Tarek Elhaik

My work is based on intensive participant observation in contemporary art and curatorial worlds. It is a contribution to aesthetic anthropology, the anthropology of contemporary arts, and the anthropology of the contemporary image. Until now I have been conducting fieldwork in Mexico City where I was attentive to the image-work and writings of media artists, as well as to the concept-work of curators who care about them. The outcome of this first fieldwork experience and experiment is a book length study titled The Incurable-Image: Curating Post-Mexican Film & Media Arts (Edinburgh University Press, February 2016). My new book project examines the afterlives of medieval philosophical debates in contemporary anthropology and art. It is composed of several scenes based on encounters with artists whose aesthetic and ethical struggles reconfigure the relation between image-work, thinking-in-process, and a general intelligence. These artists are Mathias Goeritz, Adrian Piper, Mounir Fatmi, Giulio Paolini, Mohssin Harraki, Anna Maria Maiolino, Raul Ruiz, among others. The book is titled “The Art of Cogitation,” a term I reanimate from the 12th century Andalusian thinker Ibn Rushd (Latin. Averroes).

one Month ago


Dialogues between Contemporary Art and Anthropology, Genealogies of Abstraction and Conceptualism, Theories of the Image, Curation, Geo-Philosophy, Gilles Deleuze, Ibn Rushd (Averroes).