An essay I wrote for AIAC on David Goldblatt at the Jewish Museum in Manhattan (2010) is in the latest edition of SAVVY, a Journal for Critical Texts on Contemporary African Art based in Berlin. The 3rd edition of SAVVY is devoted to looking at the “The fire behind the smoke called political art”: that is, the relationship between art and politics, and whether the two are an “inseparable couple”; it’s edited by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung and Andrea Heister. Some great essays in there.
My essay, “David Goldblatt at Manhattan’s Jewish Museum,” is in the “Retrospectives” section, on pp.91-106. (Warning: it’s a huge file. But it’s free!)
Here’s the journal’s promo blurb:
Talking about politics and Africa is always crackling. Talking about politics and art is always a guarantee for a hot debate. Then of course talking about art, politics and Africa is a recipe for an electrifying discourse. An objective and constructive critique without pledging any predetermined allegiance to a specific school of thought is an important ingredient in this recipe.
What is for certain is, arts and politics are not of different planets. They share the same playground, they are not antagonistic but complementary to each other and usually co-exist in a symbiotic relationship… and that was evident in many of the texts we received. Surprisingly, we received no article claiming the independence of art from politics or propagating „l’art pour l’art“. Is art for art sake a blunt imagination or is it just not an African issue? Art is known to be able to reflect, in one way or the other – consciously or unconsciously, the socio-political, physical or psychological context in which an artist finds him-/herself. Art and the so-called “Schaffensdrang” have to do with a need to create, and often this need stems from a reaction to one’s immediate or extended surrounding.