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   suche   steirischer herbst, 24. Oktober - 24. November 2002

steirischer herbst 2002
visual arts

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Elisabeth List - abstract
The furore of the identical. Differentiation and exclusion rhetoric in the postcolonial world situation

In view of growing diffusion and mixing – the result of processes of the opening and integration of the global economy – there have been increasing efforts since the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union to consolidate the borders of the Western world, at the cultural level in the name of the postulates of Western thought, its logocentrism.
Where once the East was an opponent to be resisted in the Cold War period, the South is becoming an “outside”, increasingly abandoned to its fate, its chaos and its local violence following the destruction of its traditions and structures as a result of countless colonial incursions. In view of its unpredictability it is again becoming a terra incognita, a space of new barbarism beyond the fortified borders of the world of the North. Behind the Western mantras of progress there is hidden an unuttered fear of mixing, of contact with the Other – that which lies beyond and outside civilisation. Upon this ground there arise the phantasms of the totally Other, the images of the barbarian as alien and hostile to one’s own world.
It is a matter of unearthing the political background expressed in anti-universalist, nationalist, religious/fundamentalist sentiments, its cultural manifestations and its historical, political and economic roots.