eipcp Projects Creating Worlds
06 2010

Creating Worlds

Decolonial Aesthetics: Colloquium with Walter Mignolo and Madina Tlostanova
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, A
5 October 2010, 17.00

Madina Tlostanova, Contemporary art as decolonial knowledge production in the world of imperial difference: institutions, artists, phenomena
Walter Mignolo, (De) coloniality of knowing, being and sensing

The lectures introduce two concepts: de-linking and de-coloniality, (both reworked by Walter Mignolo and Madina Tlostanova) that implicate a cut within contemporary processes of capitalist institutionalization, control and subjugation. De-linking means to de-link ourselves from the unrestrainment of capital that does not allow just a simple opposition, as it does not function as it did in the 1970s as a unity of capital and power, but as co-propriety of capital and power. Therefore, what is necessary is to draw a line of division, in order to de-link ourselves from capital and power. De-coloniality, on the other hand, presents a political position that draws a line inside contemporary processes of coloniality and goes beyond post-colonialism.

Moderation: Marina Gržinić and Ivana Marjanović, Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna

Walter Mignolo is William H. Wannamaker Professor of Literature and Romance Studies and Director of the Center for Global Studies and the Humanities, at Duke University. Mignolo's work, currently being discussed across disciplines and internationally, focuses on semiotics, discourse analysis and literary theory. Since the 1980s, he has written extensively in English and Spanish on the invention of the Americas, the coloniality of knowledge, and the political, ethical and epistemological imperative to decolonise knowledge and knowledge production. His work, which has been translated into Portuguese, French and Russian, includes The Darker Side of the Renaissance (1994 and 2003, awarded the Katherine Kovacs Singer Prize from the MLA), Local Histories/Global Designs (2000) and The Idea of Latin America (2005, awarded the Frantz Fanon Prize from the Caribbean Philosophical Association.) His forthcoming book, The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options is the third of a trilogy, together with The Darker Side of the Renaissance and Local Histories/Global Designs.

Madina Tlostanova is professor of History of Philosophy at Peoples' Friendship University of Russia. She has authored over 130 articles many of which were published in Europe and the US, four books in Russian – Multicultural Discourse and US Fiction of the Late 20th Century (Moscow, 2000), Living Never; Writing from Nowhere: Post-soviet Literature and the Aesthetics of Transculturation (Moscow, 2004), From the Philosophy of Multiculturalism to the Philosophy of Trans-culturation (New York, 2008), Decolonial Gender Epistemologies (Moscow, 2009) and two in English – A Janus-Faced Empire. Notes on the Russian Empire in Modernity Written from the Border (Moscow, 2003) and The Sublime of Globalization? Sketches on Trans-cultural Subjectivity and Aesthetics (Moscow, 2005).

Event organized in cooperation with the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna.

The Post-conceptual Art Practices (PCAP) Class at the Academy of Fine Arts started in 2007 to work intensively on the question of de-coloniality connected with the passage from biopolitics to necropolitics. Over the last years, several reading seminars have been organized by the PCAP open to the whole Academy, and art works were produced originating from this process. This is as well the context for the present colloquium.