27 August 2018

Aftertaste @ Établissement d'en face

I was invited by Margaux Schwarz to participate in the 24-hour overnight event Aftertaste, held from 6pm to 6pm at Établissement d'en face, Brussels, 16-17 February 2018.

Aftertaste featured work by Samuel Fouracre, Brendan Michal Heshka, Eleanor Ivory Weber, neither, Lorde Selys, Elise van Mourik.

For Aftertaste, I presented three new Sub Text Labours across the 24 hours:

1. Smog I: Welcome speech for the guard (2018-), a midnight solo reading of Peter Sloterdijk's Terror From the Air (2009, 112 pages, The MIT Press) in its entirety, with microphone, approximately 3'45", one toilet break.

2. Smog II: The Guard (2018), a work of performative naming in view of the necessity to guard the establishment in the wee hours, and to make a living; black smog mask worn by guard, approximately 5'00", including breaks where necessary; invited by Margaux Schwarz, performed by Elena Betros López.

3. Smog III: Glossolalien Missive (2018-), scored listening exercise for four-voice text composition (words of Anne Carson, Michel de Certeau, Amy Ireland, Cornelia Vismann), paper scrolls, anti-pollution masks, artichoke stamp, approximately 40"; performed by Camille Gérenton, Karl Lydahl, Eleanor Weber, Camilla Wills.

Many, many thanks to Margaux for her support, to all the performers, and to Henry Andersen, Lendl Barcelos and Eunkyung Jeong. Thanks especially to Alex Chalmers for reading-listening the whole of Smog I with me.

Images: Elena Betros López, Pia Louwerens, Margaux Schwarz, myself.

29 April 2018

EFFE presents... Lit

Back in October 2017, EFFE (myself and artist-designer Ella Sutherland) launched the curated exhibition Lit, featuring the work of four Australian artists: Athena Thebus, Del Lumanta, Elena Betros, Frances Sharp.

Here is “Lit”.

Let it flick through your tongue behind your teeth and forward in your mouth, this little abbreviative single syllable.

Like in literature and litany, litmus and clitoris, slit, flit, littoral and liturgy, the L-I-T sound often makes for a tasty word. Beyond its sound, you can think of “alt-lit”, “chick-lit”, “lit up”, and the past participle of “light”.


Individual links:

Athena Thebus,
Doggy, 2017, text

Del Lumanta,
Untitled, 2017, video synthesis, silent, 6'02"

Frances Sharp,
1. Hot Piss and the Endless Sea (snake pit), 2016, pencil on paper, 38 x 49 cm
2. Glory Mask, 2016, pencil on paper, 30 x 21 cm
3. Glory Mask, 2016, pencil on paper, 21 x 30 cm

Elena Betros,
Is she talking to herself most of the time?
, 2016, HD video, sound, loop

Essay: https://files.persona.co/64419/Lit.pdf

A million thanks to Ella as always and to the artists, as well as to Judy Annear and Camilla Wills for their feedback on my text, and to Hamishi Farah for starting it all.

27 March 2018

The Pots of Établissement 2017

My first art prize, on 2 February 2018 I was awarded a "Pot" for the annual event "The Pots of Établissement" - the Établissement d'en face board's selection of favourite works from the preceding year (2017)!

The piece in question was a reading of my text Joan of Arc (2016), simultaneously translated into the French by Jessica, at the invitation of Roxanne Maillet for Cave Club #3, Brussels.

Many thanks to Margaux Schwarz for her beautiful text in response (see above photo).

See more pictures of the Pots and the other awardees here. The pots are painted by Hugo Dïner.

For more info on the Cave Club reading, see here.

2 March 2018

"Cuz Words" @ feeelings/Triangle France, Marseille

Last year I was invited by the Brussels project space feeelings (artists Camille Gérenton & Anouchka Oler) to contribute to their event "Cuz Words", hosted at Triangle France, Marseille.

The event occurred throughout the day of Saturday 18 November 2017 and featured the work of Simon Asencio, Jane Fawcett, Cave Club w/ Eugénie Zely, and myself, plus graphic design by Roxanne Maillet.

