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A Free Gesture:
A Seminar on Speech
Program: 09:00–09:30 09:30–09:40 09:40–10:20 10:20–10:50 Registration and coffee Introduction: Tone Hansen Freedom, Action, Image: Thomas Keenan Travelling narratives: Behzad Khosravi Organized by Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in collaboration with Fritt Ord Foundation Free admission Registration: firstname.lastname@example.org Coffee and lunch will be served August 19th 2013 9:00 –17:30 at Fritt Ord Foundation (The Freedom of Expression Foundation) Uranienborgveien 2, Oslo
Coffee-break until 11:10 11:10–12:00 12:00–12:30 Lunch until 13:40 13:40–14:30 We are Living on a Star: Art, Politics and the Everyday: Marit Paasche 14:30–15:00 Occupying Cultural Territories: Barnabás Bencsik 15:00–15:30 The Dark Net: Øyvind Strømmen Coffee-break until 16:00 16:00–16:30 16:30–17:10 17:10 End 17:30 The End of Snobbery?: Ekaterina Degot Photography as speech: Ahlam Shibli in conversation with Tone Hansen Summary and discussion – Milena Høgsberg Dare to Betray: Boris Buden Critical Network Mapping: Burak Arikan
In the aftermath of Anders Behring Breivik’s attacks 22 July in Norway, the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek coined 2011 the year of dreaming dangerously. It is no longer a dream. In several countries freedom of speech is restricted through different means of control, and right wing extremism is on the rise once again. This seminar investigates freedom of speech as an image, as a gesture and as a term through three lectures, while five status reports given by artists, writers and curators from different regions of Europe will look at how this fundamental right is being altered, redefined, used and misused and fought for.
The seminar is held in advance of the exhibition project We Are Living on a Star, curated by Tone Hansen and Marit Paasche, opening 30 January 2014 at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in collaboration with Fritt Ord Foundation. The title comes from the tapestry of Hannah Ryggen from 1958 that was hanging in the Norwegian government building and that suffered a tear in its lower part during the bombing in 2011. The project investigates the concepts of normality, collective values and freedom of speech. During and after the trial against Anders Behring Breivik, Norway was encompassed in a larger debate about his sanity and responsibility, about normality and the soundness of the mind. Normality, however, is far more than the opposite of insanity. The normative intervenes in all parts of society and regulates all our actions; it defines what is natural. Participating artists: Burak Arikan, Doug Ashford, Julian Blaue, Martin Braathen in collaboration with Marius Engh and Even Smith Wergeland, Marthe Ramm Fortun, Hanne Friis, Else Marie Hagen, Silje Linge Haaland, Per-Oskar Leu, Lotte Konow Lund, Jumana Manna, Eline McGeorge, Eva Rothschild, Hannah Ryggen, Ahlam Shibli, and Javier Téllez.
Ekaterina Degot will refer to the current political situation in Russia and will draw an ideological map of it. and its art scene. She has been a guest professor at various American and European universities and is currently a professor at the Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia. and especially with right-wing extremism. 1997). is the director of ACAX | Agency for Contemporary Art Exchange (acax. (Russia) is an art historian. Barnabás Bencsik (Hungary) is a curator who lives and works in Budapest. from 2006. cultural and art criticism.hu). 2011). in the field of artistic representation and documentary narration. Buden is currently visiting professor at Faculty for Art and Design. How to find the most effective strategy to protect our fundamental values against the two-thirds supermajority? With reference to its two-thirds parliamentary majority. dedicated to provide “network intelligence” for everyone. and “Aid and Abet” (Quebec. and is currently working on a book on anti-Muslim extremism. Behzad Khosravi Noori Travelling narratives will address the idea of global image. 2013). starting from MyPocket (2008) while raising questions on the exploitation of immaterial value. 2006). and with Tirdad Zoghadr. from the reality to the politically made fiction out of this reality.D. in relation to artistic critical-political representation of “outside” and “outsider” as stigmatic nations. Recent exhibitions include: Home Works 6 (2013). Budapest between 2008-2013. Her field of specialty is American and European contemporary art. propaganda. Action. later in history of art from the ELTE University Budapest. and with Eyal Weizman.” we need to think and practice freedom of expression politically. Bencsik was the director of Ludwig Museum–Museum of Contemporary Art. Scholars at Risk. Det mørke nettet (The Dark Net) and Den sorte tråden (The Black Thread). Death is part of the larger solo presentation Phantom Home currently on display at Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume. the old and the young. politics. economic and bureaucratic but also the intellectual elite. finally discussing the recent collective research and mapping project on neoliberalism in Turkey. The exhibition has sparked a heated debate in France. while focusing in multiple identities within the discourse of European multiculturalism and hyper politicized socio environments. with a particular focus on video art and experimental film. having created an army of precarious workers. but something that matters in a world of power and struggles for equality. which is at stake in a sometimes unexpected way. 2011). he achieved his second master in Art in Public Realm at Konstfack. 