The new realities of economic globalization have created new conditions for cultural practice. At the same time, the information circuits, designed to promote the generalization of Western culture, have also become increasingly available to other, more marginalized art and cultures, enabling the local (or traditional) to circulate on the global stage. News (and culture) travels fast with the help of technology, displacing Western centers of legitimation and meaning. Over Here collects writings by curators, critics, and artists living and working outside mainstream cultural circuits in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. Witnessing the variety and multiplicity of cultural viewpoints and voices, this book calls for a new critical approach to address new cultural complexities.
The phrase "over here" implies both distance and proximity, indeterminacy and stability. The writers—all of whom are well respected regionally and many of whom are becoming known internationally—address the cultural entanglements arising from such simultaneous displacement and placement: the effects of diaspora, transnational communities, translation (and the untranslatable). Essay titles range from "Just What Is It That Makes the Term Global-Local So Widely Cited, yet So Annoying?" and "When Was Modernism in Indian Art?" to "Forms of Resistance, Corridors of Power: Public Art on the Mexico-U.S. Border" and "Desperately Diasporic" to "Modernity as a Mad Dog: On Art and Trauma" and "Transit Visa to Postwar Lebanon" to "The Limits of Cultural Translation" and "Der Glauber Have Sept Cabecas." Also included is a 70-piece artist's project by Francis Alys, who addresses the book's themes in his own way with a work based on photographs of "walk" signs from around the world.