"Extractive Zones" Museum Talk Series in collaboration with the documenta Institut and University Zürich

Michael Taussig, Columbia University, New York:

«What Can Art Say About Extraction Anyway? Notes from Goldfields in Western Colombia» (ENG)

Museum der Kulturen Basel, Münsterplatz 20, 4051 Basel - Free Entrance


«Our theme is «extraction» but what can art say or do in this regard? Commonly it is visual art resting on spectacularity and victimization of the planet and people. Being visual art, it follows the convention of avoiding contextualization and captioning, thus running the risk of mystification, struggling to fashion and re-fashion the bonds connecting the body of the viewer to the body of the world.


Let me explore this problem specifically through my drawings and diaries the past thirty years concerning artisanal mining in the isolated Pacific coast rain forest of Colombia, now taken over by mafia capitalism.»


Michael Taussig is Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. He is one of the most innovative, distinguished, and socially engaged voices in Cultural Anthropology. Michael Taussig is author of several highly influential books, including recently Mastery of Non-Mastery in the Age of Meltdown (2020), Palma Africana (2018) and The Corn Wolf (2015). His work combines aspects of ethnography, story-telling, and social theory. Michael Taussig has lectured at universities, conferences, and cultural institutions around the world and has received numerous honors, including a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship and the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.

Michael T. Taussig | Department of Anthropology (columbia.edu)

Michael Taussig - American Academy

The «Extractive Zones» Museum Talk Series is a collaboration with the documenta Institut and University Kassel, University Zürich with the financial support of the Swiss National Science Foundation.


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