A Review: Gerardo Mosquera and Jean Fisher (eds) Over Here; Nikos Papastergiadis, Complex Entanglements
By 1990 the art world was looking for new fields of interest. Feminism and postroodernism were tired, and postcolonialism was the rising star. So New York's New Museum of Contemporary Art published an anthology called Out. There, which sought to throw light on margmallsed artists who were somewhere out there beyond the horizon of Manhattan. 'Recognising that the very title of the anthology conveniently reinstated New York as the fountainhead of not just (post)modernism but also all who were marginalised by and resisted It, Mosquera and Fisher have titled their recent anthology Over Here Here's the rub. Not only does Over There, like a call for attention, reinscribe a centre for elsewhere, bit it is also published by the same New York New Museum of Contemporary Art. I guess that once the searchlight is pointed out there, calls of 'over there' will inevidently be heard.
The publication in the past half-dozen years of readers and general introductions to postcolonialism suggests that, having also run its course, postcolonialism now can be inscribed into the grand tradition of Western critical theory and safely taught in our tertiary institutions. However, this may premature. Three recent anthologies, Third Text Reader, Complex Entanglements and Over Here, attempt to take postcolonial criticism forward rather than assess its achievements. Despite several attempts by the old Atlantic centres of modernity to reassert themselves towards the end of the millennium (London being the most notable), Over Here and Complex Entanglements (which concern this review) suggest that not much is on the horizon to challenge postcolonialism. The new mantra of globalisation that dominates these two anthologies is an outcome and continuation of postcolonial debate.