back to e-flux.com

Submit your discussion topics for the Forum here


#1

Submit new topics for discussion in the forum by replying to this post below. If you like topics that others have proposed, feel free to click the heart icon at the bottom of their post (our version of the “Like” button).


#6

The Future Image of Resurrection
“I’m using the word ‘revolution’ in its most general sense, talking not only about revolutionary movements in the field of politics, but also in the arts and other socio-economic areas.” * says Masao Adachi. What is the future video/film image of resurrection? How we can search for the collective revolutionary image?

www.midnighteye.com/interviews/masao-adachi/#sthash.Pv3pCyGi.dpuf


#7

EN ESPAÑOL: Los desafíos y los obstáculos que enfrentan los artistas y las instituciones del contexto latinoamericano en relación con el arte como una actividad crítica.


#8

El tema que propongo para este debate es el concepto y la realización del arte como una actividad crítica que aborda, explora y reflexiona sobre cuestiones sociales. No se trata de imponer una obligación moral o de recurrir a una visión de Latinoamérica como una región que está permanentemente en crisis (aunque sea obvio que no le falten conflictos y problemas sociales); se trata del concepto que manejamos del pensamiento creativo en relación con su entorno y los factores externos que informan nuestra actitud. Me parece que hoy día los artistas y las instituciones del contexto latinoamericano enfrentan desafíos y obstáculos particulares. Estos desafíos y obstáculos podrían ser materiales, sociales, conceptuales o psicológicas. Tal vez ustedes tendrán otras maneras de caracterizar esta situación. Les invito a compartir sus reflexiones sobre este tema.


#9

Please consider having converage of the the Digital Labor Conference at the New School Nov. 14-16th, 2014. Or starting a channel where posts related to this conference can occur. http://digitallabor.org/ Thanks! Dorothy


#11

Hi Dorothy – I sent you a private message. :slight_smile:


#12

There is a colloquium taking place hosted by Media@McGill in the McCord Museum in Montreal. It brings together artists and speakers of different fields of visual and sound cultures and is livestreamed on:
http://www.soundvisionaction.cc/program/

“By bringing together interdisciplinary practices in visual culture and sound studies, and situating them in relationship to fields like science and technology studies, history, literature, music, art, and media studies, Sound, Vision, Action examines the relationships between diverse technologies and techniques that shape the torrent of images and sounds that surround us, and the everyday practices of hearing and seeing through which people engage with the world.”


#13

Video: David Lyon - “Surveillance Cultures”

David Lyon, director of the Surveillance Study Center at the Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, talks about his concept of “surveillance cultures”


#14

Is the art wold of today following the pattern of “psychological obsolescence”?


#15

Is this what you’re referring to? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_obsolescence

I’m curious to hear more about your thoughts on this.


#16

For me, “Planned” is the correct word because the works are not made with the intention of disposability.
“Phycological” is more accurate because the works do not become dysfunctional, just no longer satisfy the needs of a market driver collector.


#17

Bridging the gap?

Whether it’s Baudrillard’s derealization of the world or Debord’s Critique of Separation – media mystifies (Rosler) our relationship with the social and political world around us. „Information devours it’s content“, imploding meaning in the media (Baudrillard, Simulacra & Simulation). Watching „Heidegger speak“, adds up that from his point of view, we don’t need to improve in objectively describing the world, but to interpret it better.

Art, all the more critical art, or art that wants to reflect on social and political topics, has to take the above into account. I ask myself if there can be a dialogue here about the following questions that would result in some sort of practical outcome of this theoretical insight.

NOTES

1

„[…] The events that occur in our individual existence as it is now organized, the events that really concern us and require our distant and bored spectators. In contrast, the situations presented in artistic works are often attractive, situations that would merit our active participation. This is a paradox to reverse, to put back on its feet. This is what must be realized in practice. As for this idiotic spectacle of the filtered and fragmented past, full of sound and fury, it is not a question now of transforming or “adapting” it into another neatly ordered spectacle that would play the game of neatly ordered comprehension and participation. No. A coherent artistic expression expresses nothing but the coherence of the past, nothing but passivity.

