Time/Food at the Stella Art Foundation in Moscow, May 15, 2012
On Tuesday, May 15, 2012, Time/Food will open as a temporary restaurant at the Stella Art Foundation in Moscow, offering lunch in exchange for time credits that can be earned through the Time/Bank community.
The Time/Food restaurant, located at 7 Skaryatinsky Pereulok, will be open May 15 – June 28, 2012, Thursdays through Sundays, from 2–4 pm. The daily lunch menu will feature recipes by a group of artists who like to cook, including Martha Rosler, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Carolina Caycedo, Julieta Aranda, Paul Chan, Ingrid Erstad, Liam Gillick, Superflex, Alejandro Cesarco, Mariana Silva, Raqs Media Collective, AA Bronson, Anton Vidokle, Sina Najafi/Cabinet, and others.
Time/Food is a fully functional restaurant inspired by the Mexican comida corrida—informal restaurants serving home-style meals of several courses at a fixed price during lunch time. The price of a meal at Time/Food is One Half-hour.
Time/Food will include a special program of public talks and conversations on art and politics, organized in cooperation with Ekaterina Degot and Openspace.ru, featuring speakers such as Martha Rosler, Keti Chukhrov, Sarah RIfky, Boris Groys, Alexander Skidan, and others. The full schedule is listed below.
Time/Food: A Temporary Restaurant
with a Special Program of Public Talks and Conversations
‘Art & Insurrection’
May 15 – June 28, 2012
Dinners from 2 to 4 p.m.
Lectures from 4 to 6 p.m.
Of Vegetables and Viewfinders
From The Going Insurrection: "In the kitchen, film makers and photographers made soup in large pots, and took turns checking on brewing vegetable (inside) and adjusting viewfinders (outside)." Sarah Rifky reads selected excerpts form her recent essay The Going Insurrection, for Time/Food.
Sarah Rifky is a curator and writer based in Cairo, where she was born in 1981. She is the co-founder of Beirut, directs CIRCA (Cairo International Resource Center for Art), and is Curator of Townhouse (2009-2011). She co-directs the MASS Alexandria independent studio and study program (2010-2012). In 2007 she lived in Malmö, Sweden, where she obtained her MFA in Critical Studies. She has been an agent for dOCUMENTA(13), and is the co-editor of the Reloading Images book Damascus: Tourists, Artists, Secret Agents. Most recently, she has contributed to numerous publications and newspapers, including Egypt Independent (Al Masry Al Youm), Bidoun, Mousse, Flash Art, Spike Art Quarterly and Art Agenda.
Real and Imagined Effects of Media-activism
In his widely acclaimed book The Whole World Is Watching: Mass Media in the Making & Unmaking of the New Left former SDS president and media theorist Todd Gitlin reveals the dynamics of interaction between the media and the US protest movement of the 1960s. The story of Abbie Hoffman and other leader-celebrities shows what results could an attempt to broadcast a protest message through the media bring, what concept of media-activism motivated the leaders and what the real effects of such activism were, what’s the difference between a media-constituted public and an organized political base. This story could be compared with Russian protest practices, from media interventions of the Voina group to the struggle of the opposition leader-celebrities such as Sergei Udaltsov. Nonetheless, such a comparative analysis should include not only the obvious differences in context, but also the change in technology and the emergence of the ‘new media’, which opens new ways for popular participation and thus complicates Gitlin’s basic framework. The presentation aims at making first steps in such an analysis.
Ilya Matveev is a Ph.D. student at the department of philosophy, Moscow State University, as well as an activist of the Russian socialist movement. He was born in Moscow in 1988.
Art and Politics: Hunt in the Morning, Criticize After Dinner?
There is nothing new in the ideas that art is political by definition and that knowledge (or, even more obviously, science) is intertwined with power. But what does the growing interest in these ideas in the post-Soviet context mean? Does it have any relevance outside the post-communist condition? How does it apply to the neo-capitalist mode of creative production which now operates as much in Eastern Europe as in any other part of the world?
Oleksiy Radynski is a journalist, filmmaker, editor of the Ukrainian edition of Political Critique magazine and an activist for the Visual Culture Research Center. He is a columnist for the web-sites openspace.ru andkrytykapolityczna.pl. He is a participant in the Breaking the News project at the 7th Berlin Biennale. His work focuses on alternative educational practices.
New Didactic Museum and the End of the Epoch of Critical Parasitism
Institutional support for critical art is being transformed from a confirmation of its social usefulness into a mark of sin. Relationships between artists and institutions are taking on a parasitic character – with all the attendant doubts experienced by those who are drawn into this process: "Can I bite the hand that feeds me?", "Grab the money and run"... Perhaps it is time to rethink the basis for the work of artistic institutions and the nature of their roots in the life of society?
