Sunday, August 24, 2008

Farewell to post-colonialism

The third Guangzhou Triennial is just about to open with a theme 'farewell to post-colonialism'. It is interesting to see their take on this. From the introduction:

For some years major international contemporary exhibitions around the world have worked towards building up ‘discursive sites for a cacophony of voices’ and ‘negotiated spaces of diverse values’, emphasising ‘correctness’ in cultural politics; these have inadvertently triumphed to the neglect of independent pursuit of artistic creativity and alternative imaginative worlds. Concepts of identity, multiplicity and difference are now slowly losing their edge to become new restrictions for artistic practice, succumbing to the phenomena of ‘false representation’ and ‘multi-cultural managerialism’.

It will be interesting to see if this is a departure from politics itself, towards what appears to be a large movement towards enchantment - the power of art not to change the world but to provide relief from it.

An alternative farewell to post-colonialism reflects the changing world order with previous victims of Western imperialism, like India and China, now aspiring to be active agents in the world order themselves. Perhaps this is part of it. Perhaps it doesn't need to be said.