A History of Impossible Progress
This concluding section uses art works and performances included in the 2015 Venice Biennial to identify a legacy of Marx and the black political left in the present of this writing. While the revolutionary possibility is understood as more remote than it may have been in the sixties, the resistant energies articulated in this tradition may still be used to deploy a radical criticality that unsettles disciplinary forms and the capitalist priorities that support them. Particular attention is paid to instances of sound and music that exceed the ordering powers of visuality that accompany this prestigious visual art exhibition. Works by artists including Emeka Ogboh, Isaac Julien, Julius Eastman, Glenn Ligon, and Alicia Hall Moran and Jason Moran offer resonant echoes of a political past that are part of the material of black political life’s current crises.
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