Contemporary Crisis and Dissent

How do artists respond to political oppression, conflict, and censorship? What is the relationship of art to vehicles of social change? How can oppositional and alternative voices be assembled? Brought together here, contemporary crises—whether political, economic, or environmental, and across divergent geographic contexts—offer ways to critically rethink and reassess international trends as well as local urgencies. Enhancing an understanding of the vast landscape of struggle around the globe, while invoking heterogenous discourses, this Theme offers different forms of knowing, frequently beyond, or in direct opposition to, narratives that are in the process of being constructed—or will be in the near future.

Incommensurability and Untranslatability

The move to diversify art historical narratives is often accompanied by a search for commonalities. Instead addressing a need to acknowledge radical difference and untranslatability, each presenter in this panel approached the question of the incommensurable, interrogating tensions between a global approach and site-specific study.

Documenting Migration in Contemporary Art: Bouchra Khalili’s The Mapping Journey Project

How to raise awareness of the most recent refugee crisis in the Mediterranean in a way that does not spectacularize human suffering? Beginning with Bouchra Khalili’sThe Mapping Journey Project, this essay addresses how the present crisis has manifested as image and has made its way, across a variety of methodological and ethical approaches, into works of…