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Sebastián  Eduardo Dávila, Rebecca Hanna John, ...: On Withdrawal—Introduction
On Withdrawal—Introduction
(S. 7 – 28)
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Sebastián Eduardo Dávila

Sebastián Eduardo Dávila’s PhD project deals with materiality in art practices from postwar Guatemala. He forms part of the DFG graduate program “Cultures of Critique” at Leuphana University Lüneburg. His articles and reviews have been published in journals such as Miradas, Re:Visions, Revista Poiésis and insurgencias.net, in the anthology Museums, Transculturality and the Nation State (ed. Susanne Leeb and Nina Samuel, 2022), and in the context of art exhibitions. He has spoken at conferences like “Worldviews: Latin American Art and the Decolonial Turn” (London/online, 2021) and “Seeing more Queerly in the 21st Century” (Miami, 2020), and is part of the collective VOCES de Guatemala en Berlín.

Rebecca Hanna John

is an art historian and author invested in transnational perspectives on art. She studied art history, literature and media studies at the University of Konstanz, Paris University Diderot, Humboldt University of Berlin, as well as at the School of Arts and Aesthetics of Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. In 2019, she joined the DFG graduate program “Cultures of Critique” at Leuphana University Lüneburg, with a PhD project on archival critique and transnational narratives in contemporary art practices.
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Ulrike Jordan

is an art historian and cultural producer. Prior to joining the DFG graduate program “Cultures of Critique” at Leuphana University Lüneburg in 2019, she was working in various cultural institutions in Berlin like Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien and Maxim Gorki Theater. She is an active member of neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK), where she collaboratively realized the projects Im Dissens (2019) and 50 Jahre neue Gesellschaft (2019). Together with Naomi Hennig she curated the exhibition Context is Half the Work. A Partial History of the Artist Placement Group (Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, 2015 / Summerhall Edinburgh, 2016).
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Thorsten Schneider

is an author and art historian with a transdisciplinary background, who also teaches at several universities. Since 2019 he is part of the DFG graduate program “Cultures of Critique” at Leuphana University Lüneburg, where he is researching on ideology in the context of German art history since 1968 and its potential for a contemporary art critique. In 2018 he was curator in residence of the German state North Rhine Westphalia at Schloss Ringenberg. In 2019 he was honored by the Austrian artmagazine for his art critique. He is a member of the German section of AICA (Association Internationale des Critiques d’Art).
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Judith Sieber

lives and works in Berlin. She was a member of the DFG graduate program “Cultures of Critique” at Leuphana University Lüneburg, from 2017 until 2022. Her dissertation, titled Kritik linearer Zeit, formulates a critique of the universalistic concept of the directed and linear timeline established via diagrams in eighteenth century England. Together with Marius Hanft and Lotte Warnholdt she edited the volume Weiterschreiben. Anschlüsse an Rebecca Ardners “Affirmation und Negation als Figuren der Kritik” (2020). Her texts and exhibition reviews have been published in, among others, AQNB, Arts of the Working Class and Rundbrief Fotografie. From 2015 to 2016 she was a Global Humanities Junior Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
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Nele Wulff

is an arts scholar and cultural producer and is pursuing her PhD in the DFG graduate program “Cultures of Critique” at Leuphana University Lüneburg. Her work focuses on artistic institutional critiques as well as queer-feminist critique. She has worked for various art projects and institutions, including dOCUMENTA (13), the Venice Biennale, and the Hamburg- based exhibition project Krankheit als Metapher. She has published articles in the journal feministische studien and the magazine Kultur und Gespenster.
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Sebastián  Eduardo Dávila (Hg.), Rebecca Hanna John (Hg.), ...: On Withdrawal—Scenes of Refusal, Disappearance, and Resilience in Art and Cultural Practices

What forms does withdrawal—meaning either that which withdraws itself or which is being withdrawn—take in artistic and cultural practices? What movement(s) does it create or follow in specific contexts, and with what theoretical, material, and political consequences? The contributors of this book address these questions in a variety of writing practices, each focusing on specific scenes. These scenes are organized under three parts that structure the chapters: Passivity, Failure, and Refusal; Disappearance and Remembrance; Resilience and Resistance. Through interviews, artistic and literary texts, visual contributions, and academic texts, the authors explore various modalities of withdrawal ranging from a silencing of critical voices to a political and aesthetic strategy of refusal. The enforced disappearance of government opponents, for instance, may be implemented as a means of state violence, but withdrawing may also mean the decision not to participate in such violence, either through forms of passivity or refusal. Moreover, in the neoliberal logic of resilience, the relationship between subjective agency and imposition from the outside remains tense. The aim of this book is to tackle these tensions, as well as the ambiguities and complexities of withdrawal.

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