The event occurred in two parts, the afternoon session (Zély and Fawcett) was held at Plage des Catalans and the evening session at Friche La Belle de Mai (Asencio and me). There is more information about "Cuz Words" on the Marseille Expos website: http://www.marseilleexpos.com/blog/2017/10/03/cuz-words-par-feelings/.

I presented a reading of a reworking of Walter J. Ong's Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word (1982), as published in the Bâtard festival reader. I spoke with a microphone; I moved around the space where the audience were seated or stood, I sat or stood. The delivery took over 45 minutes, people left, or came and went, as needed; and at a certain point I pressed play on a phased and repeated version of the track "Choked by the Invisible Hand" by IITF, continuing to read alongside it.

For more documentation of the event, please see here: https://feeelings.hotglue.me/?cuzwords.

Merci mille fois Camille, Anouchka, et Simon.

27 February 2018

Bâtard: Into the Pores of the Brain (2017)

I was invited to contribute a text to the 2017 Bâtard festival reader, "Into the Pores of the Brain".

Held at Beursschouwburg, Brussels, and running 31 October through 4 November 2017, the annual Bâtard festival presents the work of emerging artists.

Edited by Henry Andersen, Eva Decaesstecker, Hannes Dereere, Bryana Fritz, and Hana Miletić, the accompanying reader includes commissioned contributions by Lietje Bauwens, Pamina de Coulon, Stefan Govaart, Ibrahim Khayar, Ogutu Muraya, and myself, alongside reprints of texts by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and M. Nourbese Philip.

Many thanks to the editors for the invitation, and the chance to publish this experimental text.

27 January 2018

Dissect Journal #3 artist pages

I contributed some artist pages to the third issue of the Narrm (Melbourne)-based journal Dissect, which was launched way back on 6 April 2017 at Gertrude Contemporary.

This 300-page special issue was edited by Audrey Schmidt, Chloe Sugden and Zoe Theodore and designed by Clare Wohlnick. It focuses on subjectivity and the body as a site of production. Contributors include:

Philip Auslander, Dodie Bellamy, Eva Birch, Body by Body, Katherine Botten, Cristine Brache, Ramsay Burt, Travis Chamberlain, Amy Charlesworth, Hana Earles, James Ferraro, Karen Finley, Andrea Fraser, Tim Gentles, Isabelle Graw, Amelia Groom, Aurelia Guo, Callan Bradley Hales, K8 Hardy, Anastasia Klose, Chris Kraus, Natasha Madden, Quintessa Matranga, Monica’s Gallery, Ruth O’Leary, Tanja Ostojić, Carol Que, Rare Candy, Ander Rennick, Phebe Schmidt, Eleanor Ivory Weber, Katie West, Amelia Winata, Jarrod Zlatic.

I finally got my hands on some copies and looking good!

Leading up to the journal launch, Audrey Schmidt curated the exhibition Tell Me What You Have and I Will Know What You Are in an Airbnb, occurring across the same dates as the 2016 Spring 1883 contemporary art fair. I contributed a text piece to this group show, documentation of which can be found here.

For more info on Dissect and to purchase a copy, visit their shop!

22 December 2017

FORMER WEST: Art and the Contemporary after 1989, BAK/MIT Press, 2016

I worked as copy editor on this crucial reference book for post-Cold War art and politics, Former West: Art and the Contemporary after 1989.

What has become of the so-called West after the Cold War? After the tripartite division of the world into first, second, and third has been superseded? Why hasn’t the West simply become “former,” like its supposed counterpart, the “former East”?

Released 10 March 2017, the publication is the culmination of an eight-year research project (2008-16) of the same name initiated and developed by BAK (basis voor actuele kunst), Utrecht, The Netherlands.