It is necessary to destroy memory in art. To undermine the conventions of its communication. To demoralize its fans. What a task! As in a blurry drunken vision, the memory and language of the film fade out simultaneously. At the extreme, miserable subjectivity is reversed into a certain sort of objectivity: a documentation of the conditions of non-communication.“

2
found via “Heidegger, circa 2015”: Heidegger, circa 2015

3

“[…] connectivity with the subject can act as a false assurance, a moment of contact that doesn’t spur me to further action, but absolves me of the consequences of inaction. I recognize this person as a person; therefore, I have fulfilled my duty, and I need to know nothing else about them.”

4
Significantly the first example that crosses my mind is not from the field of pictorial arts.


Marcuse was right
#18

Stealing books as an analog form of piracy, an ethically murky act done for the purpose of the redistribution of information http://arachne.cc/issues/01/nest-of-ghosts-libros-fantasma.html with Mexico City publisher Libros Fantasma


#19

A Study in Contempt

Fabienne Audéoud

When I was a student at Goldsmiths College in London in the late 90’s, Peggy Phelan began a lecture with this witty introduction: “Two women are sitting at a bar having a drink. A man walks in and asks: ‘Are you alone?’”
Her book “Unmarked: The Politics of Performance” had already been published and most of us were familiar with this quote of hers: “If representational visibility equals power, then almost-naked young white women should be running Western culture.”

The text that follows is about the group show “A Study In Scarlet” curated by Gallien Déjean at Le Plateau, Frac Ile de France (details online). The show draws from a week exhibition by COUM-transmissions that was held at the ICA in London in 1976, whose title, “Prostitution”, still works rather well in their online archives: (view online)
9 Oct - 26 Oct Performance Art / COUM Transmissions: “Prostitution”
26 Oct - 17 Nov Daniel Buren: “Installation”

I am an artist, not an art critic. This is not about the work in the exhibition, but an attempt to act upon the social, racial and gender contempt being performed - sometimes in spite of the work displayed or even against it.

Le Plateau is a major art institution in Paris, that hosts three important shows a year. For the last decade, it has been run by Xavier Franceschi. During his time there, he hasn’t programmed a single French woman artist. In general, very few women artists managed to convince him, and not a single one has been French. In addition, no woman curators, French or otherwise, have been invited into this sort of men-only club where we find men on their own, men in duo, and one man in a couple.
Gallien Déjean, an art critic and professor of art history, is curating the group show in question. In his time co-directing Le Treize, an “independent” art space in Paris, he has not given a French woman artist a show either.
{Hello Linda Nochlin, did you really ask “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?}
Just add French, Le Plateau and Le Treize and it is all there.
To further set the scene, I should add that there has not been a single art exhibition dealing with or showing bodies at Le Plateau in the last decade, a choice that seems rather disconnected from most contemporary art and critical practices, but this curatorial prerogative is not the issue here.

Within the Parisian context and the #metoo bigger picture, I was therefore not that surprised to learn that Cosey Fanni Tutti was the first artist to be invited by Gallien Déjean to show a bit of flesh.
In France, few people would know that her name referring to Mozart’s opera is usually translated in the UK by “Women Are like That”. A rather dangerous motto, if you ask me, but her choice.
Had Cosey Fanni Tutti been invited for a solo exhibition, I would not have written about it. I might have wondered how, when she “worked in the porn industry as a model and an actress [. . . ] she freed herself from a fixed identity, by incarnating the various female stereotypes (secretary, maid, ingenue. . . )”°, but I wouldn’t have written about it.
“A Study in Scarlet” is not a solo show by Cosey Fanni Tutti, nor is it, for that matter, a solo show by Carolee Schneemann, Karen Finley, Judy Chicago, Judith Bernstein, Valie Export, Annie Sprinkle or Betty Tompkins. None of these women artists over sixty and with sexually explicit work is to be left “alone” in the exhibition space. I’m guessing Cosey Fanni Tutti’s music is not the focus here, since Gallien Déjean did not bother giving her a gig.
Has she been framed? I don’t know. A few days after the opening in Paris, Chris Carter (of their Chris & Cosey duo) was programmed by Cabinet Gallery at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, London’s oldest gay and lesbian bar that nearly got “re-framed” as lofts. “Re-furbished” is the actual word.

