TABLE OF CONTENTS

ALFREDO JAAR: THE BODY MAPS THE OTHER

I do not believe that history obeys a system, nor that its so-called laws permit deducing future or even present forms of society; but rather that to become conscious of the relativity (hence of the arbitrariness) of any feature of our culture is already to shift it a little.

—Tzvetan Todorov, The Conquest of America

ON THE FLOOR are two world maps. The one to the right is a conventional projection of the world; I remember that I got this particular map as a centerfold in a National Geographic magazine. To its left is another global map conceived by German geographer Arno Peters in 1974. Although Peters’ map neither adds nor deletes countries or continents, it presents a radical re-presentation of the world’s sphere flattened to a two-dimensional surface. The conventions of cartography established by Gerardus Mercator over 400 years ago faithfully follow a grid of longitudinal and latitudinal

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW at the special holiday rate of $45 a year—70% off the newsstand price. You’ll receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.