historical background of socialist objects sketched briefly in this introduction.
It introduces the concept of the aesthetic turn to describe the gradual
KARPOVA 9781526139870 PRINT.indd 15
roadening of the meaning of aesthetics after Stalin’s death in 1953, which
culminated in the early 1960s. The aesthetic turn resulted in the formation
in the USSR of what the philosopher JacquesRancière calls an ‘aesthetic
regime of arts’ – a mode of identifying different arts as equal and valu
able in their specificity. I will analyse
The boundaries of the ‘world of crime’ in São Paulo
distribution, according to JacquesRancière (1995, p. 7): ‘distribution means two things: participation in a common set and, conversely, separation, distribution in
instalments’. In order to study the expansion of the boundaries of
‘crime’ in São Paulo, it is therefore necessary to understand the
broader social dynamics on which they are based, beyond their
In the first part of the chapter I argue that the emergence of a
‘world of crime’ in the peripheries of São Paulo must be understood in the context of at least three decades of crisis and dislocation
political terms. Concepts such as sovereignty, state authority, security and hybrid orders or governscapes are mobilised to account
for empirical challenges to modern states,5 but also for our interpretations in contexts of extreme violence (Mbembe, 2003; Das,
2006a; Stepputat, 2013, 2015, 2018; Willis, 2015; Arias and Barnes,
2017; Lessing, 2017; Darke, 2018).
JacquesRancière, in his classic work La mésentente (1995), pursues a related conceptual argument. For the philosopher, the key
conflict that helps us to understand contemporary politics does not
occur when one
See the discussion of this in terms of the
work of JacquesRancière below, pp. 123–4.
Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus , ed. E.
M. Waith (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984 ).
It is hard to avoid the
identification, one that is crucial
to the theorisation of radical politics.
There are a number of contemporary continental thinkers who employ a
[ 88 ]
similar notion of subjectification in their radical political analyses.
Furthermore, as I shall show, their understanding of political subjectification
points to a universal political dimension that goes beyond a simple politics of
difference, while at the same time avoiding essentialist claims about the human
For instance, according to JacquesRancière, politics emerges from a fundamental dispute or
and Politics: An
Introduction to JacquesRancière,’ Theory, Culture & Society, vol. 31, no. 7/8
3 Gunhild Borggreen and Rune Gade, eds, Performing Archives/Archives of
Performance (Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 2013), 25–6.
4 Manthia Diawara, ‘Édouard Glissant’s Worldmentality: An Introduction to One
World in Relation,’ South as a State of Mind, No. 6 [Documenta 14 #1, 2016],
www.documenta14.de/en/south/34 (accessed 19 January 2018).
5 Wu Hung, ‘Introduction: A Decade of Chinese Experimental Art (1990–2000),’
in Wu Hung, Huang Zhuan and Feng
(Minneapolis: University of Minnesota
Press, 1989), pp. 101–18, esp. p. 112; JacquesRanciere, The Names of History:
On the Poetics of Knowledge, trans. Hassan Melehy (Minneapolis: University
of Minnesota Press, 1994).
13 Bonnie Smith, The Gender of History: Men, Women and Historical Practice
(Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1998), pp. 103–5, 130–55.
14 David Armstrong, ‘Silence and truth in death and dying’, Social Science and
Medicine 74 (1987), 655.
15 There is now a burgeoning literature on historical conceptions of death, see:
Philippe Ariès, The Hour of our
From Hans Haacke’s Systems Theory to Andrea Fraser’s feminist economies
aimed to reveal such connections, not as a reference
to a “truth”—a reality the viewer could access through the reference to politics
in his work—but as a way to show how dynamics that take place on the level
of representation reflect the ties of wealth and government that are material.
Vered Maimon criticised Haacke’s positivism, arguing that later works
by Pierre Huyghe and Walid Raad have dealt more successfully with the
contemporary conditions of virtuality. Referencing JacquesRancière, Maimon
argued that revealing the discrepancies between what the institution
Rivette’s desire to restore to visibility what has been obscured by hegemonic historical accounts: ‘Historically May 68 has been a great defeat. What makes my film optimistic, though, is the sheer fact of its existence. It is positive to know that you cannot censor this era at last. Art always finally tries to re-establish different truths of events; there’s never just one truth to an event, after all, but always many’ (Grissemann 2006 ). Garrel’s comment lays claim to the political power of art and to the labour of fiction, as defined by JacquesRancière, where
Davila, Marcher, créer.
135 inoculons de la longue durée et de l’extrême lenteur au centre même de la vitesse.
Bourriaud, Radicant, p. 60.
136 A la précarisation de notre expérience, opposons une pensée résolument précaire,
qui s’insère et s’inocule dans les réseaux même [sic] qui nous étouffent. Ibid.
137 flux, mouvements de capitaux, répétition et distribution de l’information. Ibid.,
138 Ibid., p. 157.
139 Nicolas Bourriaud, ‘Precarious Constructions: Answer to JacquesRancière
on Art and Politics’, Open, 17 (2009), special issue on ‘A Precarious