“Azoulay has produced a unique handbook for the 2020s that details how, why, when and where to say no in the affirmative. Her greatest achievement is that, against the foreshortened horizons of a despoiling barbarism, she makes all our tomorrows thinkable.“Guy Mannes-Abbott – Third Text – April 2020
Ariella Aïsha Azoulay, ‘Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism’
Verso Books, New York and London, 2019
656pp, ISBN 978-1788735711
Ariella Aïsha Azoulay’s Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism is almost double the size of my copy of Edward Said’s Orientalism and about half the size, in turn, of Karl Marx’s first volume of Capital. There are many nuanced differences across such a crudely mapped zone but the quality that all three share is a burning desire to change, to radically redistribute the world as it is, or appears to be. Azoulay’s six-hundred-page-long Potential History offers a liveable commonworld through exacting reparations and ends with a very short but insistent affirmation: ‘The potential is there’. 
Continue reading “notes_24 “Aieeee-shaaaa”, a Potential History. Or, unlearning imperialism with Ariella Aisha Azoulay | TT”
click IMAGE to link to notes from a biennial – appendix [i] in conversation with aisha khalid
click IMAGE to link to notes from a biennial – on reflection
Notes from a Biennial – On Reflection
by Guy Mannes-Abbott
The opening week of this year’s Biennial was very intense; promising and delivering much. I’m glad I had early access to it all, could play that off repeated circuits and discrete returns, along with mini wanders with various artists and writers, old and new friends, listen to other’s highlights, tips, and ‘zoom’ in and out of the city, region and world in the process.
I was invited as a writer to write critically and I would fail the Biennial as much as myself if I did otherwise. I’m a demanding judge or at least have very high thresholds and am not biddable! Yet Sharjah Biennial 10 has been a triumph for all those involved. It took big risks Continue reading “notes from a biennial – on reflection”
click IMAGE to link to notes from a biennial – on presence
Continue reading “notes from a biennial – on presence”
click HERE to link to notes from a biennial – day one part 2
Dirk Stewen untitled [Bronx Monkey II] at Maureen Paley
I’ve been enjoying quite a few shows recently which are likely to be blown out of the water by the imminent frieze fair and so with mighty respect to the latter I thought I’d flag them up as alternatives…
Future Movements Jerusalem at Liverpool Biennial [18 Sept-28 Nov 2010] is an essential exhibition of work from and about Palestine. I posted on Raouf Haj Yihya’s Meter Square here, the New Statesman bravely ran a rather muted piece here and my own review will run at Babelmed shortly. Surprise yourself if you can get to it, or wait for it to travel south as I know it is scheduled to do. But be sure to see it.
Otherwise, Liverpool is a far better Biennial than scarce notice of it by lazy old journos suggests; everyone rightly notes the almost painfully compelling acid-Warhol-mashup-vids of Ryan Trecartin’s but there’s much else, including NS Harsha’s very nice installation [right] at 52 Renshaw Street and not least at Tate Liverpool -where a dubiously conceived but actually nicely put together show called The Sculpture of Language by Carol Anne Duffy exhibits some great and rarely aired works.
Dirk Stewen at Maureen Paley [08 October — 14 November 2010] is the most winning new work in town for me. If you do make it to the frieze jamboree then add this show to your bottom-line schedule otherwise you’ll have failed yourself and London. If you’re not friezing it then take advantage and spend some time in a show spread over two floors, beautifully arranged/hung works combining utopian gesture with extraordinary concentration, tentativeness and beauty. The work seems hardly there at all and yet surprises/delights with a precision that makes for indelibility. It’s Stewen’s first show in London, I’d never seen the work before and this exhibition made me happy to be alive; don’t miss it! Continue reading “nb, visual art noticeboard [alternatives to friezing…]”