Directed by Manuel Asensi and Xavier Antich.

Without taking any great risk, one might propose the following equation: to proclaim the death of grand metanarratives, pace Lyotard's well known diagnosis, is to prohibit the possibility of critiquing ideologies and, by extension, all critical work, including art. How then would it be possible to decide whether or not this is true if we lack a firm critical ground from which to do so?

This reflection inaugurates the post-political era, an era in which the postmodern parody of the right/left dichotomy compels thinking the political beyond politics without, however, abandoning the possibility for provoking social action. In some way Adorno's question concerning the possibility of poetry after Auschwitz finds its echo in another question: how is it possible to think and act politically when the grand ideologies have been proclaimed dead? Given that one may think of society as a web of interrelated systems, it is clear that art criticism is being dragged along by the same problematic as criticism in its political sense—that is, if such a distinction is viable.
This workshop investigates the forms that art criticism has assumed in the post-political era. Taking three grand ideologies as reference (Marxism, psychoanalysis and structuralism) and considering the contributions of various rereadings of Marx (French Marxism and the Frankfurt School), we will focus on the various forms of postcriticism—to invoke Gregory L. Ulmer's well known term—such as deconstruction, feminism, poststructuralism, schizoanalysis, etc. The previous workshop (Art criticism as intervention in social space, February-June 2003) reflected on the political role of art criticism as related to its possibilities for action and intervention in the public sphere. This new installment of the workshop continues this same line of inquiry, but instead focuses on the role of postcriticism in the end-of-politics era.
Naturally, the problem's formulation is provocative given that its premises constitute the very center of a difficult polemic. But to provoke is precisely what we seek, even as we are conscious of the fact that to employ the prefix "post" usually indicates a lack of imagination and that death is often accompanied by the reappearance of ghosts (the "specters of Marx" that Derrida discusses).

Xavier Antich is a Professor of Aesthetics and Co-director of the Masters program in Communication and Art Criticism at the Universitat de Girona.

Manuel Asensiis a Professor in the Department of Philology at the Universitat de València and a visiting professor at various universities in the United States.


Every Friday from 6.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.
The first hour of each session will be open to the public. The remainder of each of the sessions will be reserved for those who have previously registered.

Criticism and Politics. The grand ideologies: Marxism, psychoanalysis, and structuralism. Manuel Asensi and Xavier Antich.

The revolution after the revolution. Marxism and poststructuralism: Althusser and Tel Quel. Manuel Asensi.

Postmodern criticism. Marxism and poststructuralism: Frederic Jameson and Cultural Studies. Xavier Antich.

Postpolitical strategies or how to avoid that the ghost sneaks in through the back door. Deconstructions: Derrida and the European school. Manuel Asensi.

Frail and parasitic criticism. Deconstructions: Paul de Man and the Yale school. Manuel Asensi.

The revolution in the name of the father. Schizoanalysis: Lacan. Xavier Antich.

War machines and pink panthers against Oedipus. Schizoanalysis: Deleuze and Guattari. Xavier Antich.

Dissident theories. Feminisms: Julia Kristeva. Manuel Asensi.

The political body. Feminisms: Judith Butler and Queer Theory. Xavier Antich.

Theoretical and experimental writing. Manuel Asensi and Xavier Antich.

MACBA Public Programs
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