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PRINT Summer 2019

OKWUI ENWEZOR

Isaac Julien in collaboration with Mark Nash, Das Kapital Oratorio, 2015. Performance view, Arena, Central Pavilion, Venice, May 8. From the 56th Venice Biennale. Photo: Andrea Avezzù.

FOR ME, few things in art have ever been so enjoyable as a conversation with Okwui—no doubt because however benignly one of our discussions began, it would inevitably end up, as he told me once while bursting out in laughter, “really trying to get to the bottom of things.” In part, I am certain, this pleasure arose just by virtue of a good relationship between editor and author; we worked together on different texts at Artforum and elsewhere for the better part of ten years. Yet the beauty of Okwui’s exhibitions was always underlined and enhanced by how their sweeping ambition—whether to “crack the kernel of globalist discourse,” as he would remark to me of his 2002 Documenta’s articulation in the dimming afterglow of biennial culture’s inception during the previous decade, or, more recently, to reorient our understanding of postwar art beyond the privilege of the Western

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