The Bahamas Papers

Headless ebook launch With David Kim, Nicky Marsh, Monica Narula & Alex Taek-Gwang Lee with Alexander Provan 4–6 p.m. Gwangju Biennale, biennale hall, gallery 3
Gwangju Museum of Art
52 Haseo-ro, Buk-gu, Gwangju 61104, South Korea

Triple Canopy has just published the ebook version of the acclaimed murder-mystery Headless, which was originally published last year with Sternberg Press and Tensta Konsthall (and is currently sold out). On the occasion, a number of writers, scholars, and artists will read from the novel and ruminate on offshore finance and the free rein of capital.

Headless is a delirious romp through the world of offshore finance, conducted by a British ghostwriter who seems to have uncovered a sacrifice-obsessed, Bataille-inspired secret society of global economic elites who will do anything to maintain their power. The ghostwriter, John Barlow, is hired by the Swedish artist duo Goldin+Senneby to investigate Headless, an offshore firm registered in the Bahamas. Barlow happily agrees to write up his investigation as a mystery novel, to be published under the name K. D. But soon Barlow is implicated in the decapitation of a police officer in Nassau, and his novel becomes a matter of life and death. The more he struggles to grasp the plot, the further he slips into the dark world of covert capitalism.

X-TRA describes Headless as “an airport paperback in the spirit of The Da Vinci Code” the Believer lauds the novel as “brilliant”; ARTnews calls it “an exercise in induced paranoia for its readers as much as its characters.”

In addition to reading from Headless, Alex Taek-Gwang Lee, David Kim, Monica Narula, and Nicky Marsh will discuss the mystery genre, human sacrifice, and the pleasures of fiction that insistently impinges on reality, among other topics. Triple Canopy editor Alexander Provan will moderate. The Bahamas Papers is part of the eleventh Gwangju Biennale, “The Eight Climate (What does art do?)” where Goldin+Senneby is presenting the installation Headless: From the Public Record (2009).

  • David Kim is a JD candidate at Yale Law School, where he is the curator of JUNCTURE, an initiative devoted to art and human rights. He collaborates with Council, a curatorial platform based in Paris. He has recently written about the work of the artist Jill Magid in The Proposal (Sternberg Press). Prior to law school, he worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. He holds degrees from Columbia University and Harvard University.
  • Nicky Marsh is a professor of Twentieth Century Literary Studies at University of Southampton in the UK. She works on cultural representations of finance and money and is cocurator of the national touring exhibition “Show Me the Money: The Image of Finance, 1700 to the Present,” coeditor of Literature and Globalization, and author of Money, Finance, and Speculation in Recent British Fiction.
  • Monica Narula is, along with Jeebesh Bagchi and Shuddha Sengputa, a member of Raqs Media Collective. Raqs enjoys playing a plurality of roles, often appearing as artists, occasionally as curators, sometimes as philosophical agent provocateurs. Raqs makes contemporary art and has produced films, curated exhibitions, edited books, staged events, collaborated with architects, computer programmers, writers, and theater directors, and founded processes that have left deep impacts on contemporary culture in India.
  • Alex Taek-Gwang Lee is a professor at Kyung Hee University. He received an MA in philosophy from University of Warwick and a PhD in cultural theory from University of Sheffield. His publications include Theory After Althusser, Futurism, The Obscene Fantasy of Korean Culture, and Nationalism as a Sublime Object. He has been an editorial member of journals such as English Language and Literature, Journal of Theory and Criticism, Journal of Literature and Cinema, and the Gwangju Biennale’s journal, NOON. In 2013, he organized The Idea of Communism conference in Seoul with Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek and co-edited, with Žižek, The Idea of Communism 3.
  • Alexander Provan is the editor of Triple Canopy and a contributing editor of Bidoun. He is the recipient of a 2015 Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant and was a 2013–15 fellow at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics.