University of Southern California


Animism at e-flux

April 26–July 28, 2012
Opening: Thursday, April 26, 7–9pm
Tuesday-Saturday, 12–6pm
311 East Broadway
New York, NY 10002
T: 212.619.3356

Curated by Anselm Franke
With Marcel Broodthaers, Walt Disney, Jimmie Durham, Harun Farocki, Tom Holert, Luis Jacob, Ken Jacobs, Joachim Koester, Len Lye, Chris Marker, Daria Martin, Angela Melitopoulos & Maurizio Lazzarato, Ana Mendieta, Vincent Monnikendam, Spyros Papapetros, Alain Resnais, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, and others.

The exhibition Animism rethinks the question of animation not by investigating the effect of animation within aesthetics, but by tackling the unquestioned backdrop against which such aesthetic effects are discussed. This backdrop is the discourse of animism: a term defined by nineteenth century anthropologists searching for mankind’s alleged primitive, original religion, which they identified as the erroneous animation of the surrounding world. Outside the field of art and mass media, discussions on animation turn into an ontological battleground at the frontier of colonial modernity.
In this iteration of the exhibition, a constellation of works investigate that which is the exact opposite of animation and subjectification: methods of objectification, mummification, and reification. Looking at the way objects are made and fixed within a particular order of knowledge, the exhibition reflects on the way museological practices partake in such processes. What are the very relations and resulting forms of animation produced through objectification? Works by Chris Marker and Alain Resnais, Jimmie Durham, and Natascha Sadr Haghighian point to what is foreclosed in objectivist knowledge and left to return as symptom, as fictional substitute, or as unstable animated phantasmagoria.

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