Nikita Kadan is an artist, member of the R.E.P group and of the Khudrada (Khudsovet) curators union, and a participant in many international exhibitions. His works include installations, murals, graphic and video works, and he has co-curated a number of exhibition projects in Austria, Poland and Croatia, as well as being the author of art texts.
Hegemony and Counter-Hegemony in the Cultural Field: Reconsidering Russian Modernist and Non-Conformist Writing
The post-Soviet period has seen a massive re-interpretation (and re-appropriation) of the Russian post-revolutionary literary tradition as a powerful testimony against the communist project and its disastrous consequences in both culture and politics after 1917. Such writers as Platonov, Shalamov, Mandelstam and even Mayakovsky (to name but a few) are seen exclusively as a victims of the regime, whose writings testify to its "inhuman, totalitarian nature." The paper seeks to challenge this dominant ideological trend from a leftist perspective and to reclaim the post-revolutionary literary heritage as one that – explicitly or implicitly – retains the utopian horizon and urges radical social and political change. This is particularly evident in Mandelstam's later poetry, on which I will focus. My analysis will use the neo-Gramscian notion of counter-hegemony and Walter Benjamin's insight into the class relation to the past. As Benjamin famously says in his Theses on the Philosophy of History (1940): ‘The danger affects both the content of the tradition and its receivers. The same threat hangs over both: that of becoming a tool of the ruling classes. In every era the attempt must be made anew to wrest tradition away from a conformism that is about to overpower it.’
Alexander Skidan is a poet, critic, essayist and translator. Skidan attended The Free University (1989–1992) while working as a boiler house stoker (1985–2002). His poetry collections include Delirium (1993), In the Re-Reading (1998), Red Shifting (2005) and most recently Dissolution (2010). He is also an author of two books of essays, Critical Mass (1995) and The Resistance to/of Poetry (2001). He has translated contemporary American poetry and fiction into Russiаn, as well as theoretical works by Paul de Man, J. Hillis Miller, Jean-Luc Nancy, Slavoj Zizek, Antonio Negri and Gerald Raunig. In 1998 he won the Turgenev Award for short prose writers. He has also won the Andrey Bely Poetry Prize for the collection Red Shifting (2006), as well as the Most (‘Bridge’) Award for the best critical text on poetry (2006). His poetry has been translated into many languages and published in various anthologies. In 2008 his book Red Shifting was published in the USA by Ugly Duckling Presse. Alexander Skidan is a member of the What Is To Be Done? working group and is co-editor of the New Literary Observer magazine.
The Artistic Mode of Revolution: from Gentrification to Occupation
A discussion of the struggles, exoduses, and reappropriations of cognitive labor, particularly in the field of visual art, and especially when taken as the leading edge of the “creative class,” while critically important, is trumped by the widespread, even worldwide, public demonstrations and occupations of the past year, this year, and maybe the next. Rosler will revisit the creative-class thesis she has explored in a recent series of essays in order to frame her remarks in the light of these occupations, and to make a few observations about the relationship between artists, the positioning of the creative class, and the Occupy movement.
Martha Rosler is an artist who works with multiple media, including photography, sculpture, video, and installation. Her interests are centered on the public sphere and landscapes of everyday life — actual and virtual — especially as they affect women. Related projects focus on housing, on the one hand, and systems of transportation, on the other. She has long produced works on war and the “national security climate,” connecting everyday experiences at home with the conduct of war abroad. Other works, from bus tours to sculptural recreations of architectural details, are excavations of history.
Media and New Forms of Civil Demobilization
Rebellions happened before the invention of social media — with the help of newspapers or even more archaic means of communication. The old media provided perfectly adequate infrastructure for revolutions, whereas the specifics of internet communication and its potential for creating a mass culture of protest have yet to be explored.
Everything that was far away has been brought nearer and whatever was close has been moved further away to one and the same distance — that of a fiber-optic cable. While previously the energy of communication of news by a news reader was translated into the energy of action of those who heard the news (deficit of information provoked a proficit of action), today, when “everyone is an author,” there are no more authors. We are all transformed into news readers, obtaining an alibi for inaction by fulfilling our media task.
Pavel Arsenev is a poet, critic and literary theorist. His poetry has been published in the internet (polutona.ru/?show=p_arsenyev), Russian and foreign magazines, and poetry anthologies (Collected Works – 2; Word Catcher. In search of the lost ‘I’). He has published a number of books (What Blows your Mind, 2005; Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously, 2011). His articles have been published in the New Literary Observer, Moscow Art Magazine, Cultivator, and the periodical of the What Is To Be Done? working group. He also has a blog on Radio Svoboda (svobodanews.ru/archive/blog_arsenyev/latest/923/3385.html), and publishes on openspace.ru.