[Shelly Silver, Former East/Former West, 1994. German with English subtitles, 16 mm transfer to video, 62 min]

Edited by Maria Hlavajova and Simon Sheikh, the volume includes contributions by: Nancy Adajania, Edit András, Athena Athanasiou, Zygmunt Bauman, Dave Beech, Brett Bloom, Rosi Braidotti, Susan Buck-Morss, Campus in Camps, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Chto Delat?/What is to be done?, Jodi Dean, Angela Dimitrakaki, Dilar Dirik, Marlene Dumas, Keller Easterling, Okwui Enwezor, Charles Esche, Silvia Federici, Mark Fisher, Federica Giardini and Anna Simone, Boris Groys, Gulf Labor Coalition, Stefano Harney, Sharon Hayes, Brian Holmes, Tung-Hui Hu, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Sami Khatib, Delaine Le Bas, Boaz Levin and Vera Tollmann, Isabell Lorey, Sven Lütticken, Ewa Majewska, Artemy Magun, Suhail Malik, Teresa Margolles, Achille Mbembe, Laura McLean, Cuauhtémoc Medina, Sandro Mezzadra, Walter D. Mignolo, Aernout Mik, Angela Mitropoulos, Rastko Močnik, Nástio Mosquito, Rabih Mroué, Pedro Neves Marques, Peter Osborne, Matteo Pasquinelli, Andrea Phillips, Nina Power, Vijay Prashad, Gerald Raunig, Irit Rogoff, Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Naoki Sakai, Rasha Salti, Francesco Salvini, Christoph Schlingensief, Georg Schöllhammer, Susan Schuppli, Andreas Siekmann, Jonas Staal, Hito Steyerl, Mladen Stilinović, Paulo Tavares, Trịnh T. Minh-Hà, Mona Vătămanu and Florin Tudor, Marina Vishmidt, Marion von Osten, McKenzie Wark, Eyal Weizman.

Published by BAK, basis actuele kunst and MIT Press, 2016 | English language | 748 pages | Paperback | ISBN: 9780262533836

For more information and to purchase: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/former-west

Thanks go to Maria Hlavajova, contributing editor Tom Clark for his generosity, and especially to managing editor Wietske Maas for her superb organisation and communication. Thanks, too, to all the writers for their amazing ideas.

10 November 2017

How To Become A Body Double #1

On 12 September 2017, the latest How To Become magazine, published by DQ Press, was launched at The Cheapest University, Carreau du Temple, Paris.

At the invitation of editor Sabrina Soyer, I contributed a text titled "Why I Hate Translation, or, Reading Lisa Robertson Through Another", which you can read here.

To order How To Become A Body Double or the preceding and inaugural issue How To Become A Lesbian #0, as well as for more information, visit: http://thecheapestuniversity.org/publication/how-to-become-a-body-double/.

3 October 2017

Reading As Community: Cave Club #3

At the invitation of Roxanne Maillet, on Tuesday 11 April 2017 I read 'Joan of Arc' at the third Cave Club, "Reading As Community", with simultaneous translation into French by Jessica.

Roxanne invites writers to read their work to an audience of listeners. She records this reading, transcribes and uses it as the basis for a unique "editorial object", where voice rather than word is the graphic source-material. Other invited readers have included Anouchka Oler, Gabrielle Smith & Jacqueline Aubenas, and Aline & Quentin Goujout.

You can get more info and purchase the text-objects at CaveClub.cc!

Many thanks to Roxanne Maillet and to Simon Asencio.

22 September 2017

Quote of the day, yay!

'... this understanding of the working subject as a commoditised object stems from the experiences associated with proleterianisation; not being owner of the means of production, the worker has no choice but to present himself as the “owner” of his labour-power, as if it were a commodity. His specific situation is defined by the fact that his labour-power is his only possession. His fate is typical of society as a whole in that this self-objectification, this transformation of a human function into a commodity reveals in all its starkness the dehumanised and dehumanising function of the commodity relation.'

-- Helen Hester, "Towards a Theory of Thing-Women", Living In The Future, Issue 4, 2017.

16 July 2017

Georgia Kaw: There Must Be A Rainbow Somewhere - Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, 2017

I was commissioned to write an essay for the catalogue of HERE&NOW17: New Photography, an exhibition of contemporary non-Indigenous West Australian photography practices, held at Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery in Perth from 29 April to 8 July 2017 and curated by Chelsea Hopper.

