Seminar 18 // 12, 13, 14 November 2009 // London

Seminar 18// 12, 13, 14 November 2009 // London
The Council Room, The Bath, Laurie Grove
1. Doreen Mende Presentation, Group Discussion followed by Helmut Draxler Departmental Lecture
2. Guest Speaker Helmut Draxler, cultural theorist and curator based in Berlin, Professor at the Marz Akademie in Stuttgart and former Director of the Munich Kunstverein.
3. Reading Group, Ines Moreira Further information about the sessions can be found below:

1) THURSDAY 12 November: The Council Room, The Bath, Laurie Grove
Presentation by Doreen Mende
11.00 -1.30 lunch
2.30-4.30 The presentation will inform about an intermediate step of research which moved from the notion of 'subjectivity' towards the urgency to leave the aspiration of speaking 'from a position' but rather from the middle of the poetics as well as politics of relation. It is because my research interest has kept me struggling by the complexity of and entanglements within the web of relations as a conflictual field of the curatorial. Conflictual is a key here, because the act of exhibiting marks an act of violence. What is the vocabulary to speak about the arena of the curatorial as a battlefield between ex-hibiting and in-hibiting, between exposure and concealment? How can we articulate our own participation within this relational texture without speaking about ourselves and the 'others' but about the in-between?
1) Nancy, Jean-Luc. Difference in A Finite Thinking, 2003.Click for Part 1 of 2 texts Click for google book access
2) Exhibition Design and Curatorial Practice Karlsruhe, Displayer 03, Milica Tomic: Politics of Memory, 2009, pp.101-111 Click for part 2 of 2 texts
What does political art want? departmental lecture with Helmut Draxler
5:00-7:00 The talk focuses on the intentionality and the different kinds of perspectives on political art starting from 2, maybe even 3 kinds of "fallacies": the "intentional fallacy", as described by New Criticism in the 1950s; the "necessary fiction of intentionality" of every political actor, as described by Viennese philosopher Oliver Marchart, combined maybe with Lacans great paradox, that you should always stay true to your desire, but of course your desire is not yours. From there on I will interrogate artistic practices which understand themselves as political if they remain on the level of good intentions or how they manage to address those fallacies.
2) FRIDAY 13 November: room: 312 Guest Speaker: Helmut Draxler, Critique 11am-1:30pm Helmut Draxler is a cultural theorist, curator and professor at the Marz Academy in Stuttgrat. Draxler was head of the Munich Kunstverein during its most innovative exhibition and project period in the 1990s and headed the research project on Film and Biopolitics at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. He is the author of Hazardous Substances on the relationship between criticism and Art , Berlin 2008, Shandyism - Authorship as Genre (Exhibition and Book)Vienna 2008 and The power of context (Over / with Fareed Armaly), b-books, Berlin, 2006. Critique is one of the fundamental requirements of artistic, academic and pop-cultural articulations today. A mainstream of the critical ranges from the requirement profiles for masters courses to Michael Moore and Herbert Grönemeyer all the way to most of the Documenta artists. The question therefore arises as to whether critical and reflexive practices have to be read merely as field-specific positioning allowing one to distinguish oneself from others as cleverly as possible, or whether criteria can be distinguished in terms of which forms of critique address the order of the fields themselves and the hegemonic order of the field of power. Various theoretical conceptions about the position of the critical can serve as a starting point for this kind of distinction. On the one hand there is the ideology-critical claim of critique that it takes a kind of “archimedian” position, from which point it attempts to dislodge the world, and on the other hand there is the accusation that critique is only a necessary vent within the processes of functional systemic differentiation, an argument – brought forth by Niklas Luhmann in the 1980s – that criticizes specifically the ideology-critical variation for fundamentally mistaking its position. My question is whether an understanding of critique can be developed beyond these strictly oppositional positions, which reflects not only on the blind spots of these two forms of argumentation, but also on the cultural formations of critique, yet without doing away with itself as critique. At the same time, I also want to question the extent, to which Pierre Bourdieu’s work is be situated within this constellation, and which impulses may be derived from this for my aim of considering critique as a special form of cultural articulation in the field of tension between theory and practice.
Click for Part 1 of 3 texts Click for Part 2 of 3 texts Click for Part 3 of 3 texts
Dinner at Irit's
3) SATURDAY 14 November: The Showroom
Reading Group led by Ines Moreira Inês Moreira brings to the reading group a question of “methods and curatorial research”: how to produce translations of practice and field work to different media, as writing, or editing, keeping the objects open and active? From her PhD literature review: “Expanding a vocabulary for curatorial research on space would become a curatorial endeavor. And standing in the middle of the production of space as an implicated witness, practitioner, and [now] writer would delineate her curatorial research on space as a performative mode of micro practice.” From John Laws text “After Method _mess in social science research”, where the author addresses modes of research of complexity -“mess, confusion and other disorders”- and thinks of ways of writing it. From his text: "How, then, might we imagine an academic way of writing that concerns itself with the quality of its own writing? With the creativity of writing? What should this do to the referent, the out-thereness?" John Law Reading: Laws, John. 'After Method: an Introduction'
Click for text

Seminar Dates: 
Thu, 12/11/2009 (All day) - Sat, 14/11/2009 (All day)