GLOBAL POSTSOCIALIST PERFORMANCE


MACBA Presentation

Post?Socialist Horizons Presentation


While the myopia and Eurocentrism of Francis Fukuyama’s claim that the end of the Cold War brought with it the ‘end of history’ has been torn to shreds, there remains something significant about the way that postsocialist historiography has diminished the significance of the global socialist project and banished communist politics to the annals of area studies. Socialism has been made history, and in so doing, the revolutionary future has been banished. Despite the best efforts of scholars who have analyzed the postsocialist condition in relationship to global neoliberalism, colonialism, and global capitalism, the experience of postsocialism fails to be taken seriously on both the international and national scale. Rather, socialism has been transformed into marginalia.

This presentation responds to Neda Atanasoski and Kalindi Vora’s (2018) call for a ‘postsocialist methodology’ by engaging with postsocialist artists—expansively defined—whose performance and video work continues to iterate communist practice. Examples include the activation of former sites of social housing, critiques of infrastructural negligence, resuscitation of anti-fascist speech, and an insistence on internationalist anticolonial visions. Condemning the neoliberal rhetorical equivalence of fascism and communism, postsocialist methodology centers the afterlives and past lives of revolution as potent sources of contemporary political thought and socially-engaged art production. Engaging the work of postsocialist artists from Afghanistan, Angola, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Ghana, Chile, Albania, Vietnam, and others, this presentation appropriates postsocialism as a trojan horse for Fred Moten and Stefano Harney’s “prophetic organization that works for the red and black abolition!” (2013).




Backwards scholar, utilitarian artist.   
Los Angeles / Belgrade