(For the announcement in Spanish go here.)
Principio Potosí. Modernidad y la llamada acumulación originaria
Melchor María Mercado, Álbum de Paisajes, Tipos Humanos y Costumbres de Bolivia.
Lámina 22. Carnaval, 1841-1869. Archivo y Biblioteca Nacionales de Bolivia, Sucre.
February 4–5, 2010 Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Nouvel Building, Auditorium 200 Plaza del Emperador Carlos V, s/n 28012 Madrid Tel: (+34) 91 774 10 00 Free Entry
Marx describes primitive accumulation as the destruction of solidarity and power structures in traditional society as a consequence of the dynamics of exploitation triggered by capitalism. As Immanuel Wallerstein emphasizes, this does not entail a historical fact at the origins of capitalism, but persists in global society today in the same way it occurs at the origins of modernity. This condition defines a cyclical, traumatic process of expropriation and social disarticulation, which at the same time involves the mobilization of new, vital flows and complex processes of subjectification.
Principio Potosí, an exhibition curated by Alice Creischer, Max Jorge Hinderer and Andreas Siekmann (Museo Reina Sofía; Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin and Museo Nacional de Arte and Museo de Etnografía y Folklore in La Paz), contends that modernity does not have it origins or foundation in rationalism and the Enlightenment’s promises of liberty, but in the process of expansion and exploitation initiated in the sixteenth century with the discovery of primordial wealth in colonial territory. The process instigated a mechanism of instrumentalizing the Other that in many ways is far from having ended. Even greater than Paris during the French Revolution or London during the industrial revolution, Potosí in the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries marks a paradigm of globalized modernity in its concentration of capital and machinery to produce hegemony. It constitutes a principle that has operated with continuous reterritorialization throughout history. This seminar, the first public presentation of Principio Potosí, will debate the foundations, transformations and continuity of the accumulation principle as key to understanding the relationships of domination and resistance, moving beyond arguments that have led debates on anti-globalization in the previous decade.