Apr13. | 0:00
On Education / Meeting Large European Networks
Sunday 17/04 | 11:00 – 16:00 | Bageion Hotel
On Education – discussion of Joulia Strauss, Vasyl Cherepanyn and Paul B. Preciado with Sotirios Bahtsetzis.
We observe an emphasis on the educational format in contemporary art in Eastern as well as in Southern Europe. Forced to exist in harsh colonial conditions of a permanent debt crisis or a proxy war, cultural agents on the European periphery seem to respond by creating and inventing. They propose education within art institutions or self-organised structures as speculative, open and emancipatory instances of cultural pedagogy as well as the means to act politically. At the Social CERN (as Athens Biennale was nicknamed by the press), we share our experiences and discuss the options of a horizontal educational system model. The “Educational Panel” is an answer to „Rethinking Institutional Critique“ from the side of the critique of the „educational turn“ (e.g. Paul O’Neill & Mick Wilson (Eds.) – Curating and The Educational Turn). We focus less on a critique of already existing models, but rather on sharing experiences and visions for paradigms to come. What are “open-ended production,” and “self-organised pedagogies”? How do they relate to alternative “knowledge economies”? What does it mean to construct ephemeral collectivities of shared and experiential knowledge: we-the migrant or we-the indebted or we-the culturally displaced or we-the sexually dissenting, etc.? How does art-as-education relate to socially engaged art and political activism? What does it mean to devise micro-practices, either within formal educational institutions and exhibition platforms (e.g. Documenta) or within the development of informal off-site projects, in which questions of the political, the public, the community and education converge?
Introduction of European Alternatives, lecture by Daphne Büllesbach
European Alternatives is a transnational movement and organisation devoted to exploring and promoting transnational politics and cultures. Αctive for ten years in connecting movements, organisations, individual activists and institutions across Europe for transnational campaigns and projects on democracy, right to mobility, social equality, diversity and culture. European Alternatives has an activist membership across Europe and runs activities in 18 European countries plus Brazil and China. We believe that today democratic participation, social equality and cultural innovation are undermined by the nation states in Europe and that transnational forms of collectivity must be fostered to promote these values.
Introduction of Krytyka Polityczna (The Political Critique) with a lecture on “National sovereignty and erosion of the centre. Refugee crisis in Polish perspective” by Jakub Dymek and Igor Stokfiszewski
Many argue that Poland is a country dominated by conservatism and xenophobia, yet this doesn’t really present the whole picture, especially when it comes to recent shift of attitudes towards migration and refugee crisis. The society is split in its views on these for years now, but as the internal polarisation of political conflict deepens, so are the levels of acceptance towards extremist positions – but the real change to be concerned with is the erosion of the political centre that would absorb some of the impact of the push of hardline nationalism and open racism. While extremist movements are indeed on the rise, it is the lack of credible centre and liberal political forces that would normally balance those on the right that contributes to the escalation of the problem. Political mainstream had been for years – with few notable exceptions – unable to take a strong stand. So while the society isn’t anti-refugee or xenophobic in its entirety, the less avenues to express more liberal attitude, the more extremism is seen as dominant, and mainstream discourse adapts its language. This is a feedback loop: conservatism and xenophobia are presented as natural and obvious and are being reinforced as such.
This meeting is organized in collaboration with European Alternatives and Krytyka Polityczna
Event cover image: Joulia Strauss & Florian Wolf for “Critical Institution” by Krytyka Polityczna
Sotirios Bahtsetzis is a writer, curator and educator based in Athens and Berlin. He currently teaches history and theory of art in Athens (ACG, HOU) and Basel (FHNW). He currently co-curates the project Artecitya. Envisioning the City of Tomorrow (Goethe Institut Thessaloniki, 2015-2018). He contributes to art theory journals such as E-flux Journal and Afterimage.
Daphne Büllesbach: “I work for European Alternatives in Berlin, making me an activist for a post-national European radical democracy and a believer of the optimism of the will against the pessimism of the intellect. I co-organised and curated the cultural and political event Transeuropa Festival in Belgrade in October 2015 and am working on the next festival edition in autumn 2017 in Spain.”
Vasyl Cherepanyn is a director of the Visual Culture Research Center (Kyiv, Ukraine), teaches at the Cultural Studies Department of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, and is the editor of “Political Critique” magazine (Ukrainian edition). The Visual Culture Research Center (VCRC) was founded in 2008 as a platform for collaboration between artists, activists and academics. Since its inception, VCRC had organised numerous debates, research seminars, conferences, exhibitions and actions in public space. It is a self-organised initiative that aims to create a productive environment for the interaction between engaged knowledge, critical art, and grass-roots politics. VCRC’s claim is to react to the needs and problems of the local context from the universal emancipatory perspective. The activities of the Center usually deal with the issues that are silenced or misrepresented in public debates, both in mainstream and professionalised circles.
Jakub Dymek is a journalist, editor and policy expert working at “Krytyka Polityczna” in Poland, writes mostly on foreign relations, human rights and technology. Contributing editor to “Dissent”. For his work on CIA secret interrogation facilities in Poland nominated to Grand Press Prize in 2015.
Igor Stokfiszewski is an activist, researcher, curator and artist of social and community theatre as well as politically engaged art. He is a member of Krytyka Polityczna (Political Critique) organisation operating within Poland and Ukraine, and author and editor of a variety of books on culture, activism and socio-economic development.
Joulia Strauss (the political activist supercat shaman artist in Athens) stands for a chord of artistic media, resonating in a deep bond with philosophy, technology and activism. Her sculptures, paintings, performances, drawings, videos were shown, among others, at Pergamon Museum, Berlin, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, NY, Tirana Biennale, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Wolfsburger, Fraknfurter, Hamburger Kunstvereins, Fourth Moscow Biennale, Tate Modern, London, ZKM | Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe as well as recently at the Kyiv Biennial. In collaboration with Peter Weibel and Friedrich Kittler †, Joulia Strauss currently works on a book “Gods and Writing around the Mediterranean“, Wilhelm Fink Publishing. Together with Daniel Mützel she has recently edited a special issue “Global Activism“ of the magazine Krytyka Polityczna.