In this article we focus on the potential for an alignment of certain feminist artistic practices and poststructuralist conceptions of critique that may enable ways of theorizing practices of resistance and engender ways of practicing resistance in theory, without the lurch back into masculinist forms of dogmatism. It will be claimed that an ontological conception of art, considered as that which makes a difference in the world, can not only challenge the primacy of the dogmatic and masculine ‘subject who judges’, but also instill ways of thinking about, and ways of enacting, feminist artistic encounters with the capacity to resist dogmatism. The theoretical stakes of this claim are elaborated through complimentary readings of Deleuze and Guattari’s constructivist account of philosophy and Irigaray’s feminist explorations of what it means to think from within the 'labial', rather than from the position of the dominant phallic symbolic order. We argue that this creative conjunction between Irigaray, Deleuze, and Guattari provides the resources for a conceptualisation of both feminist artistic practice and the critical practice of poststructuralist philosophy as forms of resistance to the dominant patriarchal order, in ways that can avoid the collapse back into masculinist forms of dogmatism. Revel’s discussion of the role of constituent rather than constituted forms of resistance is employed to draw out the implications of this position for contentious politics. It is concluded that constituent practices of resistance can be understood as a challenge to the phallogocentric symbolic order to the extent that they are practices of a labial art-politics.
Hollie MacKenzie and Iain MacKanzie
Creative Practices/Resistant Acts
Nesreen Hussein and Iain MacKenzie
In the opening of this special issue, we invite readers to consider, through the articles presented, how various modes of artistic expression and creative acts of resistance can lead to a better understanding of the nature and implications of political and social revolt, and how a focus on creative practices can be part of the wider debate in a time of uncertainty and unrest. The issue examines the important intersection between creative practices and acts of resistance from an interdisciplinary perspective with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Mediterranean regions. The introduction aims to frame the problems presented by the sphere of creative practices of resistance and clarify what is at stake with a view to providing impetus for further research into this critical aspect of contentious politics. It concludes by tracing how the general framing of the problems operates within and through the different articles.