Congress

4-6 November 2010

2nd FORMER WEST Research Congress, On Horizons: Art and Political Imagination

Photo by Ilgin Yanmaz

A detailed program and video recordings of all lectures presented during the 2nd FORMER WEST Research Congress, On Horizons: Art and Political Imagination, are available here.

The 2nd FORMER WEST Research Congress, titled On Horizons: Art and Political Imagination, takes place on 4–6 November 2010 and revolves around the theoretical notion of the “horizon” in relation to contemporary artistic production and political imaginaries. As part of the series of public gatherings aimed at rendering visible and furthering the artistic, curatorial, and academic research in which the project FORMER WEST is grounded, it conceptually links to and departs from work undertaken during the 1st FORMER WEST Research Congress (November 2009), which brought together international artists, educators, scholars, and curators in a collective effort to critically map post-1989 artistic, theoretical, historical, and political developments with respect to the problematic of the West’s “formerness.”

On Horizons: Art and Political Imagination understands the contested term of the horizon as not only suggestive of political aims or utopias, but as the very frame for any aesthetic and political project. Since the 1989 (default) victory of capitalist democracy over the only functioning competing ideological system, communism, the loss of an overarching project of social progress seems to have left the world bereft of a horizon of opposition to the dominance of free-market capitalism. Nevertheless, an idea of the political understood as an impulse for empowerment against the illusion of hegemonic consensus seems to have found its home in contemporary art, reclaiming with renewed vigor art’s potential as a mode of practice that can lead to social change. The international artists, scholars, and curators participating in the 2nd FORMER WEST Research Congress, On Horizons: Art and Political Imagination, explore how diverse forms of artistic and cultural production, as well as their discourses, designate or foreclose certain aesthetic and political horizons, and how they partake in specific imaginaries or may even produce new ones.

Speakers include, among others: Beatriz Colomina (architecture historian and theorist, Princeton), Bülent Diken(sociologist, Lancaster), Caglar Keyder (sociologist, Binghamton and Istanbul), Vasif Kortun (curator and writer, Istanbul), Ernesto Laclau (philosopher, Paris), Lisette Lagnado (curator, São Paulo), Peter Osborne (philosopher, London), Ultra-red (artist collective, New York), Shuddhabrata Sengupta (artist, Delhi), Simon Sheikh (curator, Berlin), Hito Steyerl (artist, Berlin), Gerald Raunig (philosopher, Vienna), and Dmitry Vilensky (artist, St. Petersburg).

Venue: Istanbul Technical University, Taskisla Campus, Room 109, Istanbul.

For more information regarding FORMER WEST, see here.

Suggestions from the archive

Discursive

24 January 2019

Propositions #7/6: Archive

Sixth gathering of Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods—the public program in the context of the exhibition Forensic Justice and part of the BAK series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020). Focusing on the evidentiary method of archiving, Ariel Caine presents Ground Truth, 2017–ongoing, a project that provides historical and juridical evidence on behalf of communities in the illegalized Palestinian Bedouin villages in the northern threshold of the Negev/Naqab desert. Jessica de Abreu presents The Black Archives’ work documenting the history of black emancipation movements and individuals in the Netherlands. Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh discusses her research and interventions which address the political implications of a collection of digital photography originating from Burj al-Shamali, a Palestinian refugee camp in Southern Lebanon.

Discursive

10 January 2019

Propositions #7/5: Sense

Fifth gathering of Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods—the public program in the context of the exhibition Forensic Justice and part of the BAK series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020). Focusing on the evidentiary method of remote sensing, Samaneh Moafi presents Ecocide in Indonesia, 2016, an investigation into the 2015 fires in Kalimantan and Sumatra that consumed over 21,000 square kilometers of forest and peat lands. A staff member of Prakken d’Oliveira presents Friends of the Earth Netherlands vs. Royal Dutch Shell, 2008–ongoing, a legal case in which four Nigerian citizens are taking Shell to court over oil spills that had polluted their fields and their fish farming ponds.

Discursive

15 November 2018, 19.30-21.30

Propositions #7/3: Testify

Third gathering of Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods—the public program in the context of the exhibition Forensic Justice and part of the BAK series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020). Focusing on the evidentiary method of the testimony, Ana Naomi de Sousa presents Saydnaya, 2016, the reconstruction of a Syrian torture prison of which there are no images. Papa Sakho and Jo van der Spek bring into the discussion the Migrant 2 Migrant Foundation’s ongoing response to the Schipholbrand, the 2005 fire in which eleven migrants died while being trapped in an airport detention complex.

Discursive

1 November 2018, 19.30-21.30

Propositions #7/2: Geosync

Second gathering of Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods—the public program in the context of the exhibition Forensic Justice and part of the BAK series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020). Focusing on the evidentiary method of what Forensic Architecture calls “Geosync,” Stefan Laxness presents The Ayotzinapa Case, 2017, an investigation into the disappearance of 43 students in Iguala, Mexico, in 2014. Gamze Hızlı and Özlem Zingil of Hafiza Merkezi discuss their recent investigations into human rights violations in Turkey.

Discursive

Discursive

Education Program

03 December 2018–21 January 2019

Course Art and Politics

“Art and Politics” is an inaugural course of a new public school for art and politics organized by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst in Utrecht. In six weekly sessions, the participants learn about how contemporary art relates to the political in an accessible way. The course is taught by Maria Hlavajova, BAK’s general and artistic director.

Exhibition

8-11 November 2018

BAK x Le Guess Who? – Forensic Justice

During the music festival Le Guess Who?, from 8–11 November 2018, festival visitors have free entrance to the exhibition Forensic Justice, with works by Forensic Architecture. This collaboration is part of a new satellite event during Le Guess Who? 2018: ‘Untitled’. The program focuses on all disciplines other than music and is an exploration of other artistic expressions by festival artists, as well as a collection of exhibitions, film screenings and talks that can be visited in Utrecht during the festival weekend.

Exhibition

Discursive

18 October 2018–24 January 2019

Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods

Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods—the public program in the context of the exhibition Forensic Justice and part of the BAK series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020)—expands upon the notion of forensic justice in a series of lectures, screenings, and workshops on methodologies for articulating claims within the multidimensional space of aesthetics, law, architecture, politics, and ecology.

Exhibition

18 October 2018–27 January 2019

Forensic Justice

Forensic Justice is an exhibition and a series of public programs with Forensic Architecture, a London-based independent and interdisciplinary research agency comprised of, among others, artists, scientists, lawyers, filmmakers, and architects.

Lecture

Lecture

Lecture

Lecture

Lecture

Exhibition

Lecture