Brittle Land, an artist book on Alexandra Navratil.

Alexandra Navratil’s Brittle Land artist book

I edited, and contributed a poem to Alexandra Navratil’s artist book Brittle Land, launched at Dan Gunn gallery, Berlin in June 2016.

This book is comprised of stills from Alexandra Navratil’s works ‘Silbersee’ (2015) and ‘Resurrections’ (2014), along with essays by Paul Feigelfeld and Keston Sutherland, plus a poem by editor Rachel O’Reilly.

Taking the former Agfa-ORWO photographic film factory in Wolfen, Germany, as a point of departure, it divulges the interdependent histories of photographic emulsion, gelatin, labour, exploitation, exhaustion, chemical contamination, and slow violence. For Navratil, film reflects the ongoing technological development from the late 19th century until now, a product inextricably linked to the plastics industry that developed simultaneously with it, and to today’s widespread digitisation.

Design by Roger Willems and published by Roma Publications and Dan Gunn, Berlin.

For further information on the publication: Brittle Land
For further information on the artist: Alexandra Navratil

Publisher: Roma Publications
ISBN: 9789491843594
Idea Books Order Code: 16200

Future Vocabularies event, BAK, Utrecht

Artist talk: Instituting for the Contemporary, BAK

As part of BAK’s Future Vocabularies project, I particpated in an Artist Talk/public editorial meeting alongside Simon Sheikh and Ewa Majewska, April 11, 2016 from 19.00–22.00 hrs,  Utrecht’s BAK, basis voor actuele kunst.

Details:

In the first of three Public Editorial Meetings held towards the publication of the new critical reader Instituting for the Contemporary, Ewa MajewskaRachel O’Reilly, and Simon Sheikh will present draft contributions in response to one of the reader’s eight guiding concerns: “compositionalism”; “not not art, not not politics”; and “care to power” respectively.

These terms bring to question the methods of, and resistance to, the institution. They raise a number of considerations: the transversal assemblies of contemporary organization and its forms (compositionalism); the slippage between categories and methodologies in such practices (not not art, not not politics); and the intertwining issues of care and interlocution in relation to the institution (care to power).

Ewa Majewska’s presentation outlines her proposal for a non-heroic “weak resistance,” that poses the question of an institution of the common. This new form of institution would be one rooted in the resistant composition of singularities that make up feminist, post-colonial, and so-called “periphery locations’ debates on the commons and its political agency.

Drawing on her ongoing project “The Gas Imaginary,” Rachel O’Reilly presents a selection of interventions, images, and vernacular texts, useful for reading the historical present of “extractivist realism” alongside counter-politics, their limits, and the convergences between the aesthetic tactics of contemporary industry and neoliberal culture sectors.

Simon Sheikh connects the notions of care (for the self), through the capacity for speaking of truth to power, to a consideration of the question of how to institute anew. If the speaking of truth has long informed the artistic political critique of institutional critique, the coupling of care to power proposes that the position of speaker — produced as an audience, and speaking for this body — be central to thinking institutionality, and indeed governmentality today.

More on the program: BAK Future Vocabularies