Alexandra Kollontai was a Russian revolutionary who was appointed commissar of social welfare after the October Revolution and later one of the world’s first woman ambassadors. She fought for abortion rights, secularized marriage, and paid maternity leave—and considered “comradely love” to be a political force. This reader, in which artists and thinkers revisit Kollontai’s legacy in light of current feminist struggles, stems from a research project by CuratorLab at Konstfack and Tensta konsthall that accompanied Dora García’s exhibition “Red Love.” It also features the first English translation of the 1977 biographical play Kollontai by Swedish writer Agneta Pleijel.
Edited by MARIA LIND, MICHELE MASUCCI, JOANNA WARSZA
Contributions by BINI ADAMCZAK, SARA AHMED, GIULIA ANDREANI, LISE HALLER BAGGESEN, DORA GARCÍA, MICHAEL HARDT, MARIA LIND, MICHELE MASUCCI, ALLA MITROFANOVA, MARTYNA NOWICKA-WOJNOWSKA, PONTUS PETTERSSON, JONATHAN BROOKS PLATT, AGNETA PLEIJEL, NINA POWER, PAUL B. PRECIADO, THOMAS RAFA, ALICJA ROGALSKA, MOHAMMAD SALEMY, SALLY SCHONFELDT, AARON SCHUSTER, SOPHIA TABATADZE, PETRA BAUER & REBECKA THOR, OXANA TIMOFEEVA, JOANNA WARSZA, HANNAH ZAFIROPOULOS
Where are the tiny revolts? is the first book in a new annual series published by CCA Wattis Institute, a contemporary art center and research institute in San Francisco. Each book in the series is driven by a central question: what are we learning from artists today? Unconnected to an exhibition program, Where are the tiny revolts? is rooted in the Wattis's artist-driven research institute. It is a place to explore and share some of the texts and visual work that emerge over the course of an entire year of discussions and public programs. Instead of providing documentation of projects with artists, Where are the tiny revolts? offers other ideas, voices, and references generated by conversations with and about artists.
The first book in the series, informed by themes related to the work of Dodie Bellamy, revolves around questions related to contemporary forms of feminism and sexualities, the rebirth of the author, and ways in which vulnerability, perversion, vulgarity, and self-exposure can be forms of empowerment. The texts cover a broad array of styles, including memoir, theoretical essay, art historical analysis, poetry, and fiction. The visual elements are equally diverse, ranging from photographs to collage to drawing.
Texts by Sara Ahmed, Nicole Archer, Georges Bataille, Dodie Bellamy, Michele Carlson, Thomas Clerc, Combahee River Collective, Bob Flanagan, Ursula K. Le Guin, Johanna Hedva, Glen Helfand, Juliana Huxtable, Alex Kitnick, Julia Kristeva, Audre Lorde, Lisa Robertson; contributions by Marcela Pardo Ariza, Justin G. Binek, Kaucyila Brooke, Tammy Rae Carland, Mary Beth Edelson, Mike Kuchar, Anne McGuire, Patrick Staff, Frances Stark, Rosemarie Trockel.
From Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich to Basma Alsharif and Pauline Oliveros, Deux Soeurs brings together a chorus of voices that explore representations of parenthood, friendship, and disobedience.
The book acts as a reader to artist Beatrice Gibson's films, I Hope I'm Loud When I'm Dead (2018) and Two Sisters Who Are Not Sisters (2019), and includes material that informed Gibson's working process, together with the artist's texts and notes used in both films. Turning to the figure of the poet as a guide in times of chaos, Deux Soeurs presents a framework for an ethics of artistic and social collaboration.
“Xeno” speaks to the turn away from “what is” toward “what could be”: the (as yet) unknown, the alien—having been employed in recent years through such speculative-political approaches as xenofeminism and xenopoetics. Perhaps It Is High Time for a Xeno-architecture to Match documents a conversation series from January to March 2017 that explored what an intervention of the xeno might bring to bear on contemporary and future (infra)structure.
This book aims to unpack the prefix, probing what it entails—not merely rhetorically but also as a means of practice, in an attempt to bring the ideas it contains more concretely into the domain of architecture. It proposes to link the more philosophical discussions on the notion of xeno with questions of instrumentalization and governance that are necessarily involved in the praxis of architecture. And it relates the significance of legal architecture and technologically driven transformation in the metaphysics of law back to the agenda of xeno-architecture. By researching how architects, artists, thinkers, and activists operating in the spatial field might endorse a process of “alienation” to confront global issues, this project attempts to re-radicalize spatial practice.
Contributions by ARMEN AVANESSIAN, BENJAMIN BRATTON, KATHLEEN DITZIG, DANIEL FALB, ANKE HENNING, VICTORIA IVANOVA, MARKUS MIESSEN, LUCIANA PARISI, PATRICIA REED.
