long: My Short Film Experience”. Empedocles: European Journal for the Philosophy of Communication, special issue “Short Film Experience”, edited by Pepita Hesselberth and Carlos M. Roos. 5, 1&2, 13-18, 2015
Obviously, the editors asked for short articles, to match the topic. I discuss our difficulties in bringing across, in a short, the concept of “emotional capitalism” that underlies our film Madame B
“Filming Madness: A Conversation with Mieke Bal and Françoise Davoine”, 297-318 in LIstening to Trauma: Conversations with Leaders in the Theory and Treatment of Catastrophic Experience. INterviews and photography by Cathy Caruth. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press
This in-depth interview was conducted by Cathy Caruth, one of the world’s leading theorists of trauma. Her authorship, and the participation of Françoise Davoine, author of the book we filmed, makes the interview special.
“Travel Companions”. The Ashgate Research Companion to Memory Studies, edited by Sionbhan Kattago, Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2014, 145-162
Although the cases I discuss are spin-offs from my two books on Salcedo and Ahtila respectively the request of the editor to address the generic title “Companion” in the articles gave the analysis an interesting different turn.
“Moving Images: Two-Way”. Interactive Contemporary Art: Participation in Practice, edited by Kathryn Brown, London: I.B. Tauris 2014, 17-26
In invitation to contribute to this book allowed me to do a bit of “auto-theory” - the process of art making and analyzing combined.
“Masterly Maxims”. (response to Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, An Aesthetic Education) PMLA vol. 129, number 3, May 2014, 491-497
The request for a commentary on Spivak’s new book made me rethink what I had written about her work in the final chapter of Travelling Concepts
“Interrcultural Curating”, Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, edited by Michael Kelly, vol. 2, 238-242, New York and Oxoford: Oxford University Press, 2014
“Peface”. Françoise Davoine, Mother Folly: a Tale. Stanford: Stanford University Press 2014, xiii-xxiv
Finally, the English translation of this masterpiece of “theoretical fiction” has appeared. In the e-book version clips from our film A Long History of Madness accompany each chapter.
“Mores leren”. Wat de verbeelding niet vermag! Essays bij het afscheid van Maaike Meijer. Onder redactie van Agnes Andewg en Lies Wesseling, 23-29. Nijmegen: Van Tilt, 2014. In this article, written in Dutch for a change! I complied by the volume editor’s brief to write about poetry, by selecting a children’s poem that has been important for me in my childhood. “Fairy Failure”, as it is titled in the English translation, by Annie M.G. Schmidt, uses humor, but the “lesson” of the poem - the moral of the fable is deeply ambivalent. I always remembered it fondly, and chose it get to the bottom of that fondness. It turned out during the writing that it is acutally a pretty awful enticement to conformity, not the rebellion often associated with Schmidt’s poems.
Stasis: How to See
“Stasis: How to See”, Trine Søndergaard, Stasis, Ostfilfern, Germany: Hatje Cantz, 7-24, 2013. This article is technically a catalogue essay (see that page for an image) I list it here as well because it turned out more substantial and more theoretical than it had been planned. I was so impressed by Søndergaard’s photography that I ended up writing about photography and ways of seeing more in general. I came up with the idea that invisibility can be a guide towards seeing “better”. I also discuss a few of the early twentieth century theorists of photography in relation to Søndergaard’s work.
Thinking in film
“Pensar em Filme”, Celeuma, special issue está tudo misturado, December 2013, read article here
First Memories and Second Thoughts
“First Memories and Second Thoughts.” Literature and the Bible: A Reader. Edited by Jo Carruthers, Mark Knight and Andrew Tate. London and New York: Routledge, 306-312, 2013
Scenography of Death: Figuration, Focalization, and Finding Out
“Scenography of Death: Figuration, Focalization, and Finding Out”, _Performance Research 18, 3: 179-186, June 2013 (with Michelle Williams Gamaker). Performance Research is an internationally widely read journal, and the invitation to contribute an article to their special issue “On Scenography” came just at the time that Michelle and I were getting a clear grip on our project Madame B.. We had just finished the big shoot in Finland, and the death scene had impressed us enormously. The context of this journal seemed the right place to reflect on what we were doing making this film and these installations. read article here (limited access)
Imaging Madness: Inter-ships
“Imaging Madness: Inter-ships” In/Print Issue 2, “Tricksters and Troubadours”, 52-70, June 2013. This article is the extended version of a lecture I gave at the Dublin Institute of Technology, at the occasion of the exhibition Facing It: Imaging Madness we held there in the Fall of 2011. The editor attended the lecture and subsequently asked me to publish it in their journal. In this article I focus especially on all the forms of inter-, from interdisciplinary to international, intermedial, to the inter-ship that is the intermediate state between madness and sanity where we all, in different ways, dwell, sometimes temporarily, sometimes permanently. It is part of my ongoing reflection on forms of difference and discrimination in contemporary society. read article here
Raconter en images: Flaubert Aujourd’hui
“Raconter en images: Flaubert Aujourd’hui” Lendemains: Revue Franco-Allemande. In this article I discuss how our video and film project Madame B attempts to be “loyal” to Flaubert’s particularly audio-visual manner of story-telling. The articles is part of a special section of the journal on narrative.
