Minor art

Philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari propose that it is precisely in  "cramped" conditions for cultural production, through the uncomfortable closeness of peoples, histories, and languages that the most innovative and radical creation is possible. Making this proposition in Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature (1986), they focus on the work of German-speaking Czech Jewish writer Franz Kafka. I am interested in "minor" strategies within the work of contemporary artists; art-practices that are not a simple case of expression in an art discourse in which one "fits", but rather a "tentative manoeuvre around and within" existing discourses (Nicholas Thoburn 2003). This can bring about an oscillation between formal discursive interests and a reformulation of such areas as identity construction, normative language use and sexual and political performativities. This dual quality reoccurs in the work of many contemporary artists whose work I have written about, including contemporary artists like James Coleman, Katarina Zdjelar, Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson, Gustav Metzger and Yael Davids. On occasion I have also written about historical artists, like William Orpen, whose work bear early evidence of such strategies.

Sample Publications

"Close Listening: Katarina Zdjelar's My lifetime (Malaika) (2012)", Katarina Zdjelar, solo exh. cat. Artium Basque Museum-Centre of Contemporary Art, 2013 

"Avant-garde Citizens: The Future of Hospitality", Under Deconstruction: Libia Castro and Ólafur Ólafsson, Sternberg Press and Icelandic pavilion Venice Biennale, 2011 
“William Orpen: Towards a Minor Self-portraiture”, Visual Culture Britain, Vol. 13, Issue 1, February 2012, 25-4




Yael Davids Learning to Imitate 2011

Yael Davids, Learning to Imitate, 2011