Harold Offeh I mean, he's not someone that I've known for that long... Although I have been aware of him since I was an undergraduate. When I was reading Frantz Fanon, which was a bit of a rite of passage, Glissant was somebody that came up around that, but I didn't really delve in any depth into his work, or know that much about him. Again, I think that's more of an Anglo / French issue. It's interesting, certainly in art critical discourse, one that is so dominated, perhaps less so now, but this was certainly true when I was studying, that the art historical discourse was dominated by the post-structuralist school. People outside of that, and Glissant is coming from literature, more than criticism - there's often an inherent skepticism in art and critical theory of literature. That's despite the fact that literary criticism informs all of that stuff anyway. Think of people like Terry Eagleton. There's an absence of literature in art discourse. The attitude is let's talk about novels!!! so I think maybe that's why he hasn't been placed in that cannon of people that are referenced. It has taken time for an English speaking community to really discover, or to even begin to excavate the body of his work.
Krzysztof Honowski Is it also a refusal of the poetic, do you think? I find that with quite a few artists that I know, I don't speak to critics quite as regularly, but artists that I know feel very uncomfortable describing 'the poetic' as a strategy that they use.
HO Yeah, I mean it's kind of weird, I love these kind of art bête noires; things like ‘art is anti- theatre’, so anything theatrical is eurgh or then the poetic is deeply problematic. Again I think this comes out of underlying Marxist rejections of bourgeois culture, anything that seemingly echoes that becomes really problematic. What you then get are these weird orthodoxies, that certainly I saw being perpetuated, to a certain extent are still being perpetuated, in art schools where there is a disavowal of particular languages or references, or things that are associated with a kind of bourgeois attitude. It's interesting and also quite depressing.
KH A lot of these things seem to come up from certain misunderstandings… I'm going to push my theme here.
HO I think it does, it's a prime example really.
by Krzysztof Honowski
An artist’s book of conversations about misunderstanding.
This project built upon a day of collaborative interventions that Krzysztof Honowski staged as Idle / Idyll / Idol at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf in 2015 with Sarah Boulton, Peter Cant, Filip Caranica, Alex Eisenberg, Michael Hrebeniak, Sophie Jung, Harold Offeh, Charles Richardson, and Masha Tupitsyn.
The participants for this iteration of Misunderstandings were Harold Offeh, Peter Cant, Melissa E. Logan, Clare Molloy, Mi You, and Felicita.
Misunderstandings was published in November 2017 and is distributed by Pro QM, Berlin and Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln.
160 pages, b/w, tipped-on photographic cover and rear plates
Misunderstandings 2 will be published in Spring 2019 with an essay by Fanny Paul Clinton and conversations with Liad Hussein Kantorowicz and Bishop Black.