I wrote about the work of Leipzig- and Perth-based artist Georgia Kaw, which you can read here:


Many thanks to Georgia.

14 July 2017

"Critic's Choice" - Art Collector #80

For the 80th issue of Australia's Art Collector magazine, to acknowledge the 35th anniversary of Art Brussels, I wrote five short texts on the work of the following artists:

Simon Asencio, Omar Chowdhury, Sean Crossley, Katja Mater, Margaux Schwarz.

You can read the article here: https://www.academia.edu/33813412/Critics_Choice_Art_Collector_80_Sydney_Australia

26 May 2017

No Private Problems @ M.I/mi1glissé

In 2016, I had an exhibition at Berlin-based curator-run space M.I/mi1glissé.

The opening was Wednesday 24 February and the show ran through Saturday 5 March 2016 at Auguststraße 10, D-10117 Berlin.

For documentation, please visit:


Many thanks to curator Joel Mu. Huge thanks to designer Ella Sutherland, whose commissioned typeface Re:[Scan], and overall aid and expertise, was invaluable to this project. I also thank Elena Betros and Susan Gibb for their support.

Lastly, aqnb.com did a write-up before the show opened, which is here:

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/817876078340453/

17 May 2017

Nuno da Luz @ Kunstraum Botschaft-Portugal, Berlin

I wrote a text titled "vacant lot half dozen" for Portuguese artist Nuno da Luz's solo exhibition RWSNK ECHOS at Kunstraum Botschaft-Portugal in Berlin, Germany.

The exhibition opened on Friday 28 April and runs through Friday 16 June 2017 at the Portuguese embassy on Zimmerstraße 55, Berlin. Three connected events occur under the title The Forest is the School during June, at a vacant lot owned by the embassy on Hiroshimastraße, Berlin.

You can read my text here (in English and the German translation):


Many thanks to Nuno.

16 April 2017

Quote of the day, yay!

"This should not surprise us, given that the Feuerbachian project of humanist essentialism proceeds by installing Man in God’s place but otherwise leaving its conceptual foundation in place. Like the Roman conquerors who replaced the heads on local totems with the visage of Caesar while leaving local rituals intact, the religion of humanism preserves the inherited, social relations of truth as it found them. Instead of an implacable, Abrahamic God, the symbolic effects of embodied, socially situated, and culturally lived subjectivity are now collapsed directly into sheer data, as the basis for a new regime of truth.

Ultimately, the universal, unconscious material paranoia of the data harvesters is reflected in the particular, oversensitive mania of the data providers. The imaginative faculty, its aptitude, is reduced to a claustrophobic sense that the world is already predetermined and that there exists a sacred code by which everything is connected, but in a way that can only be guessed at using mere cues and proxies. In such a scenario, artificial intelligence is often paranoically perceived as a kind of a new, self-governing Behemoth, which is, as we know from Schreber, merely the same old God of voluntary servitude to, and dependency on, phantasms of power and domination."

-- Antonia Majaca, "Little Daniel Before the Law: Algorithmic Extimacy and the Rise of the Paranoid Apparatus", e-flux Journal #75, September 2016.

Thanks to artist Brian Fuata for directing me to this.

12 April 2017

Ueinzz Theatre Company @ If I Can't Dance, I Don't Want To Be Part of Your Revolution, Amsterdam

In early December 2016, I was in Amsterdam for part of the finale of If I Can't Dance, I Don't Want To Be Part of Your Revolution's Edition VI "Event and Duration". I attended, among other things, the Brazilian Ueinzz Theatre Company's performance Zero Gravity, Episode V: Spaces, twice. First at Badhuistheater on Thursday 8 December, and second at Plantage Dok on Saturday 10 December 2016.

I was asked to write a visitor account for If I Can't Dance's "In Rear View" publication, reflecting on Uenizz's piece. The published version, titled "At Least Twice: 1986/2061" can be read here or at the following link:


Thanks to Janine Armin, Frédérique Bergholtz, Susan Gibb, and Giulia Tognon.