He has taken part in the May Festival of New Poets (2009), the Free Poetry Festival (2010), the Poetronika Festival of Modern Poetry and Sound Art (2011) and is an organizer of the Poetry Festival on Kanonersky Island (2009, 2010, 2011).
Pavel Arsenev is a member of the Poetic Actionism Laboratory (together with Roman Osminkin and Dina Gatchina; poetryactionism.wordpress.com), and is principal editor of the literary criticism almanac, Trans-lit(www.trans-lit.info).
Protesting against Capitalism, Unconsciously Desiring It
The protests which we have see in the last three years have different motivations and sources. In the Arab countries they were directed against authoritarian regimes, while in Europe and New York the objects of grievance were financial capitalism and the proletarization of the middle class. But a key feature of most of these actions was that that the social stratum, which protested, did so on its own behalf – contrasting with instances when a social group protested on behalf of “other,” lower social strata, as in the social-democratic movements of pre-revolutionary Russia. This means that, in the contemporary protests, dissatisfaction with the system and the rhetoric and languages of that that dissatisfaction predominate over the idea of universal emancipation.
The Russian protests have been directed for the most part against unfair elections, specific figures in power, and their corrupt methods of government. But the greater part of the protestors are criticizing an authoritarian mode of government and propounding a liberal-democratic model: a competitive market, freedom of choice, personal freedoms and civil rights – things, which have no fundamental inconsistency with neo-liberal capitalism. The lecture will analyze those aspects of the left-wing protest, which intersect with libertarian ideas and do not basically conflict with the liberal form of social democracy that has functioned until recently in the framework of capitalism. This involves a recognition that the desire for capitalism is more deeply rooted in ourselves than we – the critics of capitalism – sometimes suspect ourselves. (The lecture will offer an analysis of art actions).
Contemporary art operates under the influence of critical theory in its different versions. However, critical theory rejects aesthetic contemplation in favour of action. Here art can proceed in two different ways. One possibility is to adopt the perspective of theory and join its call for action – to become critical in the same sense in which theory is critical. The other possibility is to answer the call of theory and to perform the required action. Both strategies are practiced by contemporary art – and should be analysed.
Boris Groys is an art critic, media theorist and philosopher. He is currently a Global Distinguished Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University and Senior Research Fellow at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design in Karlsruhe, Germany. He has been a professor of Aesthetics, Art History, and Media Theory at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design/Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe and an internationally acclaimed Professor at a number of universities in the United States and Europe, including the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Southern California and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.
Groys has curated several exhibitions, including: Dream Factory Communism (Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt a. M., 2004); Total Enlightenment. Conceptual Art in Moscow (1960 – 1990) (Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt a.M./Fondacion March, Madrid, 2008-2009); Medium Religion (with Peter Weibel; ZKM, Karlsruhe, 2009), Empty Zones. Andrei Monastyrski and Collective Action (Russian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, 2011). He is the co-curator of the 9th Shanghai Biennale (2012).
Recent publications include: Art Power (MIT-Press, 2008); History Becomes Form: Moscow Conceptualism(MIT-Press, 2010); Going Public (Sternberg Press/e-flux, 2010).
The Possibility of ‘Dagger Action’
What counts in art is method. Method is what makes it possible to resist the way things are. Cinema has a strong tradition of method, which emerges in the mid-1920s and permeates Brecht’s theatre and cinema. The other tradition is the ‘dagger action’ of Alexander Medvedkin’s ciné-train. These two avant-garde traditions become visible once again in France in the 1960s with the activity of the Dziga Vertov group and numerous Medvedkin ciné-collectives.
After his militant period Jean-Luc Godard, one of the initiators of the Dziga Vertov group, made two films, Ici et ailleurs and Numéro deux, which are both about the possibility of cinéma direct – the cinema of direct action.
Despite the arrival of video, the applicability of avant-garde methods remain in question. Contemporary documentary filmmakers – the disciples of Marina Razbezhkina’s studio and ArtDocFest (always pointing at its Vertov roots) – face this problem, whether or not they are conscious of it. The same applies to activist filmmaking.
Is a cinema of direct action possible today? Or, frightened by its own effects, has cinema become too ‘responsible’ to dare to emerge from the bounds of its art?
Kirill Adibekov is translator, poet and cinéaste. He is one of the initiators of kinote.info. curator of a special program for the 2morrow/Завтра film festival, and director of Free Marxist Publishing film books. He has published translations in the New Literary Observer, and his poetry has appeared in Trans-lit magazine. He was first director’s assistant on the film Afterword to the Pamphlet of 1942 and co-author of the video Montage based on Dziga Vertov’s ‘Three songs about Lenin’. He has made a film, Winter Notes on Summer Impressions.
Julieta Aranda & Anton Vidokle will screen a new film: Notes for a Time Bank