Aspects of contemporary art in the world system's peripheries
Course on Contemporary Art and Culture

The new installment of this course proposes an investigation of how modern art has been historically produced in non-orthodox ways, far from the centers of Western cultural hegemony. The concept of periphery is at once geographic and political, seeing that it accounts for both the spatial distribution of world power and its articulation within situations of political, economic and cultural subordination. Periphery also has a more generic meaning, which alludes to all forms of political subordination as well as its criticism or surpassing by the discourses generated by minorities and subaltern groups. The idea of peripheral modernities, which begins from reflection on the singularity of the local and the historically subaltern position of Barcelona in relation to the twentieth century's centers of modernity, is crucial to MACBA's program and the articulation of the Collection's discourse. Likewise, it is a concept that concerns the construction of critical discourses and has animated previous installments of this course.

The interest in peripheries also responds to, in sync with the previous remarks, what should constitute important lines of future growth for the Collection. These other contexts presuppose a key setting for articulating an alternative narrative for artistic modernity in the twentieth century and for reflecting on the future of art and culture within global capitalism.
The seminar deals with a series of key concepts, which are interrelated in a non-hierarchical manner: the historical constitution of the cultural myths about the indigenous; the popular and the modern; postcolonial criticism of the opposition between First and Third Worlds and the concept of hybridity as a new and unpredictable result of the interaction between dominant and dominated cultures; the internationalization (or globalization) of artistic avant-gardes, beginning, in particular, in the 1960s; the countermodels of the Third World's informal economies vis-à-vis the liberal paradigm of capitalist exchange and accumulation regulated by the state; the role of a few large metropolises in the configuration of urban centers that have great cultural potential and represent alternatives to the centrality of Western hegemony such as the case of Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Cairo, Capetown, and Shanghai, among others.

The course program is composed of four parts. The first part introduces the fundamental concepts of postcolonial theory; the second part concentrates on the notion of periphery and a few specific case studies; the third part presents some instances of translation experiences and cultural mediation; and the final part takes up the problem of exhibiting non-European artistic phenomena in Western institutional contexts.


Wednesday, October 6. Jesús Carrillo.
Fundamental concepts of postcolonial theory: Said, Bhaba, Spivak…

Wednesday, October 13. Marina Garcés
Irreconcilable differences? The politics of the subaltern and the emergence of new social protagonism

Monday, October 18. Beatriz Preciado.
Postcolonialism and minorities, postcolonialism and postfeminism

Wednesday, October 20. Juan Miguel Company
Peripheral cinemas, reflections on Fredric Jameson's geopolitical aesthetic

Monday, October 25. Jordi Borja
Learning from Mexico City and Sao Paulo...urban countermodels in Latin America

Wednesday, October 27. Brian Holmes
Buenos Aires experiences, after September 19 and 20, 2001

Wednesday, November 3. Orlando Britto
A vision about contemporary art in Africa and the Caribbean

Monday, November 8. Cuauhtémoc Medina
Perspectives on contemporary art in Mexico

Wednesday, November 10. Rogelio Lopez Cuenca
Paradise belongs to strangers

Monday, November 15. Federico Guzmán

Wednesday, November 17. Toni Serra
Video creation in Morocco

Monday, November 22. Antonio Zaya
Latin American art biennials

Wednesday, November 24. Nuria Enguita
From Cairo to Beirut...exhibiting contemporary art from the Middle East

Monday, November 29. Carlos Monsiváis
Familiarity and hybridity...

Lectures begin at 7 pm

MACBA Public Programs
tlf. (+34)93 412 08 10 (ext. 382)
servcult [at] macba [dot] cat