20 March 2017

“What’s Your Favourite Conspiracy Theory?” @ Buenos Tiempos, Int./Mophradat, Brussels

The Brussels launch of curator Francis McKee's book How to Know What’s Really Happening was held on Monday 20 February 2017, from 7pm, hosted by Buenos Tiempos, Int. and Mophradat at Quai des Charbonnages 34, 1080 Molenbeek-Saint-Jean.

Edited by Maha Maamoun & Ala Younis, with Mai Abu ElDahab, and published by Kayfa ta, Mophradat, and Sternberg Press in late 2016, McKee's essay is the third in the Kayfa ta ("how to") series, which "respond to some of today’s perceived needs; be they the development of skills, tools, thoughts, or sensibilities."

The launch featured a track by artist and musician Geo Wyeth, a talk by McKee himself about some of his favourite conspiracies, one by artist Sven Augustijnen, and a reading by me about the figure of Christine Villemin. All this occurred within a décor made by artist Laurie Charles.

Designed by Julie Peeters and Valerie Arif, the book is available in two editions (English and Arabic):

9.6 x 14.8 cm, 56 pages, softcover
ISBN 978-3-95679-272-4 (English)
ISBN 978-3-95679-296-0 (Arabic)

Many thanks to Alberto García del Castillo and Marnie Slater for the invitation to present my work in this context, and to Joel Mu for his ongoing support.

Photos by Laurie Charles.

18 March 2017

Use “Loge” in a Sentence @ Meeting Points 8, Brussels

Back in December 2016, I participated in Use “Loge” in a Sentence, a writing project by Mirene Arsanios with invited participants Alberto García del Castillo, Philippine Hoegen, Ghislaine Leung, Natasha Papadopoulou, Michaël Van den Abeele, Kym Ward, and myself.

Each of us were asked to respond with a text to a short sentence containing the word "lodge" (or "loge" in French), and to reflect on that word's various architectural, esoteric, and metaphorical meanings. The eight resulting texts were read out loud on two different nights as part of the Brussels leg of Mophradat's Meeting Points 8: Both Sides of the Curtain, hosted at La Loge, 7-17 December 2016.

To read my text, which was performed by artist Marnie Slater, please click here: https://www.academia.edu/31918250/_Use_Loge_in_a_Sentence_ed._Mirene_Arsanios_Meeting_Points_8_Both_Sides_of_the_Curtain_Brussels_2016

Thanks to Mirene, Alberto, Philippine, Ghislaine, Natasha, Michaël, Kym, and Marnie, as well as organisers Mai Abu ElDahab and Lauren Wetmore, with Malak Helmy, Raimundas Malašauskas, and Christophe Wavelet.

19 January 2017

Quote of the day, yay!

"We prefer restitution to wages and gratitude. A guaranteed income provides for a monetary means that is a necessary but not sufficient condition. Restitution—giving back—is a material-symbolic circuit, a reproductive circuit of a worthy life, which cannot be exhausted in the possibility of paying for what is necessary to survive. Being part of a circuit of restitution means accessing, using, and multiplying the conditions of living. Do I want a wage or everything that is necessary for a joyful existence?"

-- Federica Giardini and Anna Simone, "Reproduction as Paradigm: Elements for a Feminist Political Economy", trans. Dave Mesing, Viewpoint Magazine, 31 October 2015.

18 January 2017

Death of A Self @ Dortmunder Kunstverein, Germany

Back on 22 October 2016 I gave a reading in the context of "Death of A Self" symposium, held at Dortmunder Kunstverein.

Hosted by curator Line Ebert, the other speakers were philosopher Marcus Steinweg and writer Hans-Christian Dany. The symposium occurred in the setting of the group exhibition ICHTS, which ran from 27 August - 30 October 2016.

I spoke about Catherine Malabou's notion of woman as "negative essence" and the idea of "disappearing" from the regime of visibility - or "losing authorship" - in the context of contemporary art, using personal anecdotes and examples of the writing of certain female thinkers. This lecture expands on an essay I wrote for Hybridize or Disappear (ed. João Laia) in 2015, "Disappearing the Straight Mind: Witches, Monsters, Zombies, Strangers", published by Mousse.

