Monthly Archives: June 2011

The voice of the people


5 May 2011: Screening of Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Mieville’s film Ici et Ailleurs and discussion on Hito Steyerl’s “The Articulation of Protest” and Simon Sheikh’s “Positively Protest Aesthetics Revisited” at Dynamo Project Space

One of the on-going discussions that we have been having for the past 3 years as part of Société Anonyme (and previously Art Night) has focused on the various demonstration movements in Greece since December 2008 (the initiative was founded that fall), and how as members of the art community we might position ourselves in relation to these movements, and articulate protest. This on-going concern has stemmed in part from the local media’s observation of artists’ and intellectuals’ notable absence from the front picketing lines for the first time in the country’s modern history. Given the recent uprisings around the Mediterranean and the contested economic measures in Greece, we chose to take a closer look at artist and filmmaker Hito Steyerl’s text “The Articulation of Protest” (2002) along with Simon Sheikh’s article “Positively Protest Aesthetics Revisited” (2010), which reconsiders Steyerl’s significant essay. In order to further examine Steyerel’s text, we also organized a screening of Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Mieville’s film “Ici et Ailleurs” (1975), on which the article is based, with the kind help and support of Dynamo Project Space. Continue reading

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Art and Money

21 April 2011: Discussion on art and money at Cinque Terre

We selected three articles from the 24th issue of e-flux journal (a great online resource for anyone interested in art & culture), all three of them separately interesting, but also focusing on relevant and current –seen from the perspective of the crisis in Greece and Europe– themes: money, art, distribution of knowledge, collective action. The articles were: Boris Groys: “Art & Money”, Precarious Workers Brigade: “Fragments Toward an Understanding of a Week that Changed Everything…”and Franco Berardi Bifo: “I Want to Think: POST-U”.

As one would anticipate, the topic that monopolized the conversation was art & money, setting off from the main points touched by Boris Groys, who divides the different aspects of the relationship between art and money into two bulk categories: a. the exchange value of an art work (art as commodity); b. the phenomenon of large-scale exhibitions (biennials, triennials, Documenta, Manifesta, art fairs), through which the art exhibition turns into an event for the general public not interested in buying art, and for the realization of which public or private funding is necessary. Groys focuses on this second category, mainly referring to installation art, which is hard to circulate and therefore might cease to exist without exhibitions –since art comes into being only when it is exhibited. He then turns the discussion to whether contemporary (installation) art is “elitist” and to the quality of this “elite”: is it the financial elite? or is it the artists themselves? Continue reading