Buñuel’s Critique of Nationalism: A Migratory Aesthetic?
“Buñuel’s Critique of Nationalism: A Migratory Aesthetic?” A Companion to Luis Buñuel. Edited by Rob Stone and Daniel Gutiérrez-Albilla. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell’s, 116-137, 2013. The invitation to contribute to this volume was an opportunity to revisit the Spanish director’s films, many of which I had seen decades ago. I found them eerily different from the memories I had of them. And because I had worked on migratory aesthetics - the reason for the invitation - I wondered if, in Buñuel’s films, we have a prophetic reflection on this current topic, or if his preoccupation with nationalism and its discontents is something altogether different. I found both to be the case.
“Dezentrierung: Die Fragilitaet des Meisterns”. Ueber Pieter Friedl, herausegegeben von Dirk Snauwaert. Brussel: Wiels. 15-60, 2013
In fact, this is a recycling of an older article, originally published in the catalogue for an exhibition of Friedl’s work in MACBA, Barcelona. The context is so different that I don’t hesitate to consider it a new article. It is quite a feat on the part of Dirk Snaewaert, director of the extraordinary art center Wiels in Brussels, to start a book series meant for teaching, quite like the Anglo-american tradition of publishing “readers”. Instead of the lush coffee-table books that catalogs tend to be, this is a pocketbook format, with few, black-and-white illustrations and in-depth texts that analyse Friedl’s work, which is not always visually immediately understandable. It is “art that thinks”, as I like to call it - art that compels thought. In this case, on the non-mastery of the artist.
Affect and the Space We Share: Three Forms of Installation Art
“Affect and the Space We Share: Three Forms of Installation Art”. The Next Thing: Art in the Twenty-First Century. Edited by Pablo Baler. Madison, WIS: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 67-80, 2013
This article can be seen as a retrospective summary of my three books on political art. Only retrospectively did I realize to what extent the installation form binds the three bodies of art discussed in the books, otherwise so different. Between the common element of installation and the common element of the political potential of art, the bridge is, of course, the way each of the three artists insist on the need, in the contemporary world, to share space.
Not so Stupid
“Not so Stupid”. Parallax 19, 3: 50-69, 2013
A special issue on stupidity: I was not sure if I understood the assignment correctly, and I probably didn’t. But as it happens, Flaubert, the focus of my attention this entire year due to our video project Madame B, is also the master of stupidity. He uses the word regularly in his correspondence although not in his novels. Instead, there he stages it. My starting point in the article is the paradox of the Cretan liar: if everyone is stupid, how can the critic of stupidity be believable, since then, he, too, is inevitably stupid? I end up with a somewhat mitigated generalization on stupidity. read article here (limited access)
The Meaning of “C” in “C-MAP”
“The Meaning of ‘C’ in ‘C-MAP’”: Under this enigmatic title the museum of Modern Art posted my response to the C-MAP seminar in April 2013. C-MAP stands for Contemporary Modern Art Perspectives, and is a research group within the museum the members of which study possibilities for the museum to be more active internationally. I am a “counselor” for the group, and go once a year to participate in the seminar. As of this year the group has its own website, POST. read article here
Deliver Us From A-Historicism
“Deliver Us From A-Historicism: Metahistory for Non-Historians”. Philosophy of History After Hayden White. Edited by Robert Doran. London: Bloomsbury, 67-88
Hayden White had expressed the wish that I contribute to this collective volume that took off from his groundbreaking work on meta-history. I was ever so glad to seize the opportunity to reflect more deeply on the importance White’s work has had on my thinking about history. Under the banner of defeating binary thinking, I established a dialogue between White’s work and a contemporary art installation by Belgian artist Ana Torfs, Du Mentir-Faux. Like White’s Meta-History, Torfs’ slide installation has captivated me for a very long time, but I never got around to writing about it. This dialogue about history, its difficulties of access and the challenge to give meaning to events long past, seemed a natural place to think more about Torf’s work. The image that accompanies the articles of the present decade in this website is a detail from that art work.
