Art and migration: revisioning the borders of community is a collective response to current and historic constructs of migration as disruptive of national heritage. This interplay of academic essays and art professionals’ interviews investigates how the visual arts – especially by or about migrants – create points of encounter between individuals, places, and objects. Migration has increasingly taken centre stage in contemporary art, as artists claim migration as a paradigm of artistic creation. The myriad trajectories of transnational artworks and artists’ careers outlined in the volume are reflected in the density and dynamism of fairs and biennales, itinerant museum exhibitions and shifting art centres. It analyses the vested political interests of migration terminology such as the synonymous use of ‘refugees’ and ‘asylum seekers’ or the politically constructed use of ‘diaspora’. Political and cultural narratives frame globalisation as a recent shift that reverses centuries of cultural homogeneity. Art historians and migration scholars are engaged in revisioning these narratives, with terms and methodologies shared by both fields. Both disciplines are elaborating an histoire croisée of the circulation of art that denounces the structural power of constructed borders and cultural gatekeeping, and this volume reappraises the historic formation of national identities and aesthetics heritage as constructed under transnational visual influences. This resonates with migrant artists’ own demands for self-determination in a display space that too often favours canonicity over hybridity. Centring migration – often silenced by normative archives or by nationalist attribution practices – is part of the workload of revisioning art history and decolonising museums.
Migration, understood as the movement of people and cultures, gives impetus to globalisation and the transculturation processes that the interaction between people and cultures entails. This book addresses migration as a profoundly transforming force that has remodelled artistic and art institutional practices across the world. It explores contemporary art's critical engagement with migration and globalisation as a key source for improving our understanding of how these processes transform identities, cultures, institutions and geopolitics. The book also explores three interwoven issues of enduring interest: identity and belonging, institutional visibility and recognition of migrant artists, and the interrelations between aesthetics and politics, and its representations of forced migration. Transculturality indicates a certain quality (of an idea, an object, a self-perception or way of living) which joins a variety of elements indistinguishable as separate sources. The topic of migration is permeated not only with political but also with ethical urgencies. The most telling sign of how profoundly the mobility turn has affected the visual arts is perhaps the spread of the term global art in the discourses on art, where it is often used as a synonym for internationally circulating contemporary art. The book examines interventions by three artists who take a critical de- and postcolonial approach to the institutional structures and spaces of Western museums. The book also looks at the politics of representation, and particularly the question of how aesthetics, politics and ethics can be triangulated and balanced when artists seek to make visible the conditions of irregular migration.
of migration issues. How do museums and exhibitions use empathy, and make visible issues which haven’t been debated before? Dieter Roelstraete: In Documenta 14 , one of the projects I was deeply involved in, was a small exhibition within the exhibition by a German artist, Olaf Holzapfel, and together we made a project called Zaun , which is the German translation of ‘fence’ and this multiple works installation was very much an interrogation of the problem and the possibilities of the borders. Olaf Holzapfel was born in what was once called East Germany, he
learning about intercultural histories, and the narratives of Japanese American settlement and internal migrations during the twentieth century. As museums, they can mediate learning between cultures, and between the present and past (Tan, 2019 : 2). As artworks, they can enrich culturally informed sensibilities, aesthetic knowledge, and culturally conditioned values. These gardens are lieux de mémoire , sites of memory (Boer, 2008 ; Assmann, 2011 ; Bublatzky, 2019 ), which sustain traces of the past that continue to condition appreciations of the present. Their
Migrant geographies and European politics of irregular migration Globalisation is frequently thought to cause an unbounded movement of capital, people, information, culture and goods. However, there is an often neglected flip side to this globalised mobility: the increased international collaboration on border controls aimed at restricting the movements of people who have been forced to migrate because of war, destitution, persecution or environmental reasons. This securitisation of borders constructs categories of included and excluded populations; and the
problems of demobilisation, veterans’ discontent, industrial regeneration and chronic unemployment. Moreover, the failure of the British government to launch a successful domestic colonisation scheme also had a direct bearing on the implementation of this empire migration project. The outbreak of war effectively ended imperial migration for the next five years. ‘Of course everything here is all war and
practices of racialisation and the systems, logics, and archives of the state. In Australia, Brook Andrew’s work, The Right to Offend is Sacred , opened at the National Gallery of Victoria on 3 March, 2017. It draws on the record and reimagining historical legacies of colonialism and the resulting hierarchies of humans that are central to the ideas that motivate this chapter in the links between racialised visions and attitudes, and contemporary experiences of migrants and migration. Andrew draws heavily on archival material in his works, which refers to the ugly
Mining the museum in an age of migration Migratory aesthetics and artists with a migrant background can have various points of entry into museums, galleries and collections. The genre of artists’ interventions is one of the most important in this regard because of its critical, transformative and bridge-building potential. After a brief introduction to the practice, this chapter examines interventions by three artists, Fred Wilson, Yinka Shonibare and Rina Banerjee, who all take a critical de- and postcolonial approach to the institutional structures and spaces
This article presents a forgotten manuscript of a personal account of one of the first Jewish settlers who departed from Romania to Palestine in 1882 and helped found the colony of Samarin, which was later taken over by Baron de Rothschild and renamed Zichron Yaakov. Friedrich Horn, a schoolmaster with Austrian nationality who had settled in Romania fifteen years before his departure to Palestine, gave the manuscript of his unfinished work Nationaltraum der Juden to Moses Gaster. Gaster kept it among his collection of manuscripts. He considered it a diary rather than as Horn obviously had in mind, a contribution to historiography intended to be published. The text provides significant evidence concerning the underappreciated role of Jews from Romania in the historiography of Zionism.