Walker Art Center

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Avant Museology: Elizabeth Povinelli

Filmmaking as Perpetual Motion Museum

In 2012, under the auspices of the Karrabing Film Collective, Elizabeth Povinelli and her Indigenous colleagues began making short films as a method of self– organization, social analysis, and alternative imaginaries. The films were residual artifacts of this practice of a living analytics. They were like Hitchcock’s MacGuffin, a plot device that can organize a pursuit whose actual aim is survivance. As objects, however, the films provide storage of an alternative history of the present that can in turn be stored in a future alternative museum. But they threaten to provide a site of social fetishization, as if the central value lay in the aesthetics of the objects rather than the survivance of worlds. How might an avant–garde museum be not a storage bin for anesthetized objects but rather a space for the perpetual exfoliations of alternative worlds?