Michael Taussig is an anthropologist known for his provocative ethnographic studies and unconventional style as an academic. He was born in Australia in 1940 where he studied medicine at the University of Sydney. He earned a Ph.D. in sociology at the London School of Economics. He is currently a professor of anthropology at Columbia University in New York. He is most acclaimed for his 'fictocritical' writing which crosses between fiction and social science, art and critique. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including: "Walter Benjamin’s Grave" (2006), "My Cocaine Museum" (2004), "Law in a Lawless Land: Diary of a Limpieza in a Colombian Town" (2003), "Defacement" (1999), "Magic of the State" (1997), "Mimesis and Alterity: A Particular History of the Senses" (1993), "The Nervous System" (1992), "Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: A Study in Terror and Healing" (1987), and "The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America" (1980). His book on drawings in ethnographic notebooks spurred the thematic interest in notebooks in general of dOCUMENTA (13).
The event is held in the framework of "The Magic of the State", an exhibition and editorial project by Beirut and Lisson Gallery, taking place in Cairo and London in Spring 2013. Each exhibition features a different constellation of works by the same artists, including new commissions, and a public program of performances, talks and screenings.
“The Magic of the State” is a collaboration between Beirut and Lisson Gallery, supported by British Council and Institut Français d'Egypte, in Cairo.
Thanks to the Contemporary Image Collective for their in-kind support.