“Art Moves”. Arken Bulletin Special issue Migration: Contemporary Art from India. 25-29, 2013
Invited to give a lecture and publish it in the institution’s Bulletin addressing the exhibition Indian Art Now was challenging for me. I knew virtually nothing about Indian art; just what I happened to have seen in a few exhibitions. I accepted because the organizers asked me to speak specifically about migration, or as I prefer to call it, migratory culture. In the end, it was a perfect opportunity to come up with a succinct argument about the movement in, through, and by art.
“Intercultural Story-Telling”. Kultur – Wissen – Narration: Perspektiven transdisciplinärer Erzählforschung für die Kulturwissenschaften. Edited by Alexandra Strohmaier. Wien/Graz: [transcript], 289-306, 2013
The challenge posed by an intercultural perspective to all theories and models of analysis that claim general validity, must be met, and so I tried. This was an opportunity to go back to earlier concepts such as “voice” and “foclaization” and integrate these with later preoccupations, such as the role of stories for cultural memory and a performative perspective on story-telling. Unfortunately, the book is entirely in German but for my article, so it will probably stay buried.
Lexicon for Cultural Analysis
“Lexicon for Cultural Analysis”. Die Lust an der Kultur/Theorie. Transdisziplinäre Interventionen Für Wolfgang Müller-Funk. Edited by Anna Babka, Daniela Finzi, Clemens Ruthner. Vienna and Berlin: Turia + Kant Verlag, 49-81. When invited to contribute to this “Festschrift” for a colleague in Vienna, I wanted to do something special. For this brilliant and prolific colleague had written an extraordinarily generous chapter about my work in one of his most recent of many books. So, instead of writing a single article I wrote 26 short ones - a “lexicon” (with a wink), offering ideas for each letter of the alphabet. It is the only text in English in this German publication.
Madame B.: l’analyse cinématographique d’un roman
“Madame B.: l’analyse cinématographique d’un roman”. Flaubert: Revue Critique et génétique. Flaubert [En ligne], Traductions/Adaptations, mis en ligne le 07 décembre 2012.
I am very pleased this specialized journal of Flaubert studies asked me to present the film project Michelle Williams Gamaker and I are currently working on Madame B. This will surely attract attention from Flaubert specialists. In the article I discuss a limited number of issues that emerged when we began considering how to update Madame Bovary as a critical commentary on today’s society.
Extranjerías, or How to Exit Cultural Autism
“Extranjerías, or How to Exit Cultural Autism.” Knowledge Politics and Intercultural Dynamics: Actions, Innovations, Transformations. Barcelona: United Nations University, 7-26. This article came in the aftermath of a course for PhD candidates of the international program of the United Nations University in Barcelona. I was on my way to Mexico to particpate in the celebration of an exhibition that included three of my films, so the most logical thing to do was talk about the point of making such films. The title of the exhibtion was “estranjerías” - hence my title. See Extranjerías, photos
Heterochrony in the Act: The Migratory Politics of Time
“Heterochrony in the Act: The Migratory Politics of Time”. Symmeikta: Collection of Papera Dedicated to the 40th Anniversary of the Institute for Art History, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade. Edited by Ivan Stevonic. Belgrade: Faculty of Philsophy, University of Belgrade, 579-596, 2012
This is a revised and extended version of an earlier article, published in a volume related to our exhibition 2MOVE.It is strange to see it in such a mixture of historical and modern discussions, a big large book published in Serbia. I list it here to be complete in my account of my writings. The 2011 Rodopi publication is more accessible and qua context, also more relevant.
“Zabójcze zwierciadla.” (Killing Mirrors) Antropologia. Kultury wizualnej. Ed. Anna Matysiak. Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawsiego, 703-710, 2012. This is an old article on the “Medusa Effect” derived from my book Quoting Caravaggio. I mention it here because of the amazing coincidence: in one week, this article appeared in Polish, as did two of my books. This sudden surge of publications in Polish is enigmatic, but telling about the interest in Poland for the kind of work I do.