This publication emerges from Uriel Orlow's Theatrum Botanicum (2015-18), a multi-faceted project encompassing film, sound, photography, and installation, which looks to the botanical world as a stage for politics. Working from the dual vantage points of South Africa and Europe, the project considers plants as both witnesses to, and dynamic agents in, history. It links nature and humans, rural and cosmopolitan medicine, tradition and modernity across different geographies, histories, and systems of knowledge--exploring the variety of curative, spiritual, and economic powers of plants. The project addresses "botanical nationalism" and "flower diplomacy" during apartheid; plant migration; the role and legacies of the imperial classification and naming of plants; bioprospecting and biopiracy; and the garden planted by Nelson Mandela and his fellow inmates at Robben Island prison.
Jolly Rogers is a collection of Peter Wächtler's latest short texts, written in preparation of his two solo exhibitions at Bergen Kunsthall and Kunsthalle Zürich (both 2019), and combined with a nearly complete collection of the artist's drawings and prints from recent years.
The texts operate like vignettes to a larger story, and the images as unreliable illustrations to the narrative. However, the larger story never really is revealed. Each individual text, each single work, articulates itself by means of an intense focus. It is as if we were suspended in a continual zooming motion, as if the artist and author wanted to tell and show it all. But alas, such is life under the microscope: always larger-than-life, but at the wrong scale at a time driven by individual interests, self-optimization, and egos that stage themselves simultaneously as victims and disruptors.
Peter Wächtler works in a variety of media: bronze, ceramics, drawings and video. But in many ways “stories” could be described as his main artistic material. His works often evoke a narration, with animals or human figures in animated states. They are made in ways that use and adapt elements of fiction and folklore, relating to specific traditions and common tales, and materialize the ways of telling a story as much as the story itself.
Born 1979 in Hannover, Peter Wächtler lives and works in Brussels and Berlin.
Publication focusing on Cantor's final project Pinochet Porn (2008–16)—an epic experimental film taking the form of a soap opera about the intimate life of people under the military dictatorship of Chile. A dramatic, transgressive and explicitly feminist work, embodying and radically extending Cantor's multifaceted artistic practice.
Ellen Cantor combined ready-made materials with diaristic notes and drawings to probe her perceptions and experiences of personal desire and institutional violence. This book is concerned with, and a document of, Cantor's work through the lens of Pinochet Porn (2008–16) and its making—an epic experimental film embodying and radically extending her multifaceted artistic practice. Taking the form of an episodic narrative about five children growing up under the regime of General Augusto Pinochet in Chile, and shot between her dual hometowns of London and New York, history is observed through Cantor's fictive speculations on private experience within a totalizing political order. A history of the world as it has become known to me brings together writings and archival materials of Cantor's, including a reproduction in full of her drawing-based script Circus Lives from Hell (2004), alongside contributions by writers, artists, collaborators, and friends reflecting on Cantor's practice, Pinochet Porn, and a singularly transgressive vision: explicitly feminist, remorselessly emotional, dramatic in tone, and, as Cantor herself liked to put it, adult in subject matter.
A novel by Keren Cytter: an incomplete guide for life.
Each person written about is represented by a letter, and when an object turns into a subject it is marked in bold. The form of life coaching described in this book won't lead the reader to social recognition or financial success. If one of the two occurs after reading this text, it is a coincidence. This book aims to expose the owners of an innocent heart to reality's true structures and to utilize them for spiritual growth so their soul and body evaporate into the abstract. This book was written from the middle. The contents of these pages have been modified numerous times. Notes were taken, ideas were rewritten—the ones that survived bare the most essential guidelines and wisdom for life.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition “Keren Cytter – Selection”, Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien, Graz, from June 11 to September 8, 2016.
A single black-and white photograph taken by Babette Mangolte has come to epitomize New York’s downtown art scene of the 1970s. The dancers performing Trisha Brown’s Roof Piece characterize perfectly the wild spirit of the time. Choreographed as an echo of movement unfolding across SoHo’s rooftops, the dancers mimed the chimneys, water towers, and fire escapes which surrounded them across that skyline. Influenced early on by Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera and the work of Stan Brakhage and Jonas Mekas, Mangolte began studies in 1964 at the renowned École nationale de la photographie et de la cinematographie in Paris, one of the school’s first female students. In 1970, having become disillusioned with the film scene in France, Mangolte moved to New York and became involved in the avant-garde film and dance milieus of the Kitchen and the Anthology Film Archives.
Selected Writings, 1998–2015 is a collection of texts by Mangolte in which she reflects on her practice as a photographer and filmmaker and her collaborative work with filmmakers, artists, dancers, and choreographers. She provides insights into the techniques and methods she created as well as her relationships with notable collaborators such as Marina Abramović, Chantal Akerman, Trisha Brown, and Yvonne Rainer.
Copublished with Kunsthalle Wien on the occasion of the exhibition “Babette Mangolte: I = Eye.”
Six Keren Cytter's scripts for films.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, May 8 – August 15, 2010.
Keren Cytter (born 