Readings for Art Users #7: Art and Social Evil

April 20, 2016
Readings for Art Users #7: Art and Social Evil

Readings for Art Users #7: Art and Social Evil
Led by: Michał Kozłowski, Magdalena Kowalska, Tomek Rakowski
Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 6PM
Emilia Pavilion Auditorium
Museum of Modern Art, Emilii Pater 51

If art indeed used to be a promise of happiness, its unfaithfulness should make it hide its face in shame – that is the drastically simplified idea of Theodor Adorno after Shoah. Despite that, art endures. And perhaps it still can be used to confront the radical social evil: mass murder, persecution, pogrom. But this is not merely a question of appropriateness but also one of expedience. The use we make would suggest we can also gain something from such use.

This problem concerns, however in different manner, ethnography. Since it is a science based on both scientific neutrality and intimacy between a scientist and its object. How can ethnography tackle this ambiguity when confronted with extreme social evil? And what would be the use of ethnography in this context.

Michał Kozłowski will introduce and moderate the seminar. Magdalena Kowalska and Tomasz Rakowski will discuss the texts.

The texts will be sent to those interested in participating in the seminar a week before the event. Please e-mail ZAPISY@ARTMUSEUM.PL with the title “Art User Readers” to receive the texts. The reading material will also be available at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw reception at Pańska 3. The meeting will take place in the auditorium on the first floor of the Emilia pavilion.

About the events

The Free/Slow University of Warsaw team invites you to a new series of seminars organized in conjunction with the “Making Use. Life in Postartistic Times” exhibition. The Free/Slow University, referring to the flying university tradition, offers art users a series of self-study meetings. The readers will help build a concept toolbox that enables independent tinkering with the key ideas necessary to understand the role and situation of art in today’s world. Art User Readers refer directly to exhibitions organized at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (“Making Use”, “Why We Have Wars” and “Bread and Roses”), rooting a theoretical reflection in a conversation on current art and curation practices. A series of seven seminars will consider various questions, including: What is the applied value of art? Is art useless? What does ‘making use’ mean in this context? Do we live in a post-artistic age? Is the avant-garde dream of a fusion of art and life still an unfulfilled one? Can art still lead to radical transformations of everyday life? What is artistic competence? How does it radiate to other spheres of life? What are the possible art worlds? What is the worth of institutions that keep up artistic autonomy? What is the ethnographic turn in art? Can the art world effectively include the excluded? What is the connection between DIYers and hackers? What kind of work is done by social network users?

Reader Team:

Sebastian Cichocki, Joanna Figiel, Michał Kozłowski, Zofia Płoska, Tomasz Rakowski, Kuba Szreder