Critical Discussion

Walter Scott

Theory and Beer

Artists, Experts and Everyone Else with Kelly Campbell

  • January 18, 2018, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
  • Duke of Kent Legion, 227 McDermot Avenue

Free, everyone welcome!

Arundhati Roy’s essays deal with how artistic expression is often viewed as too subjective to deal with “serious” or political issues, and how feelings are culturally positioned as an obstacle in rational understanding. Roy explains how this ideology is weaponized by institutional experts along lines of race, class and gender in order to deny and obscure the lived experiences and dissent of the human subjects of their studies. Experts are invested in obscuring the truth, Roy asserts, while artists have a drive to reveal it. Maintaining a calm distance from feelings and political struggle is only possible when it’s not your own life that is at stake. To whom is the idea of critical distance desirable? Who does it benefit, and who does it suppress?

Reading: Excerpts from “The Ladies Have Feelings, So… Shall We Leave It to the Experts?” (1-33) from Power Politics, 2nd ed, (Cambridge: South End Press, 2002.), and “The Reincarnation of Rumpelstiltskin,” Outlook (India), November 27, 2000 (https://www.commondreams.org/views/2000/11/27/power-politics-reincarnation-rumpelstiltskin), both by Arundhati Roy.

  • Kelly Campbell

    Kelly Campbell (AKA Grub) spends most of their time feeling feelings. They sometimes take breaks to create sculpture, sound, installation and graphic art. Their work examines the roles and relationships of labour, leisure, emotion and gender within systems of power.