Category Archives: Arts

Bonnie Honig on agency in “Antigone”

Antigone’s actions are “embedded in and enacted on behalf of forces, structures, and networks larger than the autonomous individual that modern liberals, humanists and even radical democratic theorist tend to both love … and berate” (Honig, Antigone, Interrupted, 8). “Under the name of Antigone, A,I tracks not an exemplary individual but rather a set of discourses, styles, genres, vocabularies, citations, collaborations, conspiracies, reactions, interruptions, negotiations, failed and successful communications” (piece on the Leonard/Porter panel, 330). Antigone is “a veritable swarm of figures. Not a subjectified reified figure, but a host: … all dissidents, martyrs, counter-revolutionaries, philosophers, feminists, and diasporic actors who have claimed her or been claimed by her. Indeed, Antigone seems to me to be less of a singular heroine … than a signifier overflowing with contested meanings and available for mobilization as a heroine in many particular contexts” (331). Honig insists that “the world also always passes through us, and that we are, therefore, only ever individuated, never individuals as such, always en procès” (335). “I do press for a politics that seeks out sovereignty, but not for individuals. Individual subjects are anything but sovereign. As actors in concert, however, we can set the terms of our collective life together in small and, sometimes, large ways” (piece on the Walsh panel, 571).

Owen Holland: “‘What we believe in waits latent forever through all the continents’: The Paris Commune and the Poetics of Martyrdom in the Fin de Siècle Socialist Print Culture”

“The problem of how to relate to, and retrospectively valorise, the Commune’s failure created a tension in the socialist periodical press between the motivational need to celebrate such a heroic defeat, in order to justify sacrifices both past and present, and the evaluative need critically to assess the reasons that underlay the defeat.”

“Night School on Anarres”

Night School on Anarres is an educational experiment examining the utopian proposals of twentieth-century anarchism, drawing from Ursula K Le Guin’s seminal sci-fi novel The Dispossessed. … Part sci-fi set, part classroom, part roundhouse theatre, the Night School on Anarres installation is a site where utopic ambitions can be collectively imagined, performed and discussed.”

“The care and feeding of radical men”

“By glossing over Karl Marx’s numerous personal misdeeds, Raoul Peck’s biopic ‘The Young Karl Marx’ fails to give his collaborators their due.”

“New Museum Triennial Takes a Global View of Aesthetic Resistance”

Songs for Sabotage, the fourth installment of the New Museum triennial, brings together politically astute works by 30 artists and collectives from 19 countries.”

Simon Callow: “How Wagner Tried to Revolutionize Art and End Capitalism”

Persuaded by Röckel’s arguments, he became increasingly radicalized, connecting his idealistic views of the position of art in society with Röckel’s vision of a world where the power of capital was annihilated, and class, position and family prejudices would disappear. In the new order, Röckel assured him, everybody would participate in labor according to their strength and capacity, work would cease to be a burden and would eventually assume a purely artistic character.”

“October! The Soviet Centenary”

South Atlantic Quarterly 116: 4 (October 2017), Hardt & Mezzadra, eds.

“Revolution Every Day” at Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art

The exhibition “juxtaposes works of Soviet graphic art—primarily posters from the 1920s and 1930s—with works on video and film.”

Charles McNulty: “How theater should respond to a democracy in meltdown”

“Today would seem to be a prime time for agitprop.”

“All the President’s Shakespeare”

“What Trump administration officials would you cast in Macbeth?”