Tag Archives: Simon Sheikh

2nd FORMER WEST Research Congress (Istanbul)

2nd FORMER WEST Research Congress

On Horizons: Art and Political Imagination
4–6 November 2010

Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul Turkey
www.formerwest.org

On Horizons: Art and Political Imagination, the second in the series of FORMER WEST Research Congresses is streamed live at www.formerwest.org, 4–6 November 2010 (Istanbul time, GMT +2 hours). You can also follow the congress on twitter @FormerWest and post questions to the speakers on our FORMER WEST facebook (discussion section). The congress revolves around the theoretical notion of the “horizon” and its place within artistic production and political imagination today. It takes place in Turkey at the Technical University, Istanbul. A detailed program of the proceedings is available online at: www.formerwest.org.

SPEAKERS
In the 2nd FORMER WEST Research Congress, a group of remarkable artists, curators, and scholars gather in Istanbul to engage in a conversation about the issues related to the notion of horizon. Speakers at the Congress include: Julie Ault (artist and writer, New York), Boris Buden, (cultural critic and writer, Berlin), Beatriz Colomina (architecture historian and theorist, New York), Jodi Dean (political theorist and writer, Geneva, NY), TJ Demos (art historian and critic, London), Bülent Diken (social theorist, Lancaster), Çağlar Keyder (sociologist, Istanbul/ Binghamton), Vasif Kortun (curator and writer, director of Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul), Ernesto Laclau (political theorist, Buenos Aires/London), Lisette Lagnado (curator and writer, São Paulo), Peter Osborne (philosopher and writer, London), Gerald Raunig (philosopher and art theorist, Zürich), Vivian Rehberg (art historian and critic, FORMER WEST research curator, Paris/Utrecht), Shuddhabrata Sengupta (artist and writer, member of Raqs Media Collective, Delhi), Robert Sember (artist and activist, member of Ultra-red, New York), Simon Sheikh (curator and critic, Berlin), Hito Steyerl (filmmaker and writer, Berlin), Wouter Vanstiphout (architectural historian), and Dmitry Vilensky (artist and activist, member of Chto Delat?/What is to be done?, St. Petersburg).

Initiated and developed by: BAK, basis voor actuele kunst
Postbus 19288 , NL-3501 DG Utrecht, T +31 (0)30 2316125 info@formerwest.org, www.formerwest.org


The 2nd FORMER WEST Research Congress is developed and realized by


The 2nd FORMER WEST Research Congress is generously supported by


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2nd FORMER WEST Research Congress (Istanbul)

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2nd FORMER WEST Research Congress

On Horizons: Art and Political Imagination
4–6 November 2010

Istanbul Technical University
Istanbul, Turkey

www.formerwest.org

On Horizons: Art and Political Imagination, the second in the series of FORMER WEST Research Congresses, takes place on 4–6 November 2010 at Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul. The Congress revolves around the theoretical notion of the “horizon” and its place within artistic production and political imagination today.

If, as it is commonly assumed, the global political and cultural changes of 1989 left the world bereft of a sense of politics as striving towards a future—a horizon as it were—then we are left with the perpetual caretaking of the existing state of things. Given this apparent endgame of liberal democracy, how can we insist that it is possible to imagine and to realize another world, to posit the horizon anew?

In this context, the project FORMER WEST is a proposition for speculating—in the field of contemporary art—about a possible horizon. For, can it not be argued that art works, exhibitions, and their discourses inherently set up a horizon, offering a proposal of what can and cannot be imagined? This horizon links aesthetics with politics, creates an image of possible futures, yet also marks a limit that cannot be surpassed as it recedes with each move toward it, offering a sense of both possibility and that which remains out of reach.

In the 2nd FORMER WEST Research Congress, a group of remarkable artists, curators, and scholars gather in Istanbul to engage in a conversation about these issues. On the first day, 4 November, lectures and dialogues by Julie Ault (artist and writer, New York), Boris Buden (cultural critic and writer, Berlin), Peter Osborne (philosopher and writer, London), Caglar Keyder (sociologist, Istanbul/Binghamton), and Simon Sheikh (curator and critic, Berlin) explore the notion of the horizon in art and critical theory, examine concrete artistic and discursive practices, and consider the particular context of the hosting city (Positing the Horizon in Art, Philosophy, and Political Theory).

