Unlearning Imperialism

Through the generous support of the Puffin Foundation, we investigate what it means to unlearn: as a process of recognizing through shared reading and conversation about our individual art practices. In the book Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism, scholar Ariella Azoulay posits that the camera’s shutter creates imperial violence by drawing “three dividing lines: in time (between before and after), in space (between who/what is in front of the camera and who/what is behind it), and in the body politic (between those who possess and operate such devices and appropriate and accumulate their product and those whose countenance, resources, or labor are extracted).” 1

Julie Krishnaswami lives in Hamden, CT. Her work focuses on the concept of the interruption using words and phrases from texts of laws cited throughout Azoulay’s work, stitching them together through typed and spoken word in performance. She draws from feminist perspectives on history and critical theory, taking inspiration from conceptual art practices, and then interrogating her experiences as a woman, mother, lawyer, academic law librarian, and research professor.

Renée Bouchard lives in North Bennington, VT. Her Anonymous Citizen Series is a group of painted portraits which aim toward a potential of shifting identities. Often her work is grounded in the elements of the material and other times relate to the landscape or passage of time. She explores the use of color as if it were a machine intersecting color theory and human relationships since one color can’t exist without another. The focus is on color interaction versus color in isolation. Matthew Gernt lives in Marseille, France. As an artist, Matthew is inspired by moving and fixed images, how they carry meaning and how they relate to various forms of narration. His work often focuses on themes of displacement, sensory aspects of life, and what it means to occupy space within a landscape. Recent projects explore landscape and territory to address the legacy of imperial violence in public spaces through image and text. His project unpacks the complex process of how this violence is naturalized through and within the landscape politics of space.


1 Ariella Azoulay, Potential History, Unlearning Imperialism (Verso, London, New York, 2019), 5.