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Accompanying a 2010 survey exhibition on global trends in twenty-first-century art, this chapter argues that a diasporic approach to the impact of globalization on art today not only distinguishes between market-driven spectacle and critically engaged practices but also cautions against the view that interprets shifts from modern and postmodern to contemporary in a linear narrative that terminates in “post-black.” Such a narrative does not comprehend the temporalities of deferral and return that allow diaspora and postcolonial artists to examine the condition of “aftermath” in present-day predicaments with a historical depth of insight that comes from shared experiences of survival in the lived experience of modernity as catastrophe.

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