Many thanks to Dortmunder Kunstverein director Oriane Durand and artist Frieder Haller for the invitation.

4 January 2017

Oslo Art Weekend & review of Sandra Mujinga @ Oslo Kunstforening

In mid-October 2016 I had my first trip to Norway as part of the Oslo Art Weekend visiting critics program.

Some highlights included, in alphabetical order: Nina Bang's solo show Birding at Kunstplass[10]; Ragna Bley's work in the group show Roaming at Unge Kunstneres Samfund (UKS); Benjamin Crotty's solo show at VI, VII; Tora Dalseng's solo show Lucky Night at Noplace; Elisabeth Haarr's solo show Strid at Kunsthall Oslo; Lotte Konow Lund's solo show Hold Everything Dear at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter; the project space Louise Dany, run by Ina Hagen and Daisuke Kosugi; the late Sidsel Paaske's retrospective On the verge (curated by Stina Högkvist) at the Museum of Contemporary Art; the exhibition space SCHLOSS, founded by artist Ida Ekblad and journalist Marie-Alix Isdahl Voisin; and the group show Kreuzberg Mega Show at artist-run gallery Slursula, which is located on a boat, especially the works by Liv Ertzeid, Melanie Kitti, Helena Lund Ek, and Urd J. Pedersen!

Sidsel Paaske:

Kos and Ina of Louise Dany:

Urd J. Pedersen's watercolour Angel/Anger (2016):

Furthermore, Sandra Mujinga's exhibition Real Friends, held at Oslo Kunstforening, 14 October - 13 November 2016, was brilliant. I reviewed it for the current issue of frieze magazine (no. 184, January-February 2017):

You can also read it online here: https://frieze.com/article/sandra-mujinga.

Many thanks to OAW organisers Elisabeth Byre, Stina Högkvist, Jenny Kinge and Mike Sperlinger!

17 December 2016

Repetition/s: Performance Philosophy in Ljubljana

From 21 to 24 September 2016, I participated in the Performance Philosophy conference Repetition/s, hosted across venues in Ljubljana, Slovenia, including the University of Ljubljana and City Museum of Ljubljana.

My first academic conference, I used this occasion to expand on some research and writing I had begun early this year around the Argentinean poet Alejandra Pizarnik (1936-1972), and as a chance to hear and see lectures and performances by an array of fantastic international academics and artists working at the intersections of philosophy, performance, psychoanalysis, etc.

Ljubljana was the perfect location for these questions to come together, and some of the highlights include the performances AKTUATOR::2016 by Zupančič::Turšič::Živadinov, Botched Executuion by Vanessa Place, and The Collected Works of Victor Bergman by The Family; as well as lectures by Lucas Ballestín, Justin Clemens, Bojana Kunst, Dorota Sosnowska, Samo Tomšič, Mischa Twitchin, Christopher Wallace, Alenka Zupančič, and more; not to mention the dozens of great conversations had during the course of the conference!

This is the abstract for "Seeing Her Voices: Rehearsing Alejandra Pizarnik", delivered on Thursday 22 September 2016 at the Univeristy of Ljubljana (FA 415) in a session with Polona Tratnik and Nadia Bou Ali, chaired by Miklavž Komelj:

This text-lecture-reading-performance works with the words of Argentinean poet Alejandra Pizarnik in order to extract, not just the stone of madness, as the title of her recently published anthology avows, but the terminally displaced essence of her poetic oeuvre. Recently translated into English from Spanish, which I cannot speak, I approach Pizarnik from the presumed position of something always being missed – someone always being missed. I believe it is how she saw language, by the way, as a deathly construction to which she belonged in a manner excessively proportionate to her actual lack of belonging (for who belongs in language?). Language, words, her voices; that which would never fulfill their mandate but which nonetheless compelled her to undertake to make sense. “Where does this writing lead her?” Pizarnik asks, “To blackness, to the sterile and the fragmented.” And it’s not nonsense. Rather, being confronted with her writing forces me to recognize, by way of her, what I am in turn lacking, which is precisely the source of my desire for her, that is to say, for her writing – terminally displaced. It is a sort of Eros, as Anne Carson would describe it, or an exemplary form of Minimal Difference, as Žižek notes. The subject will always be found, thus, in its own negation. For Repetition/s, I seek to convey Pizarnik’s language, poetry, and voice as precisely vital because impossible (paraphrasing Jame Rodríguez-Matos). Recording, delay, citation, and repetition, trying to make sense; a rehearsal of sorts – if to rehearse is to endlessly prepare for the inevitable.