Facing: Intimacy Across Divisions
“Facing: Intimacy Across Divisions.” The Global and the Intimate: Feminism In Our Time, edited by Geraldine Pratt and Victoria Rosner.New York: Columbia University Press, 119-144, 2012. This article is a later, much elaborated version of an earlier piece I published when I just started this video project. The context for the first version was word-and-image studies, while now, the context is more political. Also, this is a book, supposedly with a longer shelf life. The issue remains, of course, the consequences of migration on the home front, embodied by the migrants’ mothers. See Nothing is Missing
The Task of Meaning Nothing
“The Task of Meaning Nothing.” XOXO, Curatorial Programme Goldsmiths College, 4-7. When the students asked me to contribute to the publication that marked the conclusion of their programme, the title, XOXO, provoked the desire to underwrite the meaninglessness of that title through a detour to abstract art. I was just completing a book on that subject and have begun to find it very important to notice and acknowledge the value of meaningless in cultural exchange.
“Curatorial Acts.” Journal of Curatorial Studies, 1, 2: 179-192, 2012. As my first contribution to this newly founded journal, I discuss the exhibition, in 2011-2012, Michelle Williams Gamaker and I presented of works derived from the film “A Long History of Madness.” I propose the concept of “curatorial acts” in analogy with speech acts, and theorised as meaning-producing decisions in the spatio-temporal realm of a museum space. This spatio-temporality is overdetermined by the exhibition of audio-visual moving images, which also integrate spatial and temporal aspects more strongly than, say, paintings.
“S-Words.” Journal of Visual Culture, 11, 2: 145-148, 2012. This short article is an homage to John Berger’s groundbreaking book “Ways of Seeing.” Berger put an end to the possibility to unify visuality, and made the singular, generic use of the term “art history” obsolete. I also look at the need Berger initiated to consider not only looking but also seeing as an activity, not a passive occurrence.
La maison: pour l’hospitalité
“La maison: pour l’hospitalité.” Transmédiations: traversées culturelles de la modernité tardive, edited by Jean-François Vallée, Jean Klucinskas, and Gilles Dupuis. Montréal: Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, 25-40 2012.
This article appeared in a volume in honor of Walter Moser, a very dear friend and brilliant scholar. For me, Walter is the incarnation of unconditional hospitality, in all aspects of his life: as an interdisciplinary scholar more focused on facilitating group research than in his individual glory; as a friend whose house has been open to so many, and of which I have personally enjoyed the warmth and intellectual vibrancy; and as an international participant, speaker of many languages and organiser of events in different regions. For this reason I chose to integrate an analysis of Ahtila’s work “The House” with a running commentary on Moser’s most “hospitable” concepts.
Towards a Babel Ontology
“Towards a Babel Ontology.” European Journal of Women’s Studies, 18, 4, 439-447 2012 (with Michelle Williams Gamaker) After screening our film in London on the invitation of the Hearing Voice Network, Michelle and I were invited to write this article for a special issue of the journal on translation studies. We used the opportunity to address the issue of the multilingualism in the film A Long History of Madness. In the film, twelve different languages are spoken, as both a Utopian and a troubled expression of contemporary multicultural Europe.
“Imaging Pain.” In Ethics and Images of Pain. Edited by Asbjørn Grønstad and Hendrik Gustafsson. New York: Routledge, 115-143, 2012.
I have written about the issue of imaging pain before, but always about the images made by other people. This time, in a bold gesture I still feel a bit uncertain about, I discuss together the newest work by Colombian artist Doris Salcedo, on whose deeply mournful sculptural work I had published a book in 2010 Of What One Cannot Speak, and the film A Long History of Madness, where Michelle Williams Gamaker and I have struggled with the predicament of visually representing pain. Without in the least considering these two works comparable, they pose a comparable issue: what is to be gained, socially and politically, by imaging pain? I have fond memories of the conference out of which this volume emerged, and I am happy to share bookspace with Mark Reinhardt, whom I consider among the very best in political visual analysis.
Facing: Intimacy Across Divisions
“Facing: Intimacy Across Divisions.” In The Global and the Intimate: Feminism in Our Time. Edited by Geraldine Pratt and Victoria Rosner. New York: Columbia University Press, 119-144, 2012.
This is a renewed reflection on my long-term video installation project Nothing is Missing. The theme of this volume is the exactly right place for this reflection; intimacy and the difficulties to achieve and maintain it in a globalizing world is the topic of my installation. I am also very pleased to see this article published side-by-side with one of my friend and fellow-feminist Marianne Hirsch.
