• Book Launch
  • Online - Brooklyn Rail
  • 2023

The Geometries of Afro Asia: Art Beyond Solidarity

How do we embark on a history of art from the assumption of a global majority, outside of essentializing categories like race or hollow proclamations of solidarity? With this book, Joan Kee presents a framework for understanding the rich and surprisingly understudied relationship between Black and Asian artists and the worlds they initiate through their work. The Geometries of Afro Asia breaks down this relationship and chronology into points, angles, and trajectories. Spanning North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, Kee looks at the relationships that formed between Black and Asian artists at critical historical junctures—from civil rights struggles in the United States and the development of South Korea amid US military occupation in the 1960s and 1970s to debates over multiculturalism and critiques of globalization in the 1990s and 2010s. Through geometry, a language of magnitudes and alignments, Kee opens up new ways of seeing how artworks shape our lives and politics by getting us to commit some of our most valuable resources—time and attention—to one another.

Author and The Brooklyn Rail Editor-at-Large Joan Kee joins writers and artists Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading by Jennifer Nelson.

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Joan Kee

Professor Joan Kee teaches in the History of Art at the University of Michigan and is a Ford Foundation Scholar in Residence at MoMA. Her forthcoming book, The Geometries of Afro Asia: Art beyond Solidarity, engages with Black and Asian artists and the vibrant worlds they initiate through their works and will be released by the University of California Press this April. Kee’s other books include Models of Integrity: Art and Law in Post Sixties America (2019) and Contemporary Korean Art: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method (2014). An occasional public interest lawyer in Detroit, she is an Editor-at-Large at the Brooklyn Rail.

Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer Nelson is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Harm Eden (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2021). They are an associate professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and will join the Department of Art History at the University of Delaware in the fall. For the academic year 2023-24, they will be a Hilles Bush Fellow at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute.