FORMER WEST a contemporary art research, education, publishing, and exhibition project (2008–2014).
3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress, Part One
Beyond What Was Contemporary Art
19–20 April 2012
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Secession, Vienna
CONNECT TO THE CONGRESS
Beyond What Was Contemporary Art is the first installment of the third in the series of FORMER WEST Research Congresses. The Congress is streamed live at www.formerwest.org and archived on the FORMER WEST Digital Platform. You can also follow the Congress on Twitter @FormerWest or #FWCongress and post questions for the speakers on the FORMER WEST Facebook discussion page. The Congress offers a space to speculate about possibilities for art beyond the normalizing practices of what we have come to know as Contemporary Art. The 3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress, Part One takes place in Austria at Secession and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. A detailed time schedule is available online at: www.formerwest.org.
At the 3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress, Part One the following group of remarkable artists, curators, and scholars gather in Vienna to speculate about possibilities for art vis-à-vis the increasing forces of antagonism across the world and the emerging imaginaries that accompany them: aaa / atelier d’architecture autogérée (urban research collective platform, Paris); Nancy Adajania (cultural theorist and curator, Mumbai); CAMP (studio for critical transdisiplinary practice, Mumbai); Ekaterina Degot (art historian and curator, Moscow); Jesko Fezer (artist and architect, Berlin); h.arta (artist collective, Timisoara); Christian Höller (writer, Vienna); Irit Rogoff (theorist and curator, London); and Ruth Sonderegger (philosopher, Vienna). Part Two of the Congress is scheduled to occur this autumn in Utrecht (dates to be announced).
The 3rd FORMER WEST Congress is part of a series of public forums aimed at rendering visible and furthering the artistic, curatorial, and academic research in which the project FORMER WEST is grounded. The Congress is developed by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht and co-curated by FORMER WEST research advisor Marion von Osten.
Initiated and developed by:
BAK, basis voor actuele kunst
NL-3501 DG Utrecht
T +31 (0)30 2316125
The 3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress, Part One is realized in collaboration with the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Secession, Vienna. It is generously supported by the Mondriaan Fund, Amsterdam, ERSTE Foundation and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Vienna.
THURSDAY, 19 APRIL 2012
Beginning from the “Formerness” of Contemporary Art
Location: Secession, Friedrichstraße 12, Vienna
Is it possible to think of so-called Contemporary Art as art—or an art historical period even—emerging from 1989 and developing in parallel to other hegemonic formations such as global neoliberalism? Could it then be argued that, in sync with the current seismic shifts in society, politics, and economy, it now also faces if not a dead end then a number of challenges that take it to task? Is Contemporary Art, as an iconographic source of the political architecture of the world of the last two decades on its way out so to speak, together with the system that made it possible? What kind of challenges and possibilities might then lie before us in the space of art in times like ours? Can we speculate collectively on how to move beyond the present confines of Contemporary Art’s practices, and begin articulating what can appear from its “formerness?” What are our responses to—and proposals for—the times ahead?
19.00–19.10 Welcome by Oliver Ressler (board member, Secession, Vienna) and Eva Blimlinger (Rector, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna)
19.10–19.30 Opening Remarks by Maria Hlavajova (artistic director, BAK, Utrecht and FORMER WEST)
19.30–20.30 An (Un)timely Meditation: Pointing to a Future Ecumene of Art
Nancy Adajania (cultural theorist and curator, Mumbai)
20.30–21.00 Questions followed by welcome drinks
FRIDAY, 20 APRIL 2012
Location: Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Schillerplatz 3, Vienna
I. Organizing a Difference
10.00–10.05 Welcome by Andrea Braidt (Vice-Rector, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna)
10.05–10.15 Welcome by Maria Hlavajova (artistic director, BAK, Utrecht and FORMER WEST)
10.15–10.30 Introduction by Marion von Osten (artist and cultural researcher, Berlin/Vienna)
In the context of a search beyond the confines of Contemporary Art, how does a difference get organized? What established and developing possibilities in the entangled field of artistic, intellectual, and activist practices are generating structures other than those that exist for research, production, and dissemination? How have the strategies of contemporary practitioners changed and how are new possibilities within and beyond the field of Contemporary Art constituted? Are new models of small translocal organizations already being created that are outside of the known forms of artistic self-organization, art institutions, and aesthetic disciplines?
10.30–11.15 How Art May Construct
CAMP (studio for critical transdisciplinary practice, Mumbai)
11.15–12.00 A Cure for Network Fever?
Christian Höller (writer, Vienna)
12.30–13.30 Lunch Break
13.30–14.15 The Everyday Ruptures in the Dominant Order
h.arta (artist collective, Timisoara)
14.15–15.00 Multiple Faces of Feminist Art Against a Neoconservative Backlash
Ekaterina Degot (art historian and curator, Moscow)
15.30–15.50 Coffee Break
15.50–16.35 Micro-politics of the Commons
aaa/atelier d’architecture autogérée (urban research collective platform, Paris)
16.35–17.20 Micro-politics of Artists or Design as Art
Jesko Fezer (artist and architect, Berlin)
17.50–18.10 Coffee Break
II. Speculating Forward
The model of Contemporary Art has been taken to task not only for its complicity in the reality of the global neoliberal order, but by the serious challenges to it that come from within art. To what extent, for example, is the field still of relevance to the far-reaching practices of self-organized collectives? And how have these group initiatives changed the field themselves? What emerging propositions are being articulated in response to these modes of cultural production? How can we arrive at a deeper understanding of the possibilities at hand by looking at a set of concrete practices that function as meaningful interruptions of the business-as-usual model that has been established over the course of the last two decades?
18.10–18.30 Observations and Questions by Ruth Sonderegger (philosopher, Vienna)
18.30–19.30 The Expanded Field-Actors, Agents, Platforms
Irit Rogoff (theorist and curator, London)
SATURDAY, 21 APRIL 2012
Location: Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Schillerplatz 3, Vienna
Open Forum: In Place of Conclusions
Led by Ruth Sonderegger (philosopher, Vienna), this open session includes both the contributors and participants to the 3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress, Part One. The session revisits the positions, statements, conversations, questions, and doubts that stem from the speculations about what lies “beyond what was Contemporary Art” in order to attempt to map the concerns and urgencies ahead of us. Instead of summarizing a set of conclusions, it is offered as a site of anticipation, as well as of collective thinking and action.
The Registration Desk for the 3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress opens on Thursday, 19 April 2012 at 18.15 (forty five minutes before the program starts)
Venues: Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Schillerplatz 3, 1010 Vienna and Secession, Friedrichstraße 12, A-1010 Vienna
How to get to there: Metro station Karlsplatz, and from there it is a 5-minute walk to Secession. The walking distance between Secession and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna is 5 minutes.
Admission: free (registration is required).