Lecture

30 October 2014

Constructing Other Worlds

BAK artistic director Maria Hlavajova gives a talk in Bucharest on 30 October 2014 as a part of the Evening classes series of conferences, screenings, presentations, and discussions, organized by the Salonul de Proiecte curatorial programme.

Constructing Other Worlds

Nearly a century ago, political thinker Antonio Gramsci articulated the notion of crisis as grounded “precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born.” If it is true that we find ourselves at such a historical moment characterized, as Gramsci further anticipated, by a “great variety of morbid symptoms,” how, then, are we to understand the possibilities contained within art vis-à-vis the struggles that define our contemporaneity? As we part from the legacy of the modern, and observe extant hegemonies (paradoxically) tightening and losing their grip at the same time, what is our art to do? How can we—with and through art—trace prospective itineraries pointing towards what we once used to call the “future” and activate the proposition of not only imagining, but constructing, new worlds? In addressing these complex questions from three perspectives—artistic labor, infrastructure, and “future publics”—Maria Hlavajova draws upon her research within two interrelated projects she has engaged with, FORMER WEST (2008–2016) and Future Vocabularies (2014–2016). If the former aims at developing a critical understanding of the legacy of the radical resistance to power in 1989 in order to reevaluate the global present and speculate about global futures, the latter attempts to act out concrete propositions that explore the shifts in our existing conceptual vocabulary within artistic, intellectual, and activist practices.

Salonul de proiecte is a curatorial program initiated by Magda Radu and Alexandra Croitoru, functioning within MNAC Anexa. This program envisages the organization of exhibitions, presentations, and debates focusing on Romanian contemporary art and placing young artists’ productions into a broader generational context.

For more information regarding Salonul de proiecte, see the program’s website here.

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