L’interdisciplinarité: travailler avec des concepts
“L’interdisciplinarité: travailler avec des concepts.” In La circulation des savoirs. Interdisciplinarité, concepts nomades, analogies, métaphores. Edited by Frédéric Darbellay.Bern, Berlin etc. Peter Lang, 25-58, 2012.
This article takes up, in compressed form, issues from my book Travelling Concepts in the Humanities.
In this collective volume of French and Swiss scholars, both humanists and scientists, a new and wider context for the ideas brings them to a potentially new audience.
“Spatialising Film.” in Hunting High and Low. Festschrift for Jostein Gripsrud.
Edited by Jan Fredrik Hovden and Karl Knapskog. Scandinavian Academic Press, 160-182, 2012.
This article in a volume dedicated to an old friend discusses what it entailed for Michelle Williams Gamaker and myself to turn our feature film A Long History of Madness official website. into an exhibition.
Cultural Analysis – Joseph Plays
“Cultural Analysis – Joseph Plays.”Mieke Bal, Maaike Bleeker, Bennett Carpenter and Frans-Willem Korsten. In Joost van den Vondel (1587-1669): Dutch Playwright in the Golden Age.Eds. Jan Bloemendal & Frans-Willem Korsten. Leiden: Brill, 317-340, 2012. read the article
My contribution to this collective article was to confront the interpretation of the Joseph story in Vondel’s plays with Rembrandt’s visual rewriting of it, as I had developed earlier in Loving Yusuf
Heterochrony in the Act: The Migratory Politics of Time
“Heterochrony in the Act: The Migratory Politics of Time.” Art and Visibility in Migratory Culture: Conflict, Resistance, and Agency. Eds. Mieke Bal and Miguel Á. Hernández-Navarro. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 211-139, 2011.
This article foregrounds the importance of the experience of time in migratory culture as an issue of “migratory politics”. Sensitizing oneself to the heterogeneity of time can be a great asset in intercultural communication. read article here (limited access)
Losing It: Politics of the Other (Medium)
“Losing It: Politics of the Other (Medium).” Journal of Visual Culture, 10, 3: 372-396
Based on the cinematic work of Eija-Liisa Ahtila, an inquiry in the affective effects of a heterogeneity that includes murder, maidenhood and madness. The article explores the encounter with other media and other people, and also invokes a work by Stan Douglas and one by Chantal Akerman.read article here (limited access)
Earth Aches: The Aesthetics of the Cut
“Earth Aches: the Aesthetics of the Cut.” In Cornerstones, edited by Juan A. Gaitán, Rotterdam, NL: Witte de With Publishers / Sternberg Press, 212-225
An overview of Doris Salcedo’s artistic practice, more extensively discussed in the book Of What One Cannot Speak.
“Baroque Matters.” In Rethinking the Baroque, edited by Helen Hills, Surray, UK: Ashgate, 183-202
Exploring the baroque aspects of four very diverse contemporary artworks, by Doris Salcedo, Ann Veronica Janssens, Roos Theuws and Heringa/Van Kalsbeek purchase
An Inter-Action: Rembrandt and Spinoza
“An Inter-Action: Rembrandt and Spinoza.” With Dimitris Vardoulakis. In Spinoza Now, edited by Dimitris Vardoualkis, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 277-306
Probing how visual art “thinks” and philosophy “images”. The relationship between the two figures is not based on biography but on what they made/wrote
Interdisciplinarity: Working with concepts
“Interdisciplinarity: Working with concepts.” Filolog III, 11-28 (Servia) 2011
A revised patchwork extract from the book Travelling Concepts
Food, Form, and Visibility
“Food, Form, and Visibility: The Aesthetics of Everyday Life”In Morphomata. Kulturelle Figurationen: Genese, Dynamik und Medialität, edited by Günter Bamberger und Dietrich Boschung. Köln: Morphomata 1
article based on the film GLUB (Hearts)
A Thousand and One Voices
“A Thousand and One Voices” In Confronting Universalities: Aesthetics and Politics under the Sign of Globalisation, eds. Mads Anders Baggesgaard, Jakob Ladegaard, 269-304. Aarhus University Press, 2011
article based on the film Mille et un joursread article here
Mektoub: When Art Meets History, Philosophy, and Linguistics
“Mektoub: When Art Meets History, Philosophy, and Linguistics.” In Case Studies in Interdisciplinary Research, ed. Allen F. Repko, Williams H. Newell, and Rick Szostak, 91–122. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2011
article analyses Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s Where is Where? (2008)
“Deborah.” In The Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity, ed. Daniel Patte, 313. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010
Interview with Mieke Bal in Ekfrase
Asbjørn Grønstad and Øyvind Vågnes, “Migrasjonstenkeren: Et Intervju Med Mieke Bal.” Ekfrase: Nordic Journal of Visual Culture 1.1 (2010): 46–54.