Under the title Horizontality Enacted, contributors to the second day, 5 NovemberBeatriz Colomina (architecture historian and theorist, New York), Jodi Dean (political theorist and writer, Geneva, NY), Bülent Diken (social theorist, Lancaster), Vasif Kortun (curator and writer, director of Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul), Lisette Lagnado (curator and writer, São Paulo), Vivian Rehberg (art historian and critic, FORMER WEST research curator, Paris/Utrecht), and Shuddhabrata Sengupta (artist and writer, member of Raqs Media Collective, Delhi) deliberate on practices related to architecture, urban design, experimental geography, and spatial production in the framework of horizontality.

On 6 November, the concluding day of the Congress, entitled Reclaiming a Horizon—Art as Political Imagination, the question as to how the horizon is imagined, speculated upon, visualized, and materialized through contemporary art will be unpacked by TJ Demos (art historian and critic, London), Ernesto Laclau (political theorist, Buenos Aires/London), Gerald Raunig (philosopher and art theorist, Zürich), Robert Sember (artist and activist, member of Ultra-red, New York), Hito Steyerl (filmmaker and writer, Berlin), and Dmitry Vilensky (artist and activist, member of Chto Delat/What is to be done?, St. Petersburg).

The 2nd 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 SKOR, Foundation Art and Public Space, Amsterdam and co-curated by FORMER WEST research fellow Simon Sheikh. It is realized in collaboration with IKSV Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts Istanbul and hosted by Istanbul Technical University.

The language of the Congress is English; simultaneous translation into Turkish is provided. Admission to the Congress is free, however registration is required due to limited seating. A Registration Form is available online at: www.formerwest.org. Please submit the completed form no later than 3 October 2010 to info@formerwest.org. Program updates can be found on our website. Congress proceedings can be followed via live stream, and will be archived on the FORMER WEST digital platform.

FORMER WEST is a contemporary art research, education, publishing, and exhibition project (2008–2013) aimed at a critical reinterpretation of our recent post-1989 histories and at speculating about our global future by casting new light on contemporary art in relation to developments in society and politics. It is realized with a dense international network of researchers and institutional partners and curated by Charles Esche (curator and writer, director Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven), Maria Hlavajova (curator and writer, artistic director BAK and FORMER WEST), and Kathrin Rhomberg (independent curator, Vienna).

The 2nd FORMER WEST Research Congress has been made possible by support from the Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdam; ERSTE Stiftung, Vienna; and the Consulate General of the Kingdom of The Netherlands, Istanbul.

Image above:
Design by Mevis & Van Deursen.

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Vectors of the Possible (BAK, Utrecht)

Vectors of the Possible
12 September – 28 November 2010

Opening:
11 September 2010,
18.00 hrs

BAK, basis voor actuele kunst
Lange Nieuwstraat 4, Utrecht
The Netherlands

www.bak-utrecht.nl
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Between 12 September and 28 November, BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht proudly presentsVectors of the Possible, a group exhibition with works by Matthew Buckingham, chto delat/What is to be done?, Freee, Sharon Hayes, Runo Lagomarsino & Johan Tirén, Elske Rosenfeld, Hito Steyerl, and Ultra-red, curated by curator and critic Simon Sheikh.

The exhibition Vectors of the Possible examines the notion of the horizon in art and politics and explores the ways in which art works can be said to set up certain horizons of possibility, how art partakes in specific imaginaries, and how it can produce new ones, thus suggesting other ways of imagining the world. In this exhibition Sheikh suggests that we understand the notion of the horizon as an “empty signifier,” but one that holds certain worldviews together, and unites political struggles, giving them a sense of direction. The horizon is that which has to be reached and indeed surpassed for another world to emerge. The art works in this exhibition examine this idea of the horizon as a limit concept, and explore its placement and function within political imaginaries. Art works can be seen as vectors, reckoning possibility and impossibility in (un)equal measures, but always detecting and indicating ways of seeing, and thus of being, in the world.

Vectors of the Possible is a research exhibition within the framework of the project FORMER WEST, an international research, education, publishing, and exhibition undertaking (2008–2013). In its consideration of the notion of the horizon, it is conceptually linked to the 2nd FORMER WEST Research Congress in Istanbul (4–6 November 2010) as well as On Horizons: A Critical Reader in Contemporary Art, the fourth publication in BAK’s Critical Reader Series (forthcoming February 2011). For more information on FORMER WEST, please visit www.formerwest.org.

BAK Opening hours
Wednesday−Saturday 12.00−17.00 hrs
Sunday 13.00−17.00 hrs

For further information, please contact:
BAK, basis voor actuele kunst
Lange Nieuwstraat 4
3512 PH Utrecht
t: +31 (0)30 2316125
f: +31 (0)30 2304866
e: info@bak-utrecht.nl

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