Congress

19-20 April 2012

3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress: Beyond What Was Contemporary Art

If we imagine Contemporary Art to be a historical period that emerged from 1989 in parallel to other hegemonic formations such as global neoliberalism, could it be argued that, in sync with the current seismic shifts in society, politics, and economy, it has now reached a dead end? Is Contemporary Art—art in and of the epoch of neoliberalism—on its way out, together with the system that made it possible? What kind of challenges and possibilities might then lie before us in the space of art in times when “business as usual” is no longer an option? Can we speculate collectively on how to move beyond the present confines of Contemporary Art’s normalized and normalizing practices, and articulate what can appear from Contemporary Art’s “formerness?”

Part One of the 3rd FORMER WEST Congress puts forward a number of propositions to engage with these questions during a two-day gathering of artistic and cultural practitioners on 19–20 April 2012 in Vienna. Shaped by these discussions, Part Two unfolds in Utrecht in September 2012. The 3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress, Part One: Beyond What Was Contemporary Art is developed by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht and co-curated by Marion von Osten, FORMER WEST research advisor and Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Vienna.

At the 3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress, Part One the following group of remarkable artists, curators, and scholars gather in Vienna to speculate about possibilities for art vis-à-vis the increasing forces of antagonism across the world and the emerging imaginaries that accompany them: aaa / Atelier d’architecture autogérée (urban research collective platform, Paris); Nancy Adajania (cultural theorist and curator, Mumbai); CAMP (collaborative project and platform, Mumbai); Ekaterina Degot (art historian and curator, Moscow); Jesko Fezer (artist and architect, Berlin); h.arta (artist collective, Timisoara); Christian Höller (writer, Vienna); Irit Rogoff (theorist and curator, London); and Ruth Sonderegger (philosopher, Vienna).

Venue: The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Secession, Friedrichstraße 12, Vienna

The 3rd FORMER WEST Congress, Part One: Beyond What Was Contemporary Art, is realized in collaboration with the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Secession, Vienna and is generously supported by the Mondriaan Fund, Amsterdam; ERSTE Foundation, Vienna; and the Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Vienna.

For more information regarding the FORMER WEST project, see here.

Suggestions from the archive

Field Meal

4 February 2023, 13.00-18.00

ULTRAHOSPITALITY FIELD MEAL 1: SANCOCHO FLORAL

Community Portal presents...

Using the sancocho (a pan-Latin American soup with no fixed recipe) as a tool for research and encounter, Mercado Lourdes (Bogotá, Colombia) will host and organize a series of field meals. These events activate and connect the multiple affects that have resulted from ongoing research with local producers into the biodiversity of the territory.  

Workshop

16 December 2022, 15.00-17.00

Stitching, Writing, Singing

Community Portal hosts...

In all continents, people have built matriarchal cosmologies sustained by complex rituals. In the advent of main modern religions and after centuries of colonizing invasions, the goddesses of antiquity were suppressed by the patriarchal structures that consolidated our era. However, they found ways to speak to us in the language of patterns, melodies, and poems. This workshop uses the voice as a method to reveal the presence of goddesses. 

Workshop

27 January, 18.30–29 January, 21.00 2023

How to Set Up a Community Kitchen

b.ASIC a.CTIVIST k.ITCHEN brews...

During these sessions—part of the bASIC aCTIVIST kITCHEN (b.a.k.) program in collaboration with Berend Bombarius, De Voorkamer and BAK, basis voor actuele kunst—we want to collectively explore the topic of setting up community kitchens. Different strategies, tools, methodologies, and contexts are explored to learn more about the challenges and opportunities in the practices and theories of community kitchens.

Symposium

24 November 2022, 20.00-21.00

Mental Health Symposium: Communal Care & Healing

Community Portal hosts....

On Thursday, November 24th, 2022, Colored Qollective in collaboration with POCQunity host their third annual symposium, this time focusing on the mental health of queer people of color. The theme of the symposium is Communal Care & Healing