In 1972, Germaine Greer published a photo of herself showing her anus to the camera. She barely wore make-up, there were no props and no high heels, but one could see the soles of the feet of the feminist writer. That photo is not in the show.
In 1974, Lynda Benglis chose a photo of herself - naked and with a double-headed dildo - to illustrate an article about her work, but when Artforum refused to publish it, she had to buy advertising to have it printed. The photo is in a vitrine at Le Plateau. But not “alone”: Robert Morris’ photo is there to accompany it.(NYT article)

The selection Gallien Déjean offers in his “study” articulates a very precise discourse: it “is not a thematic exhibition - it is not a project on pornography”°.
{Hello Paul B. Preciado} (read article in Liberation)
A 1967 catalogue and a pedestal table by Meret Oppenhein rather than, for example…Andreas Fraser’s film of her having sex with a collector or Lucy McKenzie’s pornographic work, as is Brice Dellpserger’s “Body Double” rather than, for example…Ellen Cantor’s “Pinochet Porn” or Jake & Dinos Chapman’s “Bring Me the Head Of”. Pornography today is accessible online with one click, and numerous artists have worked on and/or with it, but the only pornographic images in the exhibition are Cosey Fanni Tutti’s work from the 70’s and 80’s.
{Hello Louis-Philippe Scoufaras, did you really mean pornography has become an art form?}

The exhibition is further described as “neither a retrospective nor a historical or monographic survey, [it is] conceived as a nebula of works revolving around Cosey Fanni Tutti’s artistic legacy, [. . . ] crossing various issues or strategies also used in more recent practices: infiltrating an institution or industry (artistic, pornographic, musical), integrating the body into a production line, overturning a norm by exacerbating it or making it redundant, self-representing and self-defining one’s own identity, ‘pro-sex’ feminism, the visibility of women on radical music scenes, etc.”°
To accompany this broad agenda, there is a “program of meetings, performances, concerts. . .”° including:
-A talk between the artist and two men
-A lecture titled “Alpha Females”(on feminist industrial music) given by a man
{Hello Rebecca Solnit, do you really mean “Men Really explain Things to Me”?}
-The full screening of a film -by a man- where men dress as women in films where women have a role
-A full Sunday where “Les Vagues invites artists, researchers, performers and artists collectives, to create with them a program of films, feminists pro-sex, transformists and queers interventions.”°
Les Vagues is, as far as I could gather, a feminist collective whose members are high-status art world professionals and who are not allowed to say who they are. Unlike the Guerillas Girls, it is a semi-secret group known for who is “in-it” and who is “not-in-it” rather for than their actions and positions.
-A performance by a man (whose work I cannot link to anything in the exhibition)
-A concert by “Aids aka Valerie Smith”. A woman? Really? Good Lord, no: “Aids aka Valerie Smith” is a male only band.
{Hello Vava Dudu, hello La Chatte}

