Discussions of cosmopolitanism often revolve around the ethic of hospitality, and the responsibility of the host to extend receptiveness towards the various kinds of strangers who are increasingly inserted into the space of familiarity by the unpredictable circulations and mobilities of globalization. In this panel discussion, however, we address the ethic of the guest: How active may a guest be, upon entering another society, culture, or political predicament? Having long ago rejected the mechanisms of exoticism and xenography, how does the transcultural artist as insurgent cosmopolitan infiltrate such zones, address and explore other histories, form coalitions and collaborations with the denizens of an else-where, with the intention of producing new solidarities, new knowledges, or new clarifications of ongoing existential urgencies? The speakers on this panel are the Berlin-based artist groups Zinny and Maidagan, and Fischer and el Sani. Zinny and Maidagan base their practice on an openness to the historical depth and density of the often institutional sites they work in, resulting in a multiplication of the contexts and contingencies of site to reveal the crises of a collective situation. Fischer and el Sani conduct their practice through long-term engagements with historical voids that have been erased from the official narrative, evacuated of validity, or abandoned to nature; by speaking of, documenting, meditating on, and retrieving the significance of such lacunae, they emphasize the potential centrality of the marginal.
Moderated by Ranjit Hoskote