Event: Peter Weiss and Harun Farocki, October 24, 2016, silent green
We were isolated individuals and simultaneously subsumed into a totality*
* Translation from: Peter Weiss, Die Ästhetik des Widerstands. Erster Band, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1975, S. 137
Peter Weiss and Harun Farocki
An event organized by the Harun Farocki Institut (HaFI)
October 24, 2016
3:30 to 5:00 pm
„[to] turn a place that one otherwise passes by thoughtlessly into an important place.“**
A guided tour of real and imaginary places and locations from The Aesthetics of Resistance in Red Wedding from and with Julia Lazarus/Undisciplinary Learning
Meeting point: Nettelbeckplatz, at the “Tanz auf dem Vulkan” fountain
For the guided tour please register under: email@example.com
The extended environs of the silent green Kulturquartier in Wedding, where the Harun Farocki Institut is also located, plays a significant role as a setting in Peter Weiss’s novel The Aesthetics of Resistance. Not only do the protagonists in Berlin featured in volume 1 of the trilogy move between the Oranienburger Vorstadt and Wedding districts, for Weiss Barricades in Wedding, Klaus Neukrantz’s “little agitational book” about the so-called Blood May of 1929 (published in 1931) represents a form of complementary novel to Kafka’s The Castle. “The search and the defensive struggle were two sides of one and the same act of taking up positions.” Julia Lazarus’s guided tour will address this and other aspects of the topography of The Aesthetics of Resistance.
Julia Lazarus is a curator, artist and film maker from Berlin. Since 2012 she been engaged in an exploration of the novel The Aesthetics of Resistance from Peter Weiss. The exhibition Undisciplinary Learning. Remapping. The Aesthetics of Resistance which she has curated together with Suza Husse and Janine Halka is currently on display at District Berlin until 19/11/2016. In 2013/4 she initiated the exhibition Die Ästhetik des Widerstands together with Moira Zoitl und Naomi Hennig in the Galerie im Turm (Berlin) and the IG Bildende Kunst Vienna.
** Harun Farocki, concept paper about On Display: Peter Weiss (1979), first published in: Harun Farocki: On Display: Peter Weiss, HaFI 003, by the Harun Farocki Institut, 2016
7:30 to 9:30 pm
Harun Farocki and Gunilla Palmstierna-Weiss on Peter Weiss and The Aesthetics of Resistance
Video interviews with Carles Guerra from 2011 (screening) followed by a talk with Carles Guerra and Bert Rebhandl (in English)
silent green Kulturquartier
In the context of the research conducted for his exhibition 1979, a Monument to Radical Moments at the Virreina Centre de la Imatge in Barcelona, the curator and artist Carles Guerra conducted interviews with Harun Farocki and the stage-designer and artist Gunilla Palmstierna-Weiss in 2011 which were recorded on video. Guerra’s exhibition, centred around 1979, addressed a political aesthetic from different perspectives and was essentially organised around motifs from The Aesthetics of Resistance, and in particular, the question of a documentary visual praxis under conditions of biopolitics and neoliberalism. Via Peter Weiss and the problem of the historical memory of acts and gestures of both political and aesthetic radicalism, Farocki and Guerra entered into an intensive dialog, which also continued after Farocki’s death. Together with Antje Ehmann, Guerra curated exhibitions on Harun Farocki in Valencia and Barcelona in 2015 and 2016, which, in 2017, will be followed by a further exhibition at the Neuen Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) within the context of the planned Harun Farocki retrospective in Berlin.
Carles Guerra (Amposta, 1965) is a curator, critic, visual producer and scientist. His special interest is the relationship between artistic praxis and cultural politics under post-Fordism. Guerra was Director of the Virreina Centre de la Imatge and Head Curator at the Museu d’Art Conternporani de Barcelona (MACBA), before being appointed Director of the Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona in 2015. Most recently (with Antje Ehmann) he curated the exhibition Harun Farocki. Empathy at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies.
Bert Rebhandl (Kirchdorf an der Krems, 1964) is a freelance film journalist for, amongst others, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Der Standard, Frieze, Zitty, author (amongst others Orson Welles. Genie im Labyrinth, 2005) and co-founder and editor of the magazine Cargo. Film/Medien/Kultur.
