book as an object of potential history



Photo taken by Otto Kaltner

20210316 a53 abdelrahman-web 07

Photo taken by Simon Oberhofer

book as an object of potential history

by Abdelrahman Elbashir

Based on his work in the course Art-Based Investigation (convened by Milica Tomić during this winter semester), he has developed a mode of exhibiting for Ariella Aïsha Azoulay’s book Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism. His proposal stems from and is deeply engaged with the core messages of the book itself. This exhibition asks us to think critically about the institutions that have been appropriating cultural artefacts and sealing them in glass vitrines. It also proposes to view the book itself as an object of potential history.

Elbashir writes: “The book as an object of potential history, thus, does not derive its value from its singular physical being. The value lies in this reading of history, a process necessary to unlearn this institutional fixation. In this framework, this modality is exhibiting the book through its reading.”