2012). for fostering violence and also for spreading fringe views towards the mainstream? Øyvind Strømmen (Norway) is a journalist and author who has worked extensively with different forms of political extremism. He has written two books concerning right-wing extremism and radicalism in Europe and Norway. In the 1990s he was editor of the magazine Arkzin in Zagreb. something natural which is unnaturally impinged upon.A. and curator based in Moscow. Dom Dziecka. Most of the works are accompanied by legends assigning each photograph to a specific time and place in an investigative process that often implies long empirical and conversational contact with the subjects in question. bisexuals and transsexuals from Oriental societies appear as a contested primary home. writer. and likewise to explore varieties of expression that go beyond the verbal. curator and writer.” As usual in her practice. who have nothing to lose but their Facebook accounts. thus discussable. Politics and the Everyday: In the art world. not only because of the gesture of the images but for the accompanying texts. the pre-perception of the others in stigmatic areas and of people who live in places in Sweden such as Husby. In 2011. narrating the network maps collectively created on the Graph Commons platform (2011–). Norway experienced one of the worst terrorist atrocities carried out by a right-wing extremist in recent history. described as a systematic undermining of the plural and prosperous institutional landscape to create instead a hegemonic and monolith structure on the basis of national sentiment in a post-Communist situation but among the props of democracy. Image: Too often we defend freedom of expression by treating our freedom as a given. to the institutions involved. and Humanity. For many years a journalist and art critic with a sharp political position. Thomas Keenan Freedom. to make arguments for it and to invent ways of realizing it that make it clear why it is not simply an abstract value or a legal norm. which generates network maps and algorithmic interfaces. her photographic work addresses the contradictory implications of the notion of home. of New Media. Khosravi Noori has been involved in research. she curated (with Cosmin Costinaş and David Riff). in Eastern LGBT (2004 / 2006) the bodies of lesbians. Asia and USA. Barnabás Bencsik Occupying Cultural Territories: As a concerned eyewitness of the present cultural-political power struggle. Paris.” with Carles Guerra (Barcelona and Amsterdam. and to confront what we perhaps too casually call “extremism. inequality. The Valley (2007–08) and Death (2011–12) focus on the living conditions of the Palestinian people. where he directs the Human Rights Project and helped create the first undergraduate degree program in human rights in the United States. His essays and articles cover the topics of philosophy. Old Media (Routledge. and procreates predictions to render inherent power relationships visible. Goter (2002–03). Boris Buden Dare to Betray: Today’s liberal democratic state guarantees freedom of expression precisely by imposing spatial limits on it. and teaching history and theory of art in art schools in Tehran. Still. which is unprecedented in the post-war history of the European democratic societies. 2010. Network of Dispossessions. BauhausUniversity Weimar. 11th Sharjah Biennial (2013). The other part is reserved for its own language in which freedom of expression is not allowed in order to protect from it. Behzad Khosravi Noori (Iran) is an artist and researcher with an M. the Journal of Human Rights. the Crimes of War Project. and Aesthetics (Sternberg Press. He will discuss the political understanding of aesthetic within. in Motion Images from Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran. Ahlam Shibli (Palestine) was born in 1970. including A Thousand Eyes: Media Technology. In only one part of its public space. Ahlam Shibli Photography as speech: Ahlam Shibli’s latest series of photos entitled Death (2011–2012) forms the basis for the conversation with Tone Hansen (HOK). contemporary Russian society. 2012. with Wendy Chun. Burak Arikan (Turkey) is an artist working with complex networks. He is the author of Fables of Responsibility (Stanford UP. He curated “Antiphotojournalism. Besides many art historical and anthropological shows based on research. and Nam June Paik Award Exhibition (2012). the term “political” has been widely reserved for artworks with specific political or provocative content. But freedom is a political project.About: Burak Arikan Critical Network Mapping: Arikan will take us through his works. The house starves when you are away (2008) shows how children in Polish orphanages reconfigure their bodies to create particular communities of their own. and creation. Øyvind Strømmen The Dark Net: Right-wing extremism has never gained much traction in Norway. he was not re-appointed. Suhrkamp 2009. To do this properly. He earned his degree in literature and history. Ekaterina Degot The End of