Toward a metaphysics of shit.

Fisher, Jean (2002) Toward a metaphysics of shit. In: Documenta11Platform5: exhibition. Hatje Cantz, pp. 63-70. ISBN 3-7757-9086-1. [Book Section]


Fisher's involvement in Documenta11, 2002, began two years prior to the event in discussions with the Director and curatorial team on the theme of the exhibition, the picture content and essay contributors for the catalogue-book. Fisher was both English Text Editor and contributor of a chapter of 5500 words. Since Documenta11 was devoted to interrogating globalisation and international art in the wake of new global antagonisms, for her essay Fisher drew on research that had been awarded a Leverhulme Fellowship (2001-2003).

This research concerned the development of a new approach to artistic and political agency, addressing the question what might constitute an ethical, poetically- and politically-driven resistance to instrumentalised languages beyond the transgressive gestures of the historical avant-garde and the oppositional strategies of art activism. It drew particularly on the artistic practices of indigenous America and the African diaspora and their connections with oral tradition. A conceptual model for artistic agency was developed methodologically by combining research into the hermeneutic ‘trickster' figure (from a language as opposed to anthropological perspective) with practical philosophy. The model is tropological, involved with boundary violation and the re-articulation of language, and has significance in studying how cultural renewal takes place, particularly under conditions of displacement and disenfranchisement.

The Documenta11 essay was reprinted in the Arabic journal Firkun wa Fann, 2003. Interest in Fisher's research led to a five-week residency in Mexico City, 2004, to study Mexican tricksters in stories and pre-Conquest sculpture; invitations to contribute chapters to anthologies, including Complex Entanglements, Rivers Oram, 2003 [ISBN 1854891529], Live Art and Performance, Tate, 2004 [ISBN 1854375016]; to present the Keynote speech for ‘Transversalities', Reading University, 2005, and conference papers, including ‘The Multiple ‘Ethics' of Contemporary Art', ARCO Madrid, 2003, and ‘Barbarians: Contemporary Terms of Contention', Steirischer Herbst, Graz, 2002.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts
Item ID: 844
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Repository team
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2009 16:30
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:12

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