Elizabeth A. Povinelli: Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism (2016)

1 January 2018, dusan

“In Geontologies Elizabeth A. Povinelli continues her project of mapping the current conditions of late liberalism by offering a bold retheorization of power. Finding Foucauldian biopolitics unable to adequately reveal contemporary mechanisms of power and governance, Povinelli describes a mode of power she calls geontopower, which operates through the regulation of the distinction between Life and Nonlife and the figures of the Desert, the Animist, and the Virus. Geontologies examines this formation of power from the perspective of Indigenous Australian maneuvers against the settler state. And it probes how our contemporary critical languages—anthropogenic climate change, plasticity, new materialism, antinormativity—often unwittingly transform their struggles against geontopower into a deeper entwinement within it. A woman who became a river, a snakelike entity who spawns the fog, plesiosaurus fossils and vast networks of rock weirs: in asking how these different forms of existence refuse incorporation into the vocabularies of Western theory Povinelli provides a revelatory new way to understand a form of power long self-evident in certain regimes of settler late liberalism but now becoming visible much further beyond.”

Publisher Duke University Press, 2016
ISBN 9780822362111, 0822362112
xii+218 pages

Reviews: Shela Sheikh (Avery Review, 2017), Robin Wright (Society+Space, 2017), Timothy Neale (2017).

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Museum Highlights: The Writings of Andrea Fraser (2005)

13 November 2017, dusan

“Andrea Fraser’s work, writes Pierre Bourdieu in his foreword to Museum Highlights, is able to ‘trigger a social mechanism, a sort of machine infernale whose operation causes the hidden truth of social reality to reveal itself.’ It often does this by incorporating and inhabiting the social role it sets out to critique—as in a performance piece in which she leads a tour as a museum docent and describes the men’s room in the same elevated language that she uses to describe seventeenth-century Dutch paintings. Influenced by the interdisciplinarity of postmodernism, Fraser’s interventionist art draws on four primary artistic and intellectual frameworks—institutional critique, with its site-specific examination of cultural context; performance; feminism, with its investigation of identity formation; and Bourdieu’s reflexive sociology. Fraser’s writings form an integral part of her artistic practice, and this collection of texts written between 1985 and 2003—including the performance script for the docent’s tour that gives the book its title—both documents and represents her work.

The writings in Museum Highlights are arranged to reflect different aspects of Fraser’s artistic practice. They include essays that trace the development of critical ‘artistic practice’ as cultural resistance; performance scripts that explore art institutions and the public sphere; and texts that explore the ambivalent relationship of art to the economic and political interests of its time. The final piece, ‘Isn’t This a Wonderful Place? (A Tour of a Tour of the Guggenheim Bilbao),’ reflects on the role of museums in an era of globalization. Among the book’s 30 illustrations are stills from performance pieces, some never before published.”

Edited by Alexander Alberro
Publisher MIT Press, 2005
ISBN 0262062445, 9780262062442
xxxvii+291 pages

Reviews: Kirsi Peltomaki (Afterimage, 2005), Melissa Gronlund (Frieze, 2005), Louis Byrne (Art Book, 2007), N.A. Hayes (PopMatters, 2008).

Publisher
WorldCat

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Jonathan Nitzan, Shimshon Bichler: The Global Political Economy of Israel (2002)

19 August 2011, dusan

Over the past century, Israel has been transformed from an agricultural colony, to a welfare-warfare state, to a globally integrated “market economy” characterised by great income disparities. What lies behind this transformation? In order to understand capitalist development, argue Bichler and Nitzan, we need to break the artificial separation between “economics” and “politics”, and think of accumulation itself as “capitalisation of power”. Applying this concept to Israel, they reveal the big picture that never makes it to the news. Diverse processes – such as regional conflicts and energy crises, ruling class formation and dominant ideology, militarism and dependency, inflation and recession, the politics of high-technology and the transnationalisation of ownership – are all woven into a single story. The result is a fascinating account of one of the world’s most volatile regions.

Publisher Pluto Press, 2002
ISBN 0745316751, 9780745316758
407 pages

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