RYBN – The Great Offshore, art, argent, souveraineté, gouvernance, colonialisme


UV Éditions, ISBN: 978-2956275350, French, 512 pages, 2021, France

Following a well-received exhibition at the contemporary art centre Les Tanneries, the collective RYBN has edited this remarkable anthology of texts on the liminal extra-territories defined as the ‘offshore’. The book is divided into five sections: Gouvernance Offshore (Offshore Governance), Pratiques Spéculatives (Speculative Practices), Marché de l’art (Art Market), Identités Liquides (Liquid Identities) and Newspace (New Spaces). This covers much of the debate that has emerged in recent years concerning these relatively small spaces that are central to contemporary capitalism. Hidden in plain sight, inaccessible, yet functional to an extraordinary amount of economic activity, official yet extra-territorial, these non-places are examined here from a variety of angles, looking at their market, access, boundaries, encryption, governance and management. The book includes texts by well-known artists and theorists such as James Bridle, Ewen Chardronnet & Bureau d’études, Paolo Cirio, Rachel O’Dwyer, Femke Herregraven, Brian Holmes, Marie Lechner and Hito Steyerl, among others, interspersed with photo essays of real corporate and institutional buildings seen from the outside. It is a valuable collection on an essential contemporary theme that will hopefully soon be available in English.