Jalal Toufic. The Contemporary Is Still Forthcoming

Jalal Toufic. The Contemporary Is Still ForthcomingJalal Toufic. The Contemporary Is Still Forthcoming


Jalal Toufic questions the legitimacy of the existence of museums of contemporary art and contemporary art itself.

Contemporary art? As far as Jalal Toufic is concerned, none of what is termed contemporary art, including what is exhibited and screened in various “museums of contemporary art,” for example the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney (MCA) or the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (MOCA), is contemporary and most of it is not art! There can be no museum of contemporary art since while now we can have museums but not contemporaneity, with the coming of the messiah we are going to have contemporaneity but no museums—there is going to be no need for a museum in the redeemed world, a world where one finds only what is willed to eternally recur.



Jalal Toufic is a thinker and a mortal to death. He was born in 1962 in Beirut or Baghdad and died before dying in 1989 in Evanston, Illinois. His most recent book is What Was I Thinking? (e-flux journal-Sternberg Press, 2017). His other books are available for download for free at www.jalaltoufic.com. Many of his videos are available for viewing on Vimeo. He, along with artists and pretend artists, was a participant in the Sharjah Biennials 6, 10, and 11, the 9th Shanghai Biennale, the First Asia Biennial & 5th Guangzhou Triennial, the 7th Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Shenzhen), the 3rd Athens Biennale, and “A History: Art, Architecture, and Design, from the 1980s Until Today” (Centre Pompidou)…. In 2011, he was a guest of the Artists-in-Berlin Program of the DAAD; and in 2013–2014, he and Anton Vidokle led Ashkal Alwan’s third edition of Home Workspace Program, based in Beirut. He was the director of the School of Visual Arts at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (Alba) from September 2015 to August 2018, and he is currently a Professor at Hong Kong Baptist University.