Antarctica. A Symposium on Alienation

6/10 2018 3 pm — 9 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 Similarly, beyond the climatic, signs point to a significant “warming”: Affectivity and creativity have superseded the primacy of “bourgeois coldness” (Adorno).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 Has the diagnosis of alienation consequently become outdated?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 Sat 6/10

3 pm
Claudia Bosse
jeder sollte sich von sich selber entfernen, sonst
fällt der schrecken weg, der zum erkennen nötig ist (Bertolt Brecht)
on aesthetic strategies of defamiliarisation.

Free admission, TQW Studios

On October 6, Claudia Bosse and the participants present the results of the lab jeder sollte sich von sich selber entfernen, sonst fällt der schrecken weg, der zum erkennen nötig ist (Bertolt Brecht). on aesthetic strategies of defamiliarisation The lab opens up a space between artists and thinkers on artistic methods of defamiliarisation. Defamiliarisation as a strategy of shifting perspectives and constellations by means of specific aesthetic practices. Defamiliarisation as a (trans)acting recollection of phenomena, social realities or norms concerning art, politics, the body, the economy, knowledge, society. Defamiliarisation versus alienation: at the same time, we negotiated in the lab our roles as artists vis-à-vis institutions and politics, their modes of operation, their utilisation logics, their value creation.
With: Claudia Bosse, Abdalla Daif, Barbara Holub, Anne Juren, Sophie Klimis, Lucie Strecker, Yosi Wanunu

Claudia Bosse lives in Vienna and Berlin. She is an artist, choreographer and the artistic director of theatercombinat. After completing her studies in theatre directing in Berlin, she has been working in the field of (experimental) theatre located between installation, (spatial) choreography, urban intervention, and has been generating site-specific political hybrids as settings for various publics.

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

Marina Vishmidt: Relatable Alienation: The Logic and History of an Idea
This presentation will intervene on the hypothesis that the role of the artist is distinguished by unalienated labour. This will proceed in three stages and a coda: 1. Outlining the difference between alienation and objectification; 2. What is alienated and what is not alienated about artistic labour?; 3. What is the role of exceptionality in the rule of the capitalist form of value more generally? (Presentation in English)

Marina Vishmidt is a writer, editor and lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she convenes a Masters’ in Culture Industry. From 2014-2018, she ran a theory seminar at the Dutch Art Institute. She publishes in academic and other publications on topics related to the political economies of art, politics and philosophy. She is the co-author of Reproducing Autonomy: Work, Money, Crisis and Contemporary Art (with Kerstin Stakemeier) (Mute, 2016), and the forthcoming monograph, Speculation as a Mode of Production (Brill, 2018).

Kerstin Stakemeier: The Aesthetic Properties of Alienation

In (aesthetic) theories of the twentieth century alienation is thought of as the modern subject’s original sin: it signifies it’s separation from the world it capitalized. But alienation is much more than that: our alienation is our self-property. Kerstin Stakemeier investigates historical and contemporary lineages of aesthetic praxis which expose this self-property to dynamisms of self-expropriation, treating alienation not so much as an original sin but rather as a constitutive privilege. (Presentation in English)

Kerstin Stakemeier a writer and educator based in Berlin, is a professor of art theory and mediation at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste Nürnberg. She was a researcher at the Jan va Eyck Academy and taught a.o. at Leuphana University, Free University Berlin and the Bauhaus University in Weimar. She is the author of Unbridled Formalism: Devices of an Antimodern Aesthetics (b_books, 2017), of which an English translation is forthcoming with Sternberg Press.

Angela Dimitrakaki: Left with TINA: Alienation and Anti-communism

A number of movements and struggles take as the crux of their politics an “anti” stance, the most visible perhaps among them figured and configured as “anti-capitalism”; contemporary struggles on the left often self-identify as anti-capitalist. This paper will seek to problematise the ideological space (and time) of this “anti” stance by linking it to capitalism’s most successful ideological campaign, itself headed by another“anti”: anti-communism. (Presentation in English)

Angela Dimitrakaki is a writer and Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Art History and Theory at the University of Edinburgh where she directs the MSc Modern & Contemporary Art. Her scholarly work includes the books Gender, ArtWork and the Global Imperative (2013) and Economy: Art, Production and the Subject in the 21st Century (2015, co-edited with Kirsten Lloyd). Angela is also an award-winning novelist writing in her native Greek; her first novel Αντaρκτική(Antarctica 1997/ revised 2006) is among her works of fiction that address the transformation of subjectivity in contemporary global landscapes.

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 Fri 5/10

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

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