True Lies: on Ana Torfs’s Du mentir-faux, or Some Dilemmas of History
“True Lies: on Ana Torfs’s Du mentir-faux, or Some Dilemmas of History.” In HiO-report 12: Framing War with Facts and Fiction in the Cultural Field, ed. Rune Ottosen and Solveig Steigen, 28–51. Oslo: Oslo University College, 2010
Working with Concepts
“Working with Concepts.” Slovo a smysl/Word & Sense 11/12 (2009): 202–12
The Quoted Artist
“The Quoted Artist.” Italian Journal 20, no. 3 (2010):40–43
Religion and Powerlessness: Elena in Nothing Is Missing
“Religion and Powerlessness: Elena in Nothing Is Missing.” In Powers: Religion as a Social and Spriritual Force, ed. Meerten B. ter Borg and Jan Willem van Henten, 209–239. New York: Fordham University Press, 2010
“Guest Column: Exhibition Practices.” PMLA 125, no. 1 (2010): 9–23 read article here (limited access)
After-Images: Mère folle
“After-Images: Mère folle.” Nomadikon: About Images 7 (2010)
“Y-cidad: los múltiples sentidos de ‘y’”, Versants 65: 3, fascículo español: 187-207, 2018
This article, in Spanish, discusses the distinction I am making between activist and activating art. The idea of “andness”, which I already used in the title of a 2013 book, comes from Deleuze’s resistance against binary opposition, which has been an ongoing inspiration for me.
“Narrando comida, haciéndonos urbanos: Glub y la estética de lo cotidiano” trans. Delia Boyano. Mitilogías hoy: revista de pensamiento, crítica y estudios literarios latinoamericanos, special issue “Restos, excedentes, basura: gestiones literarias y estéticas de lo residual en América Latina y El Caribe”, edited by Adriana López-Labourdette, Claudia Gronemann y Cornelia Sieber 17, junio: 245-265, 2018
This is the Spanish version, revised for the occasion, of the article from 2017
“Let’s Abolish the Peer Review System”, in Media Theory September 3, 2018 (n.p.) (online only) http://mediatheoryjournal.org/mieke-bal-lets-abolish-the-peer-review-system/
After my article “Power to the Imagination!”from 2015 this is a second article devoted to the current disastrous situation in the “neo-liberal” university. I come up with ten serious reasons why the system doesn’t work.
Politics of Time
“Activating Temporalities: The Political Power of Artistic Time”, Open Cultural Studies 10.1515/culture-2018-0009, 2018
At the request of Mexican scholar Paulina Aroch I participated in this volume on the importance, for art, of the legacy of Karl Marx. For me, temporality, also an ongoing interest, has taken new dimensions recently due to a new video project and a collaboration with Norwegian artist Jeannette Christensen.
“In the Absence of Post-”, 231-250 in Divya Dwivedi, Henrik Skov Nielsen, and Richard Walsh, (eds.) Narratology & Ideology: Negotiating Context, Form, and Theory in Postcolonial Narratives. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State Press, 2018
This is my first elaborated radical argument against temporal distancing, the disavowal of the stickiness of time, and the disingenuous nature of the preposition “post-” especially in the term “post-colonial”.
“Towards a Relational Inter-Temporality”, 48-63 in Eva Wittcocx, Ann de Meester, Peter Carpreaau, Melanue Buhler, Xander Ksrskens (eds.), The Transhistorical Museum: Mapping the Field. Amsterdam: Valiz 2018
In my ongoing plea for care about the prepositions we tend to use, for “inter-” rather than “trans-“, I bring this to bear on the wonderful initiative of the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem and the Museum M in Leuven, to vuild up a series of exhibitions that bring past and present art together.
“Violence Re-Viewed”, 213-223 in On Violence, eds. Rebecca Jagoe and Sharon Kivland, London: Ma Bibliothèque, 2018
Yet another article on Malani’s pictorial fight against violence and the way it is routinely condoned.
Ethics is not Moralism
“Is There an Ethics to Story-Telling?”, 37-54 in Story-Telling and Ethics: Literature, Visual Arts and the Power of Narrative, eds. Hanna Meretoja and Colin Davis. New York and London: Routledge, 2018
The ethical issues brought up after WWII by Theodor Adorno, which he later revised, are confronted with Georges Didi-Huberman’s attempt to salvage something of the visibility of the concentration camps.
