The Curatorial

Curatorial Politics
English/French (texts)

Doreen Mende

Turning the inextricable [or, intractable] condition against itself

“Violence is at the beginning of thinking; it is the thing of thought, of reason.” (Denise Ferreira da Silva) Violence is also at the beginning of making; it is the thing of art. This is not a dilemma. But a matrix: Violence marks the rule of law, not as an event but as a condition. The seminar aims to problematize violence as an inextricable condition from which there is neither an escape nor an excuse nor an apology. This condition has always been formative and will inextricably continue to affect art as a concept and a practice of transcendental reason. Put differently, art is implicit as well as complicit with the rule of law (and signification) legitimizing colonial (juridical) and racial (symbolic) violence. There is an end to this only possibly at the end of art as we know it.
This year’s seminar will engage with the very difficult question how to make a research public, from a curatorial perspective, with the aim to rehearse how it could be possible to not reproduce the violence that is inscribed into our means of making as artists, curators, theorists, architects, researcher or designers. How could research become a set of practices to prepare the conditions for practicing a decoloniality to arrive, which will be needed for turning the inextricable [or, intractable] condition of violence against itself? These all are very difficult questions. The practice-based seminar will not claim to answer them. But it will try to create openings, responses, offerings, spaces, time-zones and constellations to think with.
We will read key texts by Denise Ferreira da Silva, MTL Collective, Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang. We will visit ongoing exhibitions nearby with the aim to analyse them with questions from the seminar. The assignment of the seminar consists of small exercises with concrete material from your own research, or otherwise, in relation to the reading of texts. Furthermore, it also is expected from the students to create independently and selfresponsibly a diary of terms, methods and concepts with the possible capacity of turning the inextricable [or, intractable] condition of violence against itself. –– The seminar resonates with the following two research processes: PARSE conference «Violence» including Yasmine Eid- Sabbagh and Denise Ferreira da Silva from 17 through 19 November 2021; the exhibition Saisis par l’art (working title) for the Musée du Luxembourg de Grand Palais in Paris in collaboration with the state collections of art Dresden planned for September 2022.