Snobbery?: While the abrupt end of Soviet welfare state is rarely a slogan in the current political protests in Russia. Trauma (2008–09) takes at its starting point monuments that commemorate members of the French resistance against the Nazis together with French fighters in the colonial wars against people who demanded their own independence. posters. a hard-won accomplishment where it exists at all. particularly at a moment when the image seems increasingly fundamental as a medium of protest. He has also contributed with articles to a number of Norwegian and foreign newspapers and magazines. of The Human Snapshot (Luma/Sternberg/ CCS. in collaboration with René León). these are specific and situated uses. Marit Paasche We are Living on a Star: Art. Law. Paasche is also working on a book on Hannah Ryggen and modernism with the preliminary title From All Sides of the Square (2014). What does this tell us about the Internet’s potential as a tool for growing and spreading hatred. on the surface. and how it could be overcome. but because of the radical shift in the Hungarian cultural policy. Hungary’s ruling party. Paasche has been an editor of several books. she has also written for several international publications about Soviet modernism. people are allowed to enjoy this freedom in the plurality and diversity of their private languages. He has served on the boards of a number of human rights organizations and journals. 2010–11). it was one of their catalysts. Since then. This relation is analyzed through different aspects: from the message broadcasted. the class debate. Bencsik will outline the situation in Hungary. the first Ural Industrial Biennial in Ekaterinburg. Mengele’s Skull (Sternberg. Ekaterina Degot Ph. To respond to threats on liberties. While. Among his recent books is Zone des Übergangs: Vom Ende des Postkommunismus (Zone of Transition: On the End of Post-communism). She recently co-edited the book PostPost-Soviet?: Art. Trackers (2005). through the narration of the film. gays. graves and graffiti displayed as a form of resistance against the colonial regime. Marit Paasche (Norway) is an art historian working as Associate Professor of Art Theory at the Oslo Academy of Fine Art and Head of research at the Norwegian Video Art Archive. Paasche will discuss the consequences of the dichotomy “political art” and “free art”. which is an office to support and develop various type of cooperation between the local and the international art scene. He is co-editor. He has participated in various conferences and art projects in Western and Eastern Europe. Fidesz claims that they are authorized to push through fundamental changes in all fields of society. He takes the obvious social. Phantom Home encapsulates Shibli’s investigation into three different ways of understanding the word “home. including WITNESS. Thomas Keenan (USA) teaches literary theory and human rights at Bard College. Unrecognised (1999–2000). But what if one betrays the rules of that game? Is there freedom of speech beyond the existing regimes of fidelity? Does it include now the right to betrayal? Boris Buden (Croatia) is a writer and cultural critic based in Berlin. dissent. Arikan is the founder of Graph Commons platform. One of the purposes of We are Living on a Star is to approach art as political on its own terms. and political issues as input and runs them through an abstract machinery. Arab al-Sbaih (2007). discussing Network Map of Foundations and Corporations in Turkey (2010) in relation to the problem of power and governance during the Gezi Protests. Politics and Society in Russia at the Turn of the Decade (2013). from the way the message is illustrated (represented) to how people observe and make meaning out of such message. He studied philosophy in Zagreb and received his PhD in cultural theory from the Humboldt University in Berlin. Bencsik became involved in the changing period of the Hungarian post-communist art scene from the early 90s. Through a documentary aesthetics. polemic. Khosravi Noori is currently a guest researcher at Konstfack’s Department of Fine Arts. He initiated and. The government’s obvious goal is a complete change of not only the political. She also works as an art critic. results in performances. . Urban Images: Unruly Desires in Film and Architecture (Sternberg Press 2011) and she has published frequently on the issue of film and visual arts. the questions of freedom of speech and expression are raised. and therefore the effect on public opinion. the discussion platform of the first Kiev Biennial of Contemporary Art. including Documenta XI. Khosravi Noori will define the concept of global image in relation to his recent artistic projects like in the film Reverberation (2012. and was co-curator of Time/Food at Stella Art Foundation in Moscow. The series contains a broad representation of the absent ones through photographs. and was called as an expert witness in the trial against Anders Behring Breivik. in fact it is the equality vs. 2012. Dependence (2007) explores the distribution of bodily strength between the rich and the poor. we need to attend as well to the hazy borderlines between expression and action. a cartography of governmentcorporate partnerships in urban transformation. 7th Berlin Biennale (2012). economical.
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