ART IN DARK TIMES
The current pandemic paralysis of world societies has changed the definition of the term of ‘‘crisis’’ irreversibly, reinforcing the sense of deepening tectonic changes in relation with the inner structuring of our contemporary societies and the destruction of nature under capitalism. Yet, the appeal to the term of ‘‘crisis’’ decade has already escalated along with successive complications within the political sphere: the turbulence of state sovereignty, the unravelling of basic premises of secularisation by the hands of new and traditional ideological movements, the rise of historical revisionism erasing past crimes to open up for new ones, increasing appeal to misogyny, majoritarian politics and authoritarianism, catastrophic consequences of hyper-consumption and conversely, undeclared resurgence of human slavery. The series of talks framed as ART IN DARK TIMES will try to trace the ways in which artistic and cultural practices (curatorial projects, academic texts, activist campaigns, video and films) have been responding to these antagonising complications. Relating to the specific conflicts of their own burdened geographies, the invited guests will examine the interconnected and global character of these shifting grounds. The program of the series was conceived last autumn and adapted recently to the current pandemic circumstances.
In the first session of the series, Galit Eilat will explain the progression of the theoretical framework and how it relates to Syndromes of the Present. Resurgence of eschatological thinking and art establishment’s complicity with the authoritarian regimes are among some of the themes Eilat will examine in the format of a pre-recorded interview. Sources of information are lacking and distrustful, the institutions seem to be failing us, the museums are no longer contemporary, they have become heritage museums for contemporary art. The artists advertise the art fairs and not on the contrary, and the curators, if they are not attending summer schools, are advertising only themselves. Is art good under authoritarianism? Is authoritarianism good for art?
Galit Eilat is an interdependent curator and writer based in Amsterdam. She developed her practice through a variety of platforms and roles as an institute director and editor of books and a magazine. Her current research trajectories are dealing with the Syndrome of the Present and Art under authoritarianism. Eilat is the recipient of Keith Haring Fellowship in Art and Activism, Bard College, 2017-18 and she is the director of Meduza Foundation since 2018.
Erden Kosova is an art critic in Berlin and Istanbul. In 2017 he curated the exhibition "Contemporary Syndromes", which was shown in Thessaloniki, Izmir, Amsterdam and Berlin. In 2019, he was a co-organizer of the Young Curators Academy, which took place at the Maxim Gorki Theater as part of the 4th Berlin Herbst Salon. In 2019 he was also involved in the exhibition of the SIS collective "In the blink of an eye" at the nGbK. Kosova is the editor of the Istanbul online magazine red-thread.org.
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Gefördert durch den Bezirkskulturfonds des Bezirksamt Mitte in Berlin