More info here: http://repetitions2016.org/participants/#88.

Many thanks to the organisers Ben Hjorth, Bara Kolenc, Gregor Modor, and Anna Street for hosting such an exciting event, and to all the new and old friends including Lucas Ballestín, Helen Brecht, Justin Clemens, Mauricio Gonzalez, Sigi Jöttkandt, Sami Khatib, Peter Klepec, Luka, Karl Sjölund-Teglund, Kiri Sullivan, Mischa Twitchin, Federico del Vecchio, Christopher Wallace, et al., for making these four days so much fun!

18 November 2016

Quote of the day, yay!

“... a decision that would not go through the test and ordeal of the undecidable would not be a free decision; it would only be the programmable application or the continuous unfolding of a calculable process.”

-- Jacques Derrida, “Force of Law: The ‘Mystical Foundation of Authority’”, in Acts of Religion, ed. Gil Anidjar (New York: Routledge, 2002), pp. 228–298.

16 November 2016

Practices of Love, Friendship and Other Obsessions @ Volksroom, Brussels

On Tuesday 13 September 2016 from 20:00, Xenia Taniko Dwertmann, Roni Katz, Elena Betros and myself hosted the the performative event Practices of Love, Friendship and Other Obsessions at Volksroom, Brussels.

Having met earlier this year in Berlin, the four of us each contributed elements of our work - past and present - creating an evening of interconnected acts; we performed iterations of our divergent practices with one another and the audience. Tunes before and after were by Thomas Proksch. Photo documentation Thomas Dupal.

Here's the introduction, written by Dwertmann, Katz and I:

We invited ourselves to a new city, then we invited others. We are hosting hosted. And here is where we insist. On the impossibility, the inappropriate and impertinent. This is an attempt. This is a rehearsal. A rehearsal of (all) sorts, to endlessly prepare for the inevitable. Since inevitably, boundaries are made to be crossed.

We could say that these practices are like the question-exclamation-marks, commas and period, the Doppelpunkt of our lives, addressing our work, and the world we inhabit. We ask ourselves and one another: What are the borderlines between our public and and our private, friend and lover, leisure and labor, between work, life and art? If we are at work all the time, what do we labor for? What about the nonproductive labor that happens in the most private parts of our life, shed away from the public, performed in households, bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms. The kind of labor that one performs with oneself, or next to another. What happens when that private and invisible, secret thing is performed publicly? How can being publicly intimate be an act of caring for oneself in a community-constituting way? Who says where this belongs, and what is longed to be public? When practicing public intimacy, we slide through the confessional, the biographical, the social, the political, the paradoxical, the poetic. In the poetry of the paradox lies a radical intimacy with one’s own body, producing queer satisfaction on its own terms, making way for friction and conflict, fantasies, healing, shame, self-pleasuring, rage, panic, madness, obsessions, desires.

Is this labor, this language, leading anywhere?

I presented two pieces of writing. The first, read by me, was three short narrative vignettes taken from my contributions to Exquisite Consequences (2016), published on EFFE. The second was a text titled "A text by someone who could have done otherwise", written to parallel a work by Betros that was exhibited at West Space, Melbourne in 2014. Originally written in a script form, though intended to be read in private, the Volksroom event was a chance for this piece to be read aloud, with our four voices taking each line in turn.

For more info, you can visit the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/291288867909856/

Thanks to Roni, Xenia, Elena, Thomas and Volksroom for their welcome and trust.
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