Antarctica. A Symposium on Alienation.

5/10 2018 5 pm — 9:30 pm

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In a sketch for a film, Michelangelo Antonioni wrote: “The Antarctic glaciers are moving in our direction at a rate of three millimeters per year. Calculate when they’ll reach us. Anticipate, in a film, what will happen”. Anyone who knows Antonioni can guess what such a film would have been about; in the image of the polar desert, metaphorically condensed—a diagnosis as old as the modern age: alienation.

Today, climate research shows that an ice age is not to be expected. The polar ice caps are not expanding but shrinking. Similarly, beyond the climatic, signs point to a significant “warming”: Affectivity and creativity have superseded the primacy of “bourgeois coldness” (Adorno). Authenticity is the new cool. Has the diagnosis of alienation consequently become outdated?

As a prelude to the exhibition Antarctica. An Exhibition on Alienation, Tanzquartier Wien and Kunsthalle Wien organize a symposium on this term. The symposium aims to discuss and examine the (im/)plausibility of the concept of “alienation” today, and to engender a critical re-reading, with a view to its genealogy as well as its applicability to present-day political and aesthetic phenomena.

Thu / Fri EUR 5, Sat EUR 2
3-Day-Pass EUR 10

Tickets are available at Kunsthalle Wien.
Free admission with TQW Card Gold and Kunsthalle Wien Annual Ticket.

Program Fri 5/10

5 – 9 pm
Michael Hirsch, Andreas Rumpfhuber: Work and Alienation
Presentations and Discussion.

Michael Hirsch: Emancipatory Alienation Critique: Reflections from the Perspective of a Humanist-Feminist Neo-Marxism
The lecture questions the relevance of the concept of alienation today. The intention is both socio-philosophical and political. First classical notions of alienation will be sketched out departing from the early writings of Marx. In a second step, positions of twentieth century Neo-Marxism (Marcuse and Adorno) will be discussed. In conclusion the supposed abolition of alienation in contemporary labour regimes will be addressed. (Presentation in German)

Dr Michael Hirsch (*1966) teaches Political Theory and History of Ideas at University Siegen. He lives as a freelance writer and lecturer in Munich. Recent publications include: Logik der Unterscheidung. 10 Thesen zu Kunst und Politik (2015); Die Überwindung der Arbeitsgesellschaft. Eine politische Philosophie der Arbeit (2016); Symbolische Gewalt. Politik, Macht und Staat bei Pierre Bourdieu (2017, co-editor), Es gibt ein richtiges Leben im falschen. Philosophische Aphorismen (to be published in 2018).

Andreas Rumpfhuber: The Incorporation of Dissent. Office Landscaping and its Contemporary Legacy
Currently we witness a revival of contemporary interpretations and variations of office-landscaping: Be it SANAA’s literal landscape for the Rolex Learning Center in Lausanne, Switzerland, be it Frank Gehry’s Facebook open plan office in Paolo Alto/California, USA, or OMA’s Springer Campus design in Berlin, to name just a few, most prominent examples. This new wave of office landscape-like projects makes it worth revisiting the initial concept of “Bürolandschaft”. Which other vision of work does it expose to the diagnosis of alienated labour? (Presentation in German)

Andreas Rumpfhuber is an architect and architectural theoretician. In his projects – publications, research projects and workshops often in international contexts – he explores phenomena concerning labour, housing and urban planning. Rumpfhuber is currently working as a visiting lecturer at the Institute of Urban Design and Landscape Architecture at TU Wien.

6 – 9:30 pm
Antonia Baehr, Latifa Laâbissi & Nadia Lauro: Consul and Meshie

Apes, at least great apes are among the “almost human” animals. This “almost” has turned them into a surface onto which humans project their ideas of what it means to be human. At the beginning of the 20th century the chimpanzees Consul and Meshie lived among humans as humans and came to consider themselves human. Antonia Baehr and Latifa Laâbissi adopt their own apish identities – with no guarantee for historical accuracy. Hairy and morally free, insolent and shameless, these two human monkeys occupy Nadio Lauro’s visual installation, which is roughly and casually nested away from the stage in quiet little corners of theatres and museums. From two leather limousine seats, whose furry innards gradually spread into the room, Consul Baehr and Meshie Laâbissi exhibit themselves for 3 1/2 hours at a time while the audience is free to come and go.

Antonia Baehr is a Berlin-based choreographer, performer, filmmaker and visual artist. Her pieces are characterized by a non-disciplinary way of working, examining the fiction of the everyday and the fiction of the theater.

Latifa Laâbissi studied contemporary dance in France and with the Cunningham studio in New York. Mixing genres, reflecting upon and redefining formats, Laâbissi’s work seeks to bring onstage multiple offstage perspectives.

Nadia Lauro is a visual artist and set designer. She has been developing her work for several decades in various contexts – scenic spaces, landscape architectures and museums.

Program Thu 4/10

7 pm
Nina Power:Who is the Subject of Alienation?
Lecture. More…

6 – 9:30 pmAntonia Baehr, Latifa Laâbissi & Nadia Lauro: Consul and Meshie. Performance. More…

Program Sat 6/10

3 pm
Presentation of the lab: On aesthetic strategies of defamiliarisation

5 – 9 pm
Marina Vishmidt, Kerstin Stakemeier, Angela Dimitrakaki:Beyond Alienation
Presentations and Discussion. More…