m1 (turm4)
Sunday, 3. October 2010

Seminar Decolonizing Knowledge and Life through Theory and Art

Seminar Decolonizing Knowledge and Life through Theory and Art
Conceived and organized by Ivana Marjanović, PhD candidate, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

Readings for the students, discussion, implementation in the art work and activations.
In the PCAP (Post Conceptual Art Practices) class for many years as part of the class structure reading groups and connections of art and theory have been exposed, organized and supported. Since winter semester 2009, a project in the form of a theory seminar has been proposed by one of the participants of these reading groups. The project has taken the form of theory seminar and even more proposed theory as activation in contemporary art.
The readings that were organized in the framework of the seminar dealt with the colonial exploitation of life, decolonization, present discussions about the overall intensification of the capitalist concept of life, death as the measure of a new biopolitics, de-territorialised colonialism, migration politics, structural violence, institutionalized racism, sexism, class issues as well as with discourses on political subject(s), agency, resistance, de-linking, etc.
Based on these and previous years readings, a book project “Vocabulary of Decoloniality” (working title) was initiated by Marina Gržinić, Ivana Marjanović and students of the Post Conceptual Art Practices class. The concept of the book has been developed as a collective process by the students. The book represents an attempt to transcend the class program and try to contextualize questions of knowledge, dissemination and activation through art and theory. Reading writers such as Frantz Fanon, bell hooks, Belinda Kazeem, Nicola Lauré al-Samarai, Walter Mignolo and Peggy Piesche and relating their ideas and concepts on the current state of capitalism, migration, racism, class, gender etc. it was detected that it is necessary to reformulate the existing vocabulary and push certain new terminology and meaning.
The idea about the book and its title departs from Walter Mignolo's notion of decoloniality, which implies that coloniality exists. The concept of decoloniality has been introduced as a proposal for the contention of contemporary forms of subjugation under neo-liberal capitalism that maintain certain continuities with historical colonialism. It implies that the colonial matrix of power introduced and maintained relations that did not end with decolonization. On the contrary, the established matrix of control, domination and exploitation from the time of colonialism, remain inherent today.

One of the seminar's activities during the winter semester 2010 will be the editorial work on the book that will be published by Loecker Verlag in January 2011. The other activity will consist of readings starting with the texts by Walter Mignolo and Madina Tlostanova following up with readings of the texts by Angela Mitropoulos, Goldie Osuri etc.
The project “Seminar Decolonizing Knowledge and Life through Theory and Art” deals 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. Selected texts will be read and then discussed in the seminar. Students will present chapters and parts of texts. The seminar encourages discussion, critical thinking and reflection on how to appropriate the proposed theoretical body of work in artistic practice.

First reading (in charge: Marissa Lobo and Ivana Marjanović)
Monday, 4.10.2010, 18.00-22.00, Post Conceptual Art Practices class, M1

  • Walter D. Mignolo: Coloniality: The Darker Side of Modernity
    (download: www.antville.org)
  • Madina Tlostanova: Towards a Decolonization of Thinking and Knowledge: a Few Reflections from the World of Imperial Difference
    (download: www.antville.org)

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