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The ASCA selection committee 2021, consisting of Maria Boletsi, Sudeep Dasgupta, Stefan Niklas, Esther Peeren, and Tjalling Valdes Olmos, has selected Pinar Türer and her project on the Ethics of Intimacy out of 464 applications. Warm welcome!

Pinar Turer, Ethics of Intimacy: Reconfiguring Relational Knowledge Practices through Errant Movements in Transnational Art and Literature

Supervisor: Monique Roelofs

How would we need to reconfigure our knowledge practices if we were to imagine an ethics of relationality that starts from the unruly, playful and ambiguous zone of intimacy? I propose that the “how” of this question can be found in the works of transnational contemporary art and literature that create errant movements which challenge the hegemonic ways of being in an epistemic relation ⎯with the other, with oneself, and with the world.

Focusing on errant movements in literary and artistic works, derived from Édouard Glissant’s treatment of errantry, I propose an ethics of relationality imagined through intimacy. The notion of intimacy refers both to one’s hidden, private depths, and to the act of sharing them with another, rendering those depths no longer hidden but “seen.” This paradoxical characteristic of intimacy is also what makes it a relation of knowledge. Seeking less violent ways of being in relation, I work with errantry which is an epistemic move from the self to the other that is not one of conquest or seizing, and that acknowledges difference via a defense of the right to opacity. Through errantry, I read intimacy as a generative space of (potential) connection that includes questions of vulnerability, violence, care, and ambiguity. Working to transform violent relational knowledge practices by thinking with William Kentridge, Maria Lai, Saidiya Hartman and Adalet Ağaoğlu, I envision formulating an ethics of intimacy which can offer ways of being in relation otherwise.