Cite as: Ming Tiampo, Paris from the Outside: In Representation Under Siege, lecture, ICI Berlin, 9 November 2015, video recording, mp4, 01:14:36 <>
9 Nov 2015

Paris from the Outside

In Representation Under Siege
By Ming Tiampo
The Lettrist poems you are about to hear signify nothing and have no meaning. We composed them solely for the beauty of pure noise, for the harmony of the scream.
Isidore Isou

The end of the Second World War marked the start of new struggles in many parts of the world: partitions, wars of independence, revolutions, and dictatorships. Tiampo traces how artists from the decolonizing world living in Paris developed a vocabulary of form that encoded materials and their destruction with phenomenological and political significance. Scratching, breaking, gouging, concealing, stretching and otherwise rendering illegible, these artists silently denounced the political realities from which they chose exile. Their politically charged engagements with the limits of language and representation underscored the ethical significance of Poststructuralism’s propositions, which also emerged out of the decolonizing struggles of the former French Empire (Lionnet and Shih, 2011). This talk is part of a larger project that demonstrates how Paris functioned as a crucible of global encounter and ‘transmodernity’ (Dussel, 2002) that enabled cross-fertilization among the many artists who founded modernist movements in their countries of origin. Ultimately, the project seeks to decolonize current narratives of Paris as modernism’s point of origin, and re-theorize how we think and write about artistic centres.

Ming Tiampo is Associate Professor of Art History at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She is a scholar of transnational vanguardism with a focus on Japan after 1945. Tiampo’s book Gutai: Decentering Modernism (University of Chicago Press, 2011) received an honorable mention for the Robert Motherwell Book award. In 2013, she was co-curator of the AICA award-winning Gutai: Splendid Playground at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. In addition to her work on Gutai, Tiampo has published on Japanese modernism, war art in Japan, globalization and art, multiculturalism in Canada, and the connections between Inuit and Japanese prints. In 2013, she co-edited Art and War in Japan and its Empire: 1931-1960 (Brill Academic Press). Tiampo is a founding member of the Center for Transnational Cultural Analysis at Carleton University.


ICI Berlin
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Video in English

Format: mp4
Length: 01:14:36
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Rights: © ICI Berlin