1. Research Seminars

          Former West, Thought and Debate International Conference

          24 June 2009

          Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (ES)

          1. About
          2. Program
      1. Wednesday 24 June 2009

        Welcome and introduction
        Jesús Carrillo

        Introduction to Former West
        Charles Esche and Maria Hlavajova

        Keynote presentation
        Marcelo ExpósitoBetween Dreaming and Waking. Essays on the new political imagination

        This presentation will be centered on the first two videos of the series Entre sueños (2004).

        These will focus, in the first place, on contemporary urban changes that reflect the transformations experienced in modes of production and ways of working in recent decades; and in the second, on some of the methods adopted in the previous decade by the new movements and during urban unrest. The first video – Primero de mayo (la ciudad-fábrica), [“1st May (the city-factory)“] – reveals how one of the historic Fiat plants in Turin has been radically transformed through the progressive loss of its centrality in industrial production practices. The second – La imaginación radical (carnivales de resistencia), [”The radical imagination (carnivals of resistance)"] – is a genealogy of the carnivalesque protest that took place when the financial centre of London was ‘occupied’ on 18th June 1999 and which ended up as an important paradigm for the anti-capitalist protest methods that were largely seen in the two years after the Seattle event.

        Research presentation
        Simon Sheikh

        This short intervention will outline a few general ideas about the ‘lost’ history of contemporary art in the region and time-frame called ‘the former west’, not as something to be recuperated, but as something that must be constructed, conjured in its absence. This will be done through a broken history of exhibitions and exhibition-making in the former west since 1989.

        Research presentation
        Boris Groys

        The most important effect of the post-Communist condition in East and West is the emergence of contemporary art – instead of Modern or Post-Modern art. Contemporary art is an art that that is presenting the present, reflecting the contemporary situation, dealing with its own contemporaneity. But why such an interest in the contemporary – now? 
        The modernity was a time of projects, of life in a project. In such a situation the present – the contemporary – is mostly overlooked or even seen as something negative, as something that should be overcome in the name of the future, as a sum of difficulties, of problems, of obstacles that prevent the fast realization of our projects. But at the moment at which we begin to question our projects, to doubt or to reformulate them – the contemporary begins to be important, begins to be central for us.

        Research presentation
        Piotr Piotrowski

        Keynote presentation
        Jorge Luis MarzoThe concept of citizenhood in public artistic policy

        The appeal to the creation of citizenhood has been one of the most visible engines in the conception and execution of public artistic policies during the last 30 years in Spain. However, a detailed analysis of these policies and its results question the validity and usefulness of its aims. The artistic and touristic policy of the Spanish state relates with the political legitimation that an important group of intellectuals and politicians assumed during the first years of democracy, for the sake of manipulating historic memory and generating a socio-historical narrative that agreed with their interests.