To Accompany Madness
“Prólogo” 17-27 in Alberto Montoya Hernández Acompañar la locura. En las encrucijadas de un Sancho Panza. México: Circulo psicoanalítico Mexicano 2017
This article presents a further collaboration with one of the participants in the film on madness, A Long History of Madness where the author of the book, Alberto Montoya Hernández, plays the younger uncle of the psychoanalyst. He is an analyst himself, specialized in visual images of his patients.
Speaking and Vision
“Speaking Doesn’t Happen Without Vision”, 355-357 in Qui Parle? Anniversary issue, 26, 2, 2017
This is a short plea for the importance of focalization, which i where the visions of narrators and characters are hidden.
“Telling Food, Going Urban: Glub and the Aesthetics of Everyday Life”, 23-36 in How Are Things Being Told? Proceedings of the 3d International Conference “art, Science, City”, Malaga, 23-24 November 2017 ed. Blanca Montalvo
This online article offers a revised version of a much-earlier article on the cultural changes brought about by the habit of eating sunflower seeds in urban public space.
“Sneaky Snakes: Seduction, the Biblical imagination, and Activating Art”, 589-607 in The Bible and Feminism: Remapping the Field, ed. By Yvonne Sherwood, with the Assistance of Anna Fisk. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017
The request to participate in a collective volume of feminist revisionings of the Bible seemed an opportunity to combine my earlier work on the Bible with more recent work on visual art.
Marianne Maderna’s Honorary Women
“Im Angesicht der De-Figuration [de-facement]. Zwölf Fragmente zu Repräsentation”, 57-86 in Representation Revisited, ed. by Anna Babka and Katrin Lasthofer. Vienna: Turia + Kant 2017
This volume (in German) is devoted to the Viennese artist’s golden busts of women who never got their due place among the busts of famous men.
Stains Against Violence
“Stains against violence: Nalini Malani’s strategies for durational looking”, Journal for Contemporary Painting, 4, 1, 59-80, 2017
Even after writing a big book on her work In Medias Res, I couldn’t get enough of studying Malani’s art. This article analyses the work from the perspective of technical issues in painting.
Looking: a sensuous act, in the present
“Sensing the Present: ‘Conceptual Art of the Senses’”, Emma & Edvard: Love in the Time of Loneliness, 27-43 in Text Matters, 7, 7: 2017 (with Rachel E. Burke)
This article introduces the issues underlying the exhibition I curated in Oslo Emma & Edvard: Love in the Time of Loneliness, in a volume edited by Dorota Filipczak, devoted to the papers of the international conference held in Oslo during and about the exhibition.
Dare to Doubt
“Dare to Doubt, in The Philosophical Salon, of the LA Review of Books, 2017
I wouldn’t have bothered putting such a short piece in this list, if it wasn’t for the current state of the world, where incipient doubt is silenced by screaming. You can read it here
“Intership: Anachronism between Loyalty and the Case”. In The Oxford Handbook of Adaptation Studies, edited by Thomas Leitch. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 179-196, 2017
This is the second article in a row in a handbook, in which I reflect on my own film making practice. This article offers a strong argument for anachronism and for the genre of the case study, albeit qualified. The case is our Madame B. In the article I also insist on the different ways the preposition “inter-” adds more specificity to what it indicates than alternatives such as “trans-” and “multi-“. I have made this argument repetitively since the 1980s, but it is still needed, it seems.
Intimacy, Modesty, Silence
“Intimacy, Modesty, Silence: Documentary Filmmaking in the Face of Trauma”, in The Philosophy of Documentary Film: Image, Sound, Fiction, Truth, edited by David LaRocca, Foreword by Timothy Corrigan. London: Lexington Books 2017, 261-286
After having made some 16 documentary films, all around issues of migration, interculturality, and identity, all in a positive spirit, I have been asked many times to reflect on my practice. A few articles have resulted, and this is one of them. The volume as a whole offers a profound reflections on the genre of documentary film, and could be very useful for teaching.
El tiempo que se toma
“El tiempo que se toma”, Contra Narrativas, Revista de Estudios Visuales. Murca, SP, November 2016, np, read here. This is a slightly reworked version of a catalogue essay, mentioned in that section. Here, the context is an academic journal.
