Institute of Contemporary Art, 118 S. 36th Street. The Racial Imaginary Institute Laboratory, 1st Floor inside the Speech/Acts exhibition
Recent “new formalist” criticism (by Caroline Levine and others) is supposed to bring the political into the purview of formalist criticism for the first time. Yet such framing largely obscures the work of previous scholars and scholar-poets—in particular, leftist writers of color—for whom the formal was never extricable from the political, especially the racial. Is the new formalism really new? How does the recent formal analysis of racialized objects differ from the work of thinkers such as Glissant and Moten?