Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, 'Can the Subaltern Speak?' 1985, Estefania Peñafiel Loaiza Two Works Series
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's essay 'Can the Subaltern Speak' transformed, in 1985, the analysis of colonialism. In a divided world, Spivak interrogates the historical and ideological factors that, by obstructing the potential for certain subjects to be heard, maintains the degraded status of those subjects on the world's peripheries. The essay remains, in the third decade of the twenty-first century, as compelling as ever, and both affirms and updates the relevance of Marxism to contemporary decolonial thought. Here Spivak's work is revived in dialogue with artwork by Ecuadorian artist Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiza. Loaiza's own preoccupation with questions of visibility and occlusion, the need for and absence of the image, has guided the creation of a mesmerising set of works that form a visual vocabulary echoing and refracting Spivak's central terms, bringing new inflections to the text.
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