Scale as a Political Tool
Scale as a Political Tool: Louise Bourgeois’ Cells as a Mode of Living. On the Occasion of the Munich Exhibition”, in Kunst Chronik, 69, 7, July 2016, 349-362
The brilliant exhibition of Louise Bourgeois’ Cells at the Haus der Kunst in Munich was the occasion for this return to Bourgeois’ work after many years. The Cells have always excited me for their scale, which I knew to be meaningful beyond the aesthetic and the memorial meanings. The invitation to give a lecture in Munich gave me the opportunity to reflect more deeply, and with my renewed interest in political art, on these extraordinary works.
Breaking the Narrative
“Breaking the Narrative: The Madame B Project and Historical Loyalty”, in Narrative im Bruch. Theoretische Positionen und Anwendungen, edited by Anna Babka, Marlen Bidwell-Steiner, and Wolfgang Müller-Funk. Vienna: V&R unipress / Vienna University Press 2016, 255-270
The volume for which this article was solicited is devoted to narratives that do not obey the rules and expectations of the genre of the novel. I am always happy to be asked to write about material I have worked on for a film project. Instead of circularity, as one might expect, examining once more my own project yields another layer of meaning.
“Reasonable Doubt: Kijken naar denkbeelden”, 56-65 in Tijdschrift voor biografie 5, 4, 2016
Written in Dutch, in this article I explain the motivation and process of making the film Reasonable Doubt. Although the journal that solicited the article is devoted to biography, my article explains in what way this film is necessarily NOT a biography - cannot be one, in order to be loyal to the life and person portrayed. Full text, in Dutch: kijken_naar_denkbeelden.pdf
Movement and the Still Image
“Movement and the Still Image”, 15-44 in Espacio, Tiempo y Forma VII, 4, 2016
This article is the introduction to a dossier I edited for this Spanish journal that is developing an international profile.
On the basis of Bergson’s Matter and Memory I argue that all images move, and unpack that idea through three paintings by Edvard Munch, and a few new paintings by Jussi Niva. The article also briefly introduces the contributions to the dossier. It can be accessed free of charge. Here is a pdf of my article: revistamovement.pdf For more on the dossier, and a link to the entire dossier, see Editing
Affect as a cultural force
“Afekt jako siła kulturowa” (trans. Anna Turczyn), 33-46 in Historie afektywne I polityki pamienci (Affective Histories and the Politics of Memory), edited by Elżbieta Wichrowska, Anna Szczepan-Wojnarska, Roma Sendyka, Ryszard Nycz. Warsaw: Institut Badan, literackich pan wydawnictwo (The Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences) 2016
As the next item, the same holds here: although some bits & pieces of this article were taken from published work, as such this paper does not exist in English, unfortunately. It was written for the occasion, a Summer School on Affect and Politics in Nieborów, Poland.
Lostness: A Profound Mutation of the question of “we” (in Polish)
“Zagubienie: “gruntowna przemiana kwestii naszego ‘my’” trans. Tomasz Bilczewski and Anna Kowalcze-Pawlik, 501-548 in Historie afektywne I polityki pamienci, edited by Elzbiet Wichrowskia, Anna Szczepan-Wojnarskia, Roma Sendyka and Rochard Nycz. Warsaw: Institut Badan, literackich pan wydawnictwo 2016
Although some bits & pieces of this article were taken from published work, as such this paper does not exist in English, unfortunately. It was written for the occasion, a reflection on a group exhibition in Lodz, Poland, in which I participated with Nothing is Missing.
From Documentary to Fiction and Back
“From Documentary to Fiction and Back”, in …, Johannesburg, SA, nr. 1, 2016 (no page numbers) To read the article, see here Written with Michelle Williams Gamaker, this is an account of our video-making activities since 2002, when we first met and embarked in the making of Mille et un jours up to our current, separate projects.
Long Live Anachronism
“Long Live Anachronism”, 281-304 in Being Contemporary: French Literature, Culure, and Politics Today edited by Lia Brozgal and Sara Kippur. Liverpool, UK: Liverpool University Press 2016
Making Madame B has inspired a few articles on temporality and cinematic dialogues with novels. This article was solicited for a book in homage to my old friend Susan Rubin Suleiman. It has turned out a fabulous volume on issues of contemporaneity.
“Lostness, Tents, and Faces: When Home Fails Us” 113-140 in Home: Concepts, Constructions and Contexts edited by Cecile Sandten and Kathy-Ann Tan. Trier, Germany: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2016
Based on my documentary video installation project Nothing is Missing the request for this paper gave me an opportunity to update the issue of the mothers of migrants in a new, more actual framework.