11 May 2014
- Teijin Auditorium, Stedelijk Museum
- 4 - 5:30 pm
- Entrance price to the museum + € 2,50 cover charge
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The Stedelijk Museum proudly presents a keynote lecture by art historian and critic T.J. Demos, as part of the museum’s ongoing Public Program. The title of his lecture is “The Many Faces of Madness: The Visual Culture of Ecological Conflict in India.”
In recent years, worsening and manifold environmental crises, paralleling the expansion of neoliberal governance worldwide, has initiated an urgent debate over the meaning of “development” and the value of “nature.” In parts of India, particularly Chhattisgarh and Orissa, we find the sustainability of traditional tribal life pitted against multinational corporate interests intent on carrying out resource extraction, throwing land use, indigenous rights, and economic development into violent conflict. This conflict – which forms a critical test case for the intersection of ecological commitments and artistic intervention – has become the subject of investigation by artists (such as Amar Kanwar) and filmmakers (such as Sanjay Kak), and their recent projects offer engaging and innovative aesthetic approaches to the larger disputes and struggles around the biopolitics of sustainability, postcolonial environmental justice, and the financialization of nature, which will be the topics of this presentation.
More information about the speaker
T.J. Demos is a critic and reader in the department of art history, University College London. He writes on contemporary art and politics, and is the author, most recently, of The Migrant Image: The Art and Politics of Documentary During Global Crisis (Duke University Press, 2013), and Return to the Postcolony: Spectres of Colonialism in Contemporary Art (Sternberg, 2013). He recently guest edited a special issue of Third Text (no. 120, 2013) on the subject of “Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology,” and is currently at work on a book on the same theme for Sternberg Press.