The Sensible Nationalism. Art and Nations as Creative Agencies of History

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Cristina Moraru


This paper is approaching the problematics discussed around the concept of national identity in our post-political times, investigating how contemporary art practices produce meaning inside this theoretical structure based on argumentative positions concerning the indeterminate, fragmented, and ambiguous constitution of any national identity, the imaginative nature of a community − assuming for itself a certain national identity − or the intrinsic, continuous and dynamic process of adopting a specific national identity. Describing nationalism as a mode of sensibility, or as a creative agency that constitutes history, this paper identifies similarities between art and nationalism, as forms of cultural representation which generate cultural discourse and produce identity narratives. Identifying a shift in approaching nationalism, from a specific ideological narrative about the nation, to an imaginative narrative about nations as cultural artefacts, this paper assembles different analytical perspective over nationalism − and its disseminated concepts as: identity, community, culture, discourse – with certain artistic practices exploring those concepts, as the photomontages of Vivian Sundaram, or the video work of Milica Tomić. Furthermore, this paper is inscribing the contemporary understanding of nationalism within the context of post-politics, investigating how concepts – as the particular and the Universal, the empty space, the constitutive difference – relate to the question of nationalism, and how, in our post-political societies, critical artistic practice – favouring a dissensual order – could regenerate proper politics, annihilating the consensual order imposed by the technocratic administrative regime that substitutes the political regime.

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MORARU, Cristina. The Sensible Nationalism. Art and Nations as Creative Agencies of History. Annals of the University of Bucharest - Philosophy Series, [S.l.], v. 67, n. 1, p. 113-132, july 2018. ISSN 0068-3175. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 22 may 2019.