m1 (turm4)
Monday, 5. October 2009

Decolonizing Knowledge and Life through Theory and Art

PROJECT: “SEMINAR Decolonizing Knowledge and Life through Theory and Art”
Proposed by Ivana Marjanović, PhD candidate, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
Where: PCAP, Akbild Vienna
For whom: for all, mandatory for students PCAP, Akbild, Vienna
Format: reading group, discussions, conceiving art works based on art and theory connection

There are no applications for this project. Schedule will be updated every month on m1.antville.org. Students are invited to join at any point.

In the PCAP (Post Conceptual Art Practices) for many years as part of the class structure reading groups and connections of art and theory were exposed, organized and supported. This school year a project as a theory seminar is proposed by one of the participants of these reading groups in the past.
The project takes the form of theory seminar and even more proposes theory as activation in contemporary art.
The project topic is LIFE.
In the context of the present discussions about the overall intensification of the capitalist concept of life it is necessary to pose the question about what life are we talking about here and now. Or, maybe it is even necessary that we stop to think only and solely about life and take death as the measure of a new biopolitics that accordingly to Achille Mbembe we can name necropolitics. Developed in the context of Africa, necropolitics is more and more present in the heart of Europe, due to the processes that are going on here and now, one is de-territorialised colonialism. Thus, it is the historical (colonial) phenomenon of necropolitics and the sovereign power that exercise death (Achille Mbembe) that is more and more intensified not only through contemporary wars but as well through migration politics and EU asylum politics (Rada Ivekovic, Tatjana Greif etc), structural violence and institutionalized racism (Araba Evelyn Johnston-Arthur). The colonial matrix of power (Walter Mignolo) consisting of the control of economy, the control of authority, the control of gender and sexuality and the control of knowledge and subjectivity is nowadays determining all spheres of life. Such state of things is shaping the knowledge and artistic production as well. Therefore, we are facing constant reproduction of imperial knowledge and art production that is excluding intellectuals, artists, cultural workers who are not privileged to be labeled as intellectuals from the First Capitalist World.

While at the moment Europe is celebrating the twenty years of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the disappearance of borders as its consequence, borders are constantly being reproduced and are continually being re-inscribed within the social fabric. The “Seminar Decolonizing Knowledge and Life through Theory and Art” will deal with the above mentioned issues, emphasizing how art and contemporary theory together can contribute to the overall social struggle for the rearticulation of the social and political spaces.

Besides above mentioned theoreticians, the seminar will take into consideration the work of Manuela Bojadžijev, Sebastjan Leban, Homi K. Bhabha, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Frantz Fanon, Ljubomir Bratić, Rozalinda Borcila, bell hooks, Frederic Jameson, Tihomir Topuzovski, Ana Vujanović, Marta Popivoda and others.

Selected books and texts will be read and then discussed in the seminar. Students will present chapters, parts of texts and books. The seminar will encourage discussion, critical thinking and finally reflection on how to appropriate the proposed theoretical body of work in artistic practice.

The project “Seminar Decolonizing Knowledge and Life through Theory and Art” is conceptualized as a continuation of the theory reading group that was organized in the past summer semester in 2009 in the Post-conceptual Art Practices class by Marina Gržinić and Ivana Marjanović. The theory reading group practice has showed that there is a growing interest by students for reading theory and discussing it in the format of reading group and thus the idea of organizing a special seminar appeared.

For further questions please contact Ivana Marjanović: ivanamar@gmail.com

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