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Notes on Globalisation: The Work of Art in the Age of Shoe-Throwing

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In December 2008 Muntadar al-Zaidi, an Iraqi journalist, paved the way for anything parked in a gallery space to be regarded as 'the work of art in the age of shoe-throwing'. However advisable, a tendency to challenge global ambitions with something all-encompassing may well be diagnosed as psycho-mimetic reciprocation. To avoid this, the author uses fragmentation as a tool to confront globalisation, which is why his article consists of relatively short fragments. In countries where the power of corporate capital has reached an imperial state, 'democracy' is an empty canister set to be filled with oil. To restore it to the status of political utopia, one needs to understand that autonomous discursive fields and aesthetic activities no longer exist. Everything, including art, has to be embedded into some system much larger than itself. Yet, there should be negative gestures as well, gestures capable of self-negation in the name of utopia. Any text describes the indescribable inasmuch as it refers to some elusive textual entity, a 'deferred object' that escapes description identical to such an entity. The latter is often mistaken for something else, eg, art or democracy. Any effort to establish a one-to-one correspondence between 'deferred objects' and their descriptions or definitions is what Adorno attributes to identitarian thinking, and Derrida to logocentrism. Finally, globalisation is a vehicle that spreads 'insteads' - idiocy instead of idiosyncrasy, glamour instead of amour (where 'gl' is short for glossy). Glossy love, the name of the promised land.

Keywords: Adorno; Derrida; Globalisation; Muntadar al-Zaidi; deferred object; democracy; glossy love; shoe-throwing

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2009

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