Artists Remake the World
The Author

The Author : Kim Levin

Kim Levin is an American art critic and writer. Levin was a regular contributor to The Village Voice from 1982 to 2006. Since 2007 she has been contributing regularly to ArtNews. She worked as a correspondent to Opus International from 1973-1977. F... [ read more ]
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Partnership :


This essay is adapted from a lecture given by Kim Levin during the 50th Congress of the AICA in Paris, November 2017, at the Palais de la Porte Dorée-National Museum of Immigration History. Under the title ‘Everywhere and Nowhere: From the Myth of Progress to the Sixth Extinction (On Art, Life and Migration)’, the lecture was part of a day-long event entitled “Everywhere and Nowhere: Migration and Contemporary Art” directed by Marjorie Althorpe-Guyton, General Secretary of AICA Int., and Mathilde Roman, Treasurer of AICA Int.

The AICA, International Association of Art Critics, was founded in 1949 under the aegis of UNESCO, and unites 63 sections and 6 000 members across the world. Each national section takes turns hosting the annual congress, and in 2019 it will be organized by AICA Germany. More information at

With the support of AICA, Switch (on Paper) will release two more publications in the weeks to come from this event rich with diverse perspectives and debates on the situation of forced migration, whose roots and ripples in creation highlight the many issues at stake between art and politics. These three publications, coming from three critics based in Istanbul, Poznan and New York, testify to AICA’s ambition of fostering dialogue between worlds of art that are as multiple as they are globalized.


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01 March 2019

From the myth of Progress to the Sixth Extinction

In the early 1990s, after the Berlin Wall fell and following 40 years of Cold War marred by multiple conflicts across the planet, it was the dawn of a new hope for the world. Today, the world has been left wanting. Drama and trauma continues to pile up, and in the crosshairs are ecological disasters that have gradually become a part of our routine. With a lot of faith and commitment, Kim Levin asks a fundamental question: how can contemporary artists represent these disasters, or better yet, how can art play a role in raising awareness about the harm happening today? Without appealing to the spectacular or entering into a trauma bidding contest, that is.

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