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Seminar with Gregory Sholette

The boundaries of the artistic sphere

14-15 June 2011 - 6 p.m. /
Nouvel Building, Centro de Estudios

In this two-day seminar Gregory Sholette takes a look at some of the most salient issues in the theory and practice of recent artistic activity against general assumptions. First of all, what is the true orientation of the return, so visible in recent years, to collectivism in the public sphere? Present both in corporations and in art pedagogy, does it respond to a notion of political class or, on the other hand, is it imitating a new enterprise culture? Secondly, the collective intelligence of Internet has brought about an imbalance in the hierarchies existing between the world of art and “dark matter”, those artists who are invisible to critics and institutions, according to Sholette, and who now occupy alternative spaces in which to express their opinion and engage in representation. What is the relationship between the art institution and “dark matter”, which is becoming increasingly public?

Program

First session.
From radical solidarity to “whatever” collectivism: some thoughts on political art and the rise of post-Fordist enterprise culture


Date: June 14 
Place:
 Nouvel Building, Study Centre 
Time:
 6 p.m. 

The desire to speak in a collective voice has long fuelled social imagination and artistic production. Prior to the Second World War, artists understood collectivisation as an expression of the promise or failure of industrial and political modernity envisioned as a mass phenomenon. There is a return of another collectivism. Brash, youthful, and disarmingly flippant, this whatever collectivism mixes visual art, politics, fashion, music, and mimetic forms of casual organizing to produce an ambient mode of group work that is more at home with the communal swarms generated by social networking platforms than with older notions of class or political solidarity arising from either labour or the Left. 

Segunda sesión.
“Dark Matter”. Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture 

Date: June 15 
Place:
 Nouvel Building, Study Centre 
Time:
 6 p.m. 

Art is big business, writes G.Sholette, with some artists commanding huge sums for their works, as the vast majority is ignored by critics. Yet these marginalized artists, this dark matter is essential to the survival of a mainstream art world that depends on this missing mass for innovative content. Dark matter is paradoxically getting brighter. Like a burst crypt or ruptured archive this once-blocked social production is impossible to ignore as it celebrates its own excesses and redundancies, generating powerful, unpredictable consequences for all concerned. 

Gregory Sholette is an artist, activist and professor of sculpture at Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY) and is also a visiting professor at Harvard's Department of Visual and Environmental Studies. He was a founding member of two collectives, the Political Art Documentation/ Distribution group (a resource for networking, active from 1980 to 1988) and REPOhistory (devoted to the recovery of forgotten histories, in operation from 1989 to 2000). He has written various essays and books about these issues. 

Presented and moderated by Jesús Carrillo, head of Cultural Programs at Museo Reina Sofía 

Activity´s details

Entry: 
free of charge (up to 30 participants), specific registration for each tour required
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