Willem de Kooning Academy Studium Generale talk with Jan Verwoert

Join us Wednesday the 26th of October for a lecture by Jan Verwoert followed by a discussion.
Location: Kralingse Zoom 91

Title: appropriation–>invocation–>supercommodification

It may be too simple to put it this way, but: attitudes towards how the body and soul of art relates the forces of power, sex and money may have drastically changed from the 80s to the 90s to the 00s.

In the 80s the word was out that history is over and all we are left with is supermarkets and museums filled with dead stuff that looks cool but won’t talk. So all you could do was take stuff off the shelf and make it look even cooler (appropriation).

In the 90s history came back in a big way: You can’t be cool when the cold war is over. No one knows where things are going, but the world gives you new hopes, cheap flights and house music, but equally old ghosts, recent traumas, returning in civil wars. None of this is about stuff or properties, it’s all about situations, improvisations, lots of talk and blasts from the past, it’s about energies, ecstasies and brutalities which none owns but many feel passing through their bodies, much like a medium channels forces (invocation).

In the 00s the rich got richer, money was back and so was the market. But what to sell when all that glitters is the screen and what’s on it is virtual and infinitely available on the internet? What makes the singular download more sexy than a file that circulates freely? And what to do with your own body when there is so many bodies online and the money for the rent is too tight to mention? Accelerate consumption? Learn from the 80s but make it better, slicker, digital, hormonal, and draw out those white lines longer and longer (supercommodification).

Now what if we work but the drugs don’t and Prozac lets us down? Then souls may wirelessly connect, search for medicine and meet on the world_wide_astral_pl@ne.

Jan Verwoert is a critic and writer on contemporary art and cultural theory, based in Berlin. He is a contributing editor of frieze magazine, his writing has appeared in different journals, anthologies and monographs. He teaches at the Piet Zwart Institute Rotterdam, the de Appel curatorial programme and the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. He is the author of Bas Jan Ader: In Search of the Miraculous, MIT Press/Afterall Books 2006, the essay collection Tell Me What You Want What You Really Really Want, Sternberg Press/Piet Zwart Institute 2010, together with Michael Stevenson, Animal Spirits — Fables in the Parlance of Our Time, Christoph Keller Editions, JRP, Zurich 2013 and a second collection of his essays Cookie! published by Sternberg Press/Piet Zwart Institute 2014.