Edited by Sophie J. Williamson
Part of the acclaimed Documents of Contemporary Art series of anthologies which collect writing on major themes and ideas in contemporary art.
"This book is an invaluable resource for anyone wanting to approach questions around migration and exchange through the prism of language. How ideas travel, how cultural specificity is communicated (or not), how migration inflects and is inflected by language – the questions that animate the texts reprinted here are among the most urgent facing artists and curators today."
-Marcus Verhagen, Senior Lecturer,
MA Contemporary Art, Sotheby's Institute of Art
The movement of global populations, and subsequently the task of translation, underlies contemporary culture: the intricacies of ancient and modern diaspora, generations of colonisation and the transportation of slaves are now superimposed by economic and environmental migration, forced political exiles and refugees. This timely anthology will consider translation’s ongoing role in cultural navigation and understanding, exploring the approaches of artists, poets and theorists in negotiating increasingly protean identities: from the intrinsic intimacy of language, to translation’s embedded structures of knowledge production and interaction, to its limitations of expression and, ultimately, its importance in a world of multiple perspectives.
Artists surveyed include Shahidul Alam, Meric Algün, Barby Asante, Geta Brătescu, Trisha Brown, Jesse Darling, Parastou Forouhar, Camille Henrot, Susan Hiller, Emily Jacir, Glenn Ligon, Taus Makhacheva, Shirin Neshat, Christian Nyampeta, Hélio Oiticica, Pratchaya Phinthong, Kurt Schwitters, Yinka Shonibare, Slavs and Tatars, Erika Tan, Jennifer Tee, Danh Vō, Wu Tsang, Katarina Zdjelar.
Writers include Kathy Acker, Hannah Arendt, Alice Becker-Ho, James Baldwin, Walter Benjamin, Judith Butler, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Frantz Fanon, Jean Fisher, Stuart Hall, bell hooks, Irena Klepfisz, Sarat Maharaj, Martha Rosler, Hito Steyerl, Lawrence Venuti, Miyó Vestrini.
Sophie J. Williamson is Programme Curator: Exhibitions at Camden Arts Centre, London. She has written for frieze, Art Monthly and Aesthetica and was the first recipient of the Gasworks Curatorial Fellowship in 2016.
Paperback, 240 pages, 210 x 145 mm
First published 2019