CONTEMPORARY ART IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH: OCCUPATION / PARTICIPATION / KNOWLEDGE
In this chapter I focus on how contemporary art practitioners engage with notions of epistemic disobedience and the production of knowledge, both responding to, and generating theoretical insights for, a corpus of theoretical discourse. I argue that contemporary art theory and practice is assuming an ever more important role in the configuration and reconfiguration of the Global South platform. The emphasis that this platform places upon knowledge generation means that artists working from within this paradigm encounter and respond to an entirely different notion of ‘participation’ than that articulated by Claire Bishop (2004, 2006, 2012) or Nicolas Bourriaud (2002). I further argue that what characterizes and shapes these processes is their location: marginal to the apparel of mainstream academia, and positioned at the porous frontier of institutional and non-institutional contemporary art spaces, these practices occur instead from within a skein of networks and hierarchies deriving from multiple modes of life. And it is this crossing of axes – the horizontal and the vertical, the mercantile and the post material, the ephemeral and the utopian – that renders such re-signification, participation, and production of knowledge entirely unique.
auflynn [at] arts.ucla.edu
Alex Ungprateeb Flynn is an Assistant Professor at the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, University of California, Los Angeles. Working as an anthropologist and curator, Alex’s practice explores the intersection of ethnographic and curatorial modes of enquiry. Researching collaboratively with activists, curators and artists in Brazil since 2007, Alex explores the prefigurative potential of art in community contexts, prompting the theorisation of fields such as the production of knowledge, the pluriversal, and the social and aesthetic dimensions of form.