Thursday, April 9, 2015

Julie Mehretu @Princeton today

With Julie Mehretu, Perrin Lathrop, Wendy Li, James Krolikowski, Akua Banful, Faridah Folawiyo and Alexis Foster
My friend and artist Julie Mehretu was in my "Art and Politics in Postcolonial Africa" seminar @Princeton today. What is the politics of abstraction, the relationship of art and capital, and how to convey through verbal narrative an artist's often messy creative process? Julie's presentation of her work through a kind of stream-of-consciousness citation of conjoined texts taken from sources as diverse as poetry, news reports, scholarly arguments about maps, mark-making, and the nature of color, but also from political slogans, philosophical treatises, historical accounts, literary works, and many more; these collage and cascade of texts--because they taxed the listener's power of concentration and his ability make sense of words, sentences, phrases from known and mostly obscure sources--came closest to, more than anything I have heard or read before about, how the artistic unconscious works while in the process of making work. Anyway, Julie, this is a shout out to you, for making today's encounter such a thrill.
Next visits: El Anatsui on Apr. 23; and Zanele Muholi on Apr. 30.

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