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Accueil du site > Séminaire > Circulations artistiques en et hors Amérique latine, 2013-2014 > 5 June 2014 : TJ Demos, University College London

Artlas Seminar

5 June 2014 : TJ Demos, University College London

par Daniel Quiles

The Many Faces of Madness : The Visual Culture of Ecological Conflict in India
TJ Demos

 Amar Kanwar, The Sovereign Forest, 2012.


In recent years, the worsening and manifold environmental crisis, 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, Chhattisgarh and Orissa in particular—forming a critical test case for the intersection of ecological commitments and artistic intervention—we find the sustainability of 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 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 larger disputes and struggles around the biopolitics of sustainability, postcolonial environmental justice, and the financialization of nature, which, drawing from my current book research, will be the topic of this presentation.

TJ Demos is a writer and critic teaching in the Department of Art History at University College London. Demos’s essays on modern and contemporary art and politics have appeared in Artforum, Grey Room, October, and Texte zur Kunst, among others international magazines and journals. Most recently, he is author 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). His book The Exiles of Marcel Duchamp appeared in 2007 by MIT Press. During 2008–2009, he organized Zones of Conflict : Rethinking Contemporary Art During Global Crisis, comprising a series of research workshops in London and an exhibition in New York ; he co-curatedUneven Geographies : Art and Globalization at Nottingham Contemporary in 2010. Turning to the intersection of art, visual culture and environmentalism, he 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. Demos lives and works in London. 


1:30 p.m.

Salle de l’Institut d’Histoire moderne et contemporaine (Escalier D, 3e étage, au fond à gauche)

École Normale Supérieure, 45 rue d’Ulm 
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