October 12th, 2016 — Projects / Event
Lauren Berlant, the brilliant theorist of “cruel optimism” and related issues, died of a rare form of cancer on June 28. The following, devastatingly optimistic quote is from a 2016 essay on the commons as “infrastructures for troubling times,” part of a book that they worked on with the typically double-edged title On the Inconvenience of Other People: “What remains for our pedagogy of unlearning is to build affective infrastructures that admit the work of desire as the work of an aspirational ambivalence. What remains is the potential we have to common infrastructures that absorb the blows of our aggressive need for the world to accommodate us and our resistance to adaptation and that, at the same time, hold out the prospect of a world worth attaching to that’s something other than an old hope’s bitter echo. A failed episode is not evidence that the project was in error. By definition, the common forms of life are always going through a phase, as infrastructures will.”
Some basics from the Strike MoMA site: “Campaigns, actions, and letters chip away at the regime’s facade from the outside. Inside, every time workers organize, defy the boss, care for a coworker, disrespect secrecy, or enact other forms of subversion, cracks are created in the core. Cracking and chipping, chipping and cracking. As the walls that artificially separate the museum from the world collapse, we reorient away from the institution and come together to make plans. Let us strike in all the ways possible to exit from the terms of the museum so we can set our own.”
Hyperallergic on the environmental impact of blockchain referring to recent NFT (non-fungible token) art sales: “This is not the first time the art world has come under scrutiny for being on the wrong side of the climate conversation. Artists and activists have protested everything from the carbon footprint of physical art fairs to the fossil fuel money funding major museums. But some say the energy consumption of cryptocurrencies is particularly egregious, and research shows it’s relatively easily quantifiable. A study by Cambridge University, for instance, estimates that bitcoin uses more electricity per year than the entire nation of Argentina. (Ethereum mining consumes a quarter to half of what Bitcoin mining does, but one transaction uses more power than an average US household in a day, according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.)”
Nicholas Mirzoeff on “Artificial vision, white space and racial surveillance capitalism”: “Based as it is on ‘epidermalization’ (the assertion of absolute difference based on relative differences in skin color), AI’s racial surveillance deploys an all-too-familiar racialized way of seeing operating at plan-etary scale. It is the plantation future we are now living in. All such operations take place in and via the new imagined white space of technology known as the cloud. In reality, a very material arrangement of servers and cables, the cloud is both an engine of high-return low-employment capitalism and one of the prime drivers of carbon emissions.”
Sara Ahmed on the performativity of disgust (from The Cultural Politics of Emotion, 2004): “To name something as disgusting is to transfer the stickiness of the word ‘disgust’ to an object, which henceforth becomes generated as the very thing that is spoken. The relationship between the stickiness of the sign and the stickiness of the object is crucial to the performativity of disgust as well as the apparent resistance of disgust reactions to ‘newness’ in terms of the generation of different kinds of objects. The object that is generated as a disgusting (bad) object through the speech act comes to stick. It becomes sticky and acquires a fetish quality, which then engenders its own effects.”
November 7th, 2020
David Graeber (1961-2020) on What Would It Take (from his The Democracy Project. A History, a Crisis, a Movement, 2013, p. 193): “We have little idea what sort of organizations, or for that matter, technologies, would emerge if free people were unfettered to use their imagination to actually solve collective problems rather than to make them worse. But the primary question is: how do we even get there? What would it take to allow our political and economic systems to become a mode of collective problem solving rather than, as they are now, a mode of collective war?”
September 7th, 2020
T.J. Demos on why cultural practitioners should never surrender, via tranzit.sk: “For artists, writers, and curators, as art historians and teachers, the meaning-production of an artwork is never finished, never fully appropriated and coopted, in my view, and we should never surrender it; the battle over significance is ongoing. We see that battle rise up in relation to racist and colonial monuments these days in the US, the UK, and South Africa. While the destruction of such monuments results from and is enabling of radical politics, it’s still not enough until the larger institutions that support and maintain their existence as well as the continuation of the politics they represent are also torn down. This is urgent as well in the cultural sphere, including the arts institutions, universities, art markets, discursive sphere of magazines and journals, all in thrall to neoliberalism, where we must recognize that it’s ultimately inadequate to simply inject critical or radical content into these frameworks, which we know excel at incorporating those anti-extractivist expressions into further forms of cultural capital and wealth accumulation. What’s required is more of the building of nonprofit and community-based institutions, organizing radical political horizons and solidarity between social formations.”
August 21st, 2020