A friend tells me it is a nerd show, that I should not take it too seriously. It is true that Gallien Déjean has been known to have a taste for archiving work. That was his curatorial approach to the exhibition “Self Portrait - Bank’s archives & Relics - 1991-2003”, a very personal interpretation of the group’s practice. At the time, and all things being relative, peculiar misunderstandings had made me think of Kwame Anthony Appiah writing about “Perspectives: Angles on African Art” at the Center for African Art in New York, 1987.
-What do you mean you feel excluded from the conversation?
I was also going to quote Audra Simpson and her theory of refusal. But she is Mohawk, she can’t be in the show. No coloured skin in the “Study”. Why am I not that surprised that the first display of skin at Le Plateau in ten years is “white only”?
-What about Lili Reynaud-Dewar’s photos of herself, naked and all painted in black? What do you mean “it’ s not the same”?
I did think Narcisister’s work would have had a particularly relevant input in this context. I saw her in discussion with Karen Finley once, who was telling her she had been lucky to be censored. Guess which of Karen Finley’s work is on display in “A Study”? A vinyl cover with a reproduction of a painting by Lucas Cranac, and an iPod that does not fail to not-work.
In a show that aims to "present a series of forms, gestures and attitudes through which [. . . ] artists and performers exceed normative structures of identity and gender"° it makes sense to have a video by Vaginal Davis. But nowhere is she to be seen. The black intersexed artist is not really “erased”, more like “replaced” by a young blond man, who happens to bear the name of one of the oldest noble families in France. This may be a good piece, but in this context, it is a curatorial. . . tour de force.
{Hello Greg Tate, did you really mean “Everything But the Burden”?}
The young blond man has two other pieces in the show, including a very large installation. Vaginal Davis is only “represented” through this video.
{Hello Kia Labeija, did you really mean “Your White Walls Can Kiss My Black Ass”?}
I am told Gallien Déjean is expecting the controversy, and will probably welcome it and benefit from it. It is a trap and I walked right into it. It is all explained in the journal of the exhibition: It “furthermore examines the relationships between the artist and the model – a recurring motif that several participants in the exhibition, such as Vaginal Davis and Christophe de Rohan Chabot, aim to deconstruct or invert. In art, the construction of the gaze is historically based on relationships of gender and domination (man/woman, artist/model, dressed/naked, hidden/exposed).”°
Read my lips: Gender relations are relations of domination.
But what about class, racialisation and racism in “the construction of the gaze”°?
Forget about skinny or fat bodies {Hello Chris Kraus} or any other physical traits that would “[reveal] the archetypes and normativity of the patriarchal fantasies generated by the capitalist industry and, like a mirror [turn] the desiring gaze back onto itself.”° Would you be that surprised to know whose desiring gaze he is talking about here?

I did think Kevin Bliderman, with his black and white photos of BDSM, was an interesting take on “the infiltration of an art institution”° illustrated by the online comments from an openly gay French art foundation director, who had recognized one of the boys in the photos. But then again, I might have a displaced sense of humor and another understanding of art history, for Gallien Déjean’s describes the work as “symbolic practices that elude the fields of art: profane rituals, specific languages [. . . ] unusual pairing of bodies of objects [. . . ]”°
Renate Lorenz & Pauline Boudry’s video is the only music piece composed and played by women - and made to be watched in an exhibition. The music is by “electronic music pioneer”° Pauline Oliveros - “unknown [to] the general public”.° There is not one single famous artist and/or musician in this exhibition, so why is this woman composer, musician and theoretician, this “central figure” as Wiki has it, presented as “unknown [to] the general public”°, if not to put her back. . . where she belongs?
There are other women musicians/performers. . . on a making-of DVD, documenting the London festival “Her Noise”. I would not call that a curatorial feat - as with previous examples. I do not know what to call it. It is, to me and for women working in music, a defeat.
Louise Sartor’s paintings did intrigue me. The journal states that “it’s as if [the girls’] souls are reflected in their accessories, [in the] objects that define them. . .”° Why is Gallien Déjean speaking about souls in relation to Sartor’s paintings, for, when women eventually did acquire souls, nobody wanted them anymore, anyway? I very much doubt that this young artist is talking about “objects defining women”°. It is, at least, not what I have read from (women) art critics about her work.
In the last room, I inquired about a series of photos in large frames dated 2017. No, they were not of the artist’s sex at sixty-five but at twenty-six. Gallien Déjean would not show the cunt of a woman the age of his mother, would he?
Am I being hysterical or too violent here?
{Hello Virginie Despentes}
I’ve listed some of the non-hegemonic voices (and bodies) that are not in this exhibition (or nearly there but not quite -
{Hello Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, did you really ask: Can the subalterns speak?}
-but here’s one you do have: it’s the voice of people who were not clever enough to understand what was going on at the ICA that week in 1976. The “Evening News” headlines facsimiles on display in “A Study” are not an art piece, but it is the image Le Plateau chose to communicate on Instagram.


I wish I had another way to respond to this white-only, class and gender contempt, but I do not know what to do.

° Quotes from the journal of the exhibition and/or the online presentation text