May 28 - Art, Society and Politics : The School of Kyiv
ART, SOCIETY AND POLITICS : THE SCHOOL OF KYIV
On May 28 at Villa Vassilieff
From 2:30pm to 6:30pm
This half day conference will explore the outcomes of "The School of Kyiv" (Kyiv, Sept 8 Nov 1 2015), a new format of an art biennial curated by Hedwig Saxeahuber and Georg Schöllhammer and conceived and organized together with the Visual Culture Research Center Kyiv. During the Biennial, the works of more than 100 international and Ukrainian artists were on display, while artists, activists and thinkers from around the world met and worked with the public in collaborative forums, exploring the relation between art, society and politics in Ukraine and beyond. The aim of this conference will be to examine the whys and wherefores of holding an art biennial in a country riven by political tensions, and question how artistic practices and spaces can reflect as well as encourage or facilitate political change. The conference will question mainstream media clichés, offering a new perspective on recent socio-political developments in Ukraine.
This conference is organized and moderated by Rahma Khazam. Participants: Hedwig Saxenhuber (curator, Vienna), Georg Schöllhammer (curator, Vienna), Johannes Porsch (artist, Vienna), Malgorzata Grygielewicz (curator, Paris), Lesia Kulchynska (researcher and curator), Vasyl Cherepanyn (curator, Visual Culture Research Center Kyiv).
Presentations will be in English.
This event is supported by the Open Society Initiative for Europe, the Austrian Cultural Forum and the Polish Institut of Paris.
2:30pm - 2:45pm: Introduction by Rahma Khazam
2:45pm - 3:15pm: Malgorzata Grygielewicz: "Urbs Sacra - Journey to the East..."
At the beginning, there was a moving question : how could one make life/the city go on forever ? And why some cities should perish ? The synergy between life and the city questions us. And it is the synergy that we will try to raise, in a perspective of both destruction and creation. By exploring this vocabulary, we will realize the vital urgency of contemporary aesthetics facing the city’s destructions and the consequent problems. « Cartago delenda est » shows the links between the end of the punic city and of the punic civilization. After years of splendour and prosperity, swept off the Earth and wiped off the map, its rickety ruins are now fading. Its territory is soon called « sacer », which means « cursed » in latin. « Urbs sacra », like Giorgio Agamben’s « homo sacer », do not have any civil right. The city, traditionnal location of the political, loses its fundamental purpose. But then, what is left of it ? Through this inquiry, walking together with several artists, we will focus on the case of the art center Galeria Arsenal in Bialystok, Poland.
3:15pm - 3:45pm: Hedwig Saxenhuber: "Into the City"
All began anew in the late days of March 2015 with a cancellation. Kyiv’s largest public art and event venue had withdrawn as an organizer of the 2nd Kyiv Biennale. Encouraged by our artists and intellectual friends we decided to go ahead with the Biennial independently and autonomously and make the complex framework of the city of Kyiv and its art world one of the main subjects and actors and a main display of the the Biennial. By reflecting upon this constellation and the conditions of curating within this complex situation, Hedwig Saxenhubers presentation of The School of Kyiv aims at reconsidering the notion of „the uses of art“.
3:45pm - 4:15pm: Johannes Porsch: "Support Structures"
In his presentation Johannes Porsch will approach the genre of display/exhibition from the following angles: display/exhibition as a theatrical set up in the wake of minimalism and late modernism, display/exhibition as a post-conceptual object of relatedness as it was articulated in sculptural projects of the 1990s and display/exhibition as a structure that articulates precarious conditions of contemporary (art) production. Johannes Porsch spent some time in Kyiv working on his piece and will talk about how his work operates in a situation like the Biennial.
4:30pm - 5pm: Georg Schöllhammer: "Curating in a State of Crisis"
Georg Schöllhammer’s presentation will circulate around the conceptual framework of The School of Kyiv and about curating in a situation of crisis, aporia, of historicity, of apparent entrapment. Structured in terms of various schools the project focussed on central themes: realism, landscape, image and evidence, displacement, lonesomeness, abducted Europe. All these schools, which encompassed both exhibitions and series of discourse-based events, were linked by the same underlying question, namely how to establish and maintain a shared space for reaction that can bridge differences: a perhaps unstable, temporary space that would nonetheless extend beyond the well-trodden paths of politically propagated barriers or would constructively distinguish itself from the status quo.
