ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art, 09|17|2011 – 02|05|2012
World Art. The Cabinet of Curiosity from a Postcolonial Perspective

Am I the Other?


Moshekwa Langa »Ohne Titel«, 2003. Detail. Courtesy Galerie Mikael Andersen Berlin / Kopenhagen.

In 1992, at a time during which the art world analyzed the hybrid identities of a post-colonial world in exhibitions and essays, Croatian artist, Mladen Stilinović, wrote the black block letters on a squeaky pink post banner: “An artist who cannot speak English is no artist”. Stilinović thereby underscored the fact that, in art, the Other is the one who cannot participate in its discourse – whether as a result of deficient access to resources, to materials or due to linguistic barriers.

That it is invariably through images that the Other, qua Other, is constructed was experienced by the Russian artist group AES Group when, following the attacks of 11th September, a picture from their seriesThe Islamic Project (1996-2003) - a statue of liberty veiled in a burka – mistakenly began circulating worldwide via right-wing blogs and websites under such buzzwords as sharia. By contrast, South African artist, Moshekwa Langa, created his own Other: since he found western journalist’s questions such as 'where is the Africa in your art?' futile, he answered them through an alter ego by the name of John Ruskin. For this year’s Venice Biennale, South African gallery owner, Monna Mokoena, planed to be the Other of a very different kind: The Art Newspaper recently reported that the latter, and Biennale commission member, Lethole Mokoena, are, as it happens, one and the same person.

In 2003, Kosovan artist, Jakup Ferri, realized an homage to Stilinović’s protest banner. In the video work An Artist Who Cannot Speak English is No Artist Ferri subversively declared himself as the Other with the words, “I like to presentation my everything it disappear in your country, you know? With that I like to do with the monkey...”, which he uttered in all seriousness and in broken, meaning-free English into his Webcam, thereby withdrawing himself from an art discourse based on western languages.



globalart | 2011-10-31 21:11
0 #2
Artist-in-residence Tintin Wulia recently posted another interpretation of Stilinović's banner on her website: http://tintinwulia.com/?p=1822
Goethes Frau | 2011-10-30 12:09
0 #1
An female geman artist who hasn't studied with the right famous Profs is no artist yet!

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