New Article: Activating Temporalities: The Political Power of Artistic Time

Untitled Mosaic Mural, Roberto Burle Marx, 1991, Naples Botanical Gardens, Naples, Italy, May 13, 2014 | © Courtesy of JC Shamrock/Flickr.
Untitled Mosaic Mural, Roberto Burle Marx, 1991, Naples Botanical Gardens, Naples, Italy, May 13, 2014 | © Courtesy of JC Shamrock/Flickr.

Mieke Bal

Published Online: 2018-07-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2018-0009.

Abstract

Inspired by Marx’ view of “untimely temporalities,” I connect my own conception of the need for anachronism in art history with some contemporary artworks focusing on the political importance of art in the present. The analyses of work by three contemporary artists who each bring their own aesthetic of slowness, interruption, and activism to their art leads to a conception of political art as activating rather than directly activist. In addition to Marx, especially his view of temporality, and to Henri Bergson as a major philosopher of time, the article also establishes connections with the ideas of contemporary cultural analyst Kaja Silverman. These three thinkers, each in their own way, undermine the binary oppositions on which so much of thought is based.


Featured Image Credits: Untitled Mosaic Mural, Roberto Burle Marx, 1991, Naples Botanical Gardens, Naples, Italy, May 13, 2014 | © Courtesy of JC Shamrock/Flickr.


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