Plattform ønsker velkommen til et foredrag der samtalen står i fokus. Kurator og skribent Monika Szewczyk har i løpet av 2009 publisert de to første delene av en serie essays om temaet ”conversation”. På tampen av et år som i norsk kunstliv har stått i samtalens tegn, har Plattform invitert Szewczyk til en refleksjon omkring hvorfor begreper som debatt, diskusjon, diskurs og dialog blir stadig mer utbredt som del av både kunstneres og kunstinstitusjoners praksis. I 2009 har vi blant annet lagt bak oss Bergen Biennial Conference, hvor en av de foreslåtte mulige modellene for en biennale i Bergen var en såkalt ”diskursiv” modell – der samtalen kan være like sentral som kunstutstillingen. I siste nummer av bladet Billedkunst ble det også satt fokus på oppblomstringen av kunstinstitusjonenes mange nye sideprogram med debatter og foredrag.
Monika Szewczyk går i sine essays i dybden på denne tematikken, og belyser begrepet ”conversation” fra ulike ståsteder. Szewczyk var selv deltaker på Bergen Biennial Conference i September i år, hvor hun blant annet var moderator for konferansens avrundende paneldebatt – om biennalens fremtid.
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In her recent Art of Conversation essays, Monika Szewczyk attempted to render the free-floating notion of conversation strange. Why? For one, the word “conversation” has much “currency,” in all senses of the term. But, if every morning BBC asks us to “join the global conversation,” for instance, this holding conversation up as a communicative ideal also loosens the meaning of the word beyond recognition. The BBC jingle advertises “World Have Your Say” – a program where all are free to call in with an opinion. But is this conversation? And if – as will be argued – conversation is defined by silence, neutrality, and/as interruption, can it ever happen on radio, where there is a fear of “dead air”?
Furthermore, leaving “The World Have Your Say” behind, to think of the art world, the question arises of why, virtually every month, another symposium is announced in place of an exhibition? Consider the Bergen Biennale Conference in September 2009, recall the morning papers which announced that the biennale could be a conference. Is this an attempt to bypass art exhibiting in the cultural arena? Or is the ambition to raise discussion to the level of aesthetic activity? In fusing and confusing art and conversation, the idea is to allow the two notions, or practices, to pressure each other.
The lecture will include a review of the arguments of Parts I & II of Art of Conversation. And it will be an occasion to introduce how Part III (currently in development), pursues the question of class raised at the end of Part II. Here, Art of Conversation enters the debate over the rise of the so-called “creative class.”
To read Parts I & II of Art of Conversation by Monika Szewczyk visit the e-flux journal:
Monika Szewczyk is a writer, editor and curator based in Berlin and Rotterdam. She is Head of Publications at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam.
Szewczyk was a participant at the Bergen Biennial Conference in September this year, as a reviewer, and also as moderator of the panel discussion on the future of biennials.
Her essays and interviews have appeared in Afterall, Mousse, A Prior, and in e-flux journal online, where she has chronicled her ongoing investigation of the changing aesthetics and politics of discourse in a serial project titled ‘Art of Conversation’. Most recently she published ‘Meaning Liam Gillick’, the first critical reader on the artist’s work co-published by the organizers of his mid-career survey and The MIT Press.
Szewczyk held curatorial positions at the Belkin Art Gallery (Vancouver) and was an instructor at the Emily Carr College of Art + Design before relocating to Europe in early 2007. Recent projects include: co-editing the publication Santhal Family: Positions Around an Indian Sculpture (with Grant Watson and Anshuman Dasgupta, published by MuHKA, Antwerp, 2008); the exhibition Harald Thys and Jos de Gruyter in Vancouver (at Artspeak Gallery, Vancouver, 2007); editing the book Paint: A Psychedelic Primer (published by the Vancouver Art Gallery, 2006); as well as numerous essays on the work of contemporary artists, notably Gillian Carnegie, Tim Lee, Valérie Mannaerts, Paulina Olowska and Judy Radul.
Plattform er Bergen Kunsthalls foredragsserie på Landmark
Plattform er støttet av Fritt Ord og Norsk Kulturråd