Beyond Work, Beyond Refusal
A Cinematic Lecture by Marina Vishmidt
April 5, 2016, 7.30PM
Auditorium of the Emilia Pavilion
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Emilii Plater 51
Lecture will be held in English
Reflecting on a reactionary eagerness to consign workers to the annals of history as capital’s victims and dupes, this presentation will use film, video, and its conjunctural histories within late twentieth century and post-crisis social movements. It will look at what is socially speculative about a worker’s struggles – a speculation that is institutional and pragmatic to the core – seeing them also as sites of cultural production. Like any form of critique, struggle necessarily unfolds as excess. An excess generated by the friction between the affirmative and the negative. It always points beyond itself and invokes the futural and yet-impossible as well as reinforcing what exists. The past too is a social relation, and it has to be kept open. This presentation emerges out of Marina Vishmidt’s long-term research into labor and gender in political filmmaking. She will ask what figures of collectivity, irony, and rupture emerge from situations as disparate and as linked as 1960s factory occupations, the managerial intrigue of the 2000s, and feminist art of the 1970s post-colony. At the same time, she will engage with left-communist theory which dismisses all historical workers’ movements as having no horizons beyond improving their position in the existing capitalist cosmos, thus converging in some surprising ways with reigning neoliberal wisdom on the extinction of class politics.
Marina Vishmidt is a London-based writer occupied mainly with questions on art, labor, and the value-form. She has recently completed a PhD at Queen Mary, University of London: Speculation as a Mode of Production in Art and Capital. She is a frequent contributor to catalogs, edited collections, and journals such as Mute, Afterall, Parkett and Texte zur Kunst.