5pm -5:30pm: Lesia Kulchynska - "The School of the Lonesome"
5:30pm - 6pm: Vasyl Cherepanyn - "The Political School of the Kyiv Biennial"
6pm - 6:30pm: Discussion
About the participants
Rahma Khazam studied philosophy and art history and holds a Ph.D. in art and aesthetics from the Sorbonne. A researcher and art critic (key research areas: contemporary art and architecture, modernism, theory and history of sound art), she lectures internationally and has published texts and articles in exhibition catalogues, thematic anthologies and contemporary art magazines such as Frieze, Springerin and Artforum.com. She is a member of AICA (International Association of Art Critics) and of EAM (European Network for Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies).
Malgorzata Grygielewicz holds a Ph.D. in ancien philosophy. After Classics studies at Paris VIII University, she specialized in ancient and modern philosophy as well as in philosophy of art. She currently works together with art centres and teaches art theory at the Ecole européenne de l’image, in Poitiers and Angoulême. She is particularly interested by the territory of creation and its problematics, considered as a place of radical and political encounters.
Hedwig Saxenhuber is a curator and co-editor of the arts periodical springerin - Hefte für Gegenwartskunst (Vienna). She was Founding Director (together with Christian Kravagna) at Kunstraum Lakeside at Klagenfurt, from 2005 to 2015. Her recent large-scale projects include “The School of Kyiv“ (Kiev Biennal 2015), “Unrest of Form – Imagining the Political Subject” (together with Georg Schöllhammer and Stefanie Carp, Vienna Festival, MQ, 2013); "Bertha von Suttner Revisited" (Schloss Harmannsdorf, together with Susanne Neuburger, 2009); "A Ladies Almanach“, (Tranzit Prag, 2009); "Art + Politics“, from the Collection of the City of Vienna (MUSA, Vienna, 2008); Parallel Histories, (ACF, New York, 2006); Gyumri Biennal (Armenia, 2008); VALIE EXPORT, (Moscow Biennal, NCCA, 2007); and "Postorange, Contemporary Art from Ukraine” (Kunsthalle, Vienna 2006).
Johannes Porsch works as artist, curator and author : his texts, exhibitions and publications revolve around the topic of politics of representation and resulting processes of subjectivisation. Among other works : What is Architecture (2001), Ottokar Uhl. Nach allen Regeln der Architektur (2005), The Austrian Phenomenon (2004/2009), Un jardin d’hiver, präsentiert (2006), Chinaproduction (2007), Suche Bauplatz für Moschee/ Aa (2008/2010/2012), Transitory Objects (2009), Tanja Widmann Sich in diesem Sinne ähnlich machen (2010), R.R., u.v.a. (2011), What Can a Group Do? (2011), The Purloined Letter (2011), Project Proposal (The Work Is How to Become an Artist) (2012), Parmi les Noirs/Unter den Schwarzen (2012), Unrest of Form. Imagining the Political Subject (2013), Capital of Desires, 14. Biennale di Venezia, Architettura (2014), and The School of Kyiv (2015).
Georg Schöllhammer is an editor, writer and curator based in Vienna. He is Founding Editor of springerin and head of tranzit.at. Schöllhammer has worked internationally on cultural projects including documenta, Manifesta, the Biennales of Venice, Sao Paulo, Gumry and The School of Kiev 2015, Sweet Sixties, L’internationale, Former West, the Vienna Festival or the Vienna Fair. He is chairman of "The Július Koller Society". From 2004 to 2007 he has been editor-in-chief of Documenta 12 and conceived and directed Documenta 12 magazines. Schöllhammers current research projects include: “Sweet Sixties”, “Local Modernites” and »Soviet Modernism".
Lesia Kulchynska, Ph.D. in Film Studies, is a researcher at the Department of Film and Television Studies at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and a teacher at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. Curator at the Visual Culture Research Center. She writes on culture and social issues for various Ukrainian magazines. Lives and works in Kyiv.
Vasyl Cherepanyn (1980, Ukraine) is the Head of Visual Culture Research Center (VCRC, Kyiv) and an editor of the Political Critique magazine (Ukrainian edition). He works as a lecturer at the Cultural Studies Department of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and holds Ph.D. in philosophy (aesthetics). Also he worked as a guest lecturer at the Institute for Advanced Studies of the "Political Critique" in Warsaw, Poland and the Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg Greifswald of the Greifswald University, Germany. In 2015, VCRC has received the European Cultural Foundation’s Princess Margriet Award for Culture for its activities. Visual Culture Research Center was also the organizer of The School of Kyiv – Kyiv Biennial 2015. More informations on the Visual Culture Research Center here.