"What’s left is politics but even the politics of the commons, of the resistance to enclosure, can only be a politics of ends, a rectitude aimed at the regulatory end of the common. And even when the election that was won turns out to have been lost, and the bomb detonates and/or fails to detonate, the common perseveres as if a kind of elsewhere, here, around, on the ground, surrounding hallucinogenic facts."
-Stefano Harney and Fred Moten, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study, 2013
Installations by Fayçal Baghriche, Sandra Brewster, David Hartt and Jeneen Frei Njootli consider historical, present and speculative expansions on the global, as a permanently unfixed, interdependent but disordered whole. The global produced in their work is one borne of collective and underground actions that might resemble Harney’s and Moten’s ‘elsewhere.’
Such observations of globalized entanglement were made by Vancouver-based theorist Denise Ferreira Da Silva who asks in her 2016 essay, On Difference Without Separability, “What if, instead of the Ordered World, we imaged each (human and more-than human) existent consisted not as separate forms relating through the mediation of forces but rather, as singular expressions of each and every other existent as well as of the entangled whole in/as which they exist?”
Ferreira Da Silva’s questions were provoked by the popular, political and legal hostilities that have emerged in response to the influx and movement of refugees and immigrants following economic crises and armed conflicts around the world. However her examination leads her to ask how a modern imaginary, limited by fixed separations of place and time allows the idea of humanity to become an enclosed term, denied to those who are displaced in the Ordered World and therefore objects of cultural difference.
The artists in this exhibition mine transnational counter-flows, cultural dispersions from geographical or social peripheries and alternative representations. Emerging and reclaimed ecologies and sovereignties underline the narratives of colonial trade routes, rebellion and migration in Brewster’s work, are the result of the entanglements that comprise Hartt’s fictions, mapped out in Frei Njootli’s sound work and inferred by the visual dissolution in Baghriche’s installations.
In featuring representations of a shared commons, a pervasive elsewhere to imagine globalized spaces of refuge, this exhibition responds to recent thinking by Moten, Harney and Ferreira Da Silva on how the global can be recuperated, identified and accessed beyond the mediating control of capital and the logic of the modern nation state.