The Demon of Comparisons

Heman Chong, Hafiz, Tibor Hajas, Beom Kim, Sung Hwan Kim, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Tadasu Takamine, with special contributions by Philippe Rekacewicz and Grace Samboh

28 Mar 2009
17 May 2009

The Demon of Comparisons is an association of subjective positions relating in various ways to larger social and political frameworks, to power and cultural constructions. Placing emphasis on the issue of individual agency in a landscape defined by questions of national and cultural identities, The Demon of Comparisons questions the kind of collectivity these subjects can form.


Bron foto: website -

The title is a translation of a phrase from Jose Rizal's novel Noli Me Tangere, "el demonio de las comparaciones", also used by Benedict Anderson as the title of his book, where it is rendered as The Specter of Comparisons. An original and insightful thinker, Benedict Anderson questioned the patterns and the meeting points that are to be found throughout geographies, times and power structures that lead to formations of identities and various senses of belonging. Our translation remains anchored in this area of interest, but is intended to add the potential of the polisemy, indeed the spectres, of the original Spanish word, "demonio", in dealing with the subjectivity of one's experience of culture and power.

The Demon of Comparisons grew out of exchanges and discussions during Open Circuit #1: Yogyakarta, organized by Electric Palm Tree in September 2008 in Indonesia. During the week-long workshop, participants shared and negotiated their experiences and vocabularies of social transformation from their respective backgrounds.


Friday 27 March 2008, 17:00 hrs at SMBA, accompanied by the lecture-performance Finders Keepers by Jeuno Kim.