Criticism and Everyday Life. Theory of Discourse and Art Criticism
Directed by Manuel Asensi and Xavier Antich
This Workshop is divided into three sections and will work at three distinct rhythms: one essentially theoretical, another practical – which will take the form of a workshop – and a third which will consist of small-group seminars led by internationally renowned figures. In addition, at particular points during the journey the Workshop will connect up with the ‘Technologies of Gender. Post-identity Micro-politics' Workshop, led by Beatriz Preciado (March-June, 2005). In the joint sessions, the participants in both workshops will meet to expose and put into practice various contents and proposals.
In 1967 Guy Debord wrote "The reason why the spectator does not feel at home anywhere is that the spectacle is everywhere", words that continue to be valid today. The mass-production of spectacle, spectacle as commodity, means that the gestures of social subjects have ceased to be theirs and have become instead the gestures of the ‘Other' who represents them for him or her. The aim of this course is to reflect on the role of ‘art' (whatever the meaning, be it positive or negative, that we confer on this highly conflictive term) and its channels of transmission in this era of the mass production of spectacle. Does ‘art' form part, as if it were just one more link, of the chain of spectacularisation that exercises a bio-political control over the minds and bodies of subjects? Or does it instead, in some of its expressions, perform a deconstructive, subversive function, sabotaging, schizo-analysing the sensorium (in Benjamin's sense of "ways of perceiving reality")?
Following on from the experience of the two previous workshops (Art Criticism as Intervention in the Social Space, 2003 and Art Criticism in the Post-political Era, 2004), and adding to and amending it, this course will reflect further on the connection between art and the forms of intervention in the social space. This time we employ a different expression – ‘everyday life' – with the aim of including all possible human situations: not just the sphere of public policy but also the private, interpersonal power relations, oral communication, the whisper… The course will include an overview of the concepts, the critical-theoretical ideas and methodologies of conceiving of the relationship between ‘art', life, spectacle and politics. It is not an archaeological investigation, but rather a strategy that allows us to project the whole of historical conceptuality onto the problem that interests us. We start with the idea that to undertake a critical analysis of ‘art', ideologies and social formations it is necessary to examine the various theoretical currents of thought and authors that, from the beginning of the 20th century, have proposed a series of approximations to the ‘work of art', without seeking to discredit those others apparently further removed from sociological conceptions. Nevertheless, this journey can not be other than a selective one, understanding, however, that what might be lost in terms of quantity will be gained in terms of depth.
Theoretical sessions: Fridays, from 21 January to 17 June, from 18.00 to 21.00. Practical sessions: Tuesdays and/or Wednesdays, every fortnight, from 1 February to 7 June, from 18.00 to 21.00. Occasional Seminars: from March to June.
January: Fundamental concepts in classical aesthetics: mimesis, verisimilitude, form, allegory, creativity, aesthetic experience and expression.
February: From formalism to structuralism: from the avant-garde of the early 20th century to May 68.
March: The Marxist tradition and its evolution during the 20th century.
April: Art, psychoanalysis and critical discourse.
May: Theories, ginocepts and queercepts.
June: Poststructuralism, deconstruction and ontological hermeneutics.
tlf. (+34)93 412 08 10 (ext. 381)
servcult [at] macba [dot] cat