via Bidoun, Fall Issue:
COLUMN: Global Epidemic
Art in the age of globalization [excerpt]
Mai Abu Eldahab
Let's recap. Globalization—this obscure word remains consistently used and misused. Today, anything which includes non-western nationalities /cultures /ethnic or political groupings is defined as being the face of this globalization. On the art front this globalization is rampant; inIVA (London) produces the hit show 'The Veil'; the Fridericianum (Kassel) opts for 'In the Gorges of the Balkans' prepping the art market for the art of the new European states; in the aftermath of September 11, Witte de With (Rotterdam), the Bildmuseet (Umeå) and Fundació Antoni Tàpies (Barcelona) co-host 'Contemporary Arab Representations'; and PS 1 (New York) introduces us to poverty and violence in 'Mexico City: An Exhibition about the Exchange Rates of Bodies and Values.' In this so-called new age of multi-culti/fusion/hybrid everything, globalization rhetoric is not only modish but economically viable as well—a catchphrase for a product line.
In the coming paragraphs, I don't want to redundantly propose yet another definition of globalization (in 1998 alone, 2822 academic papers on globalization were written and 589 books on the subject were published), but rather I will try to put forward a suggestion of the three most commonly utilized understandings of this term and how they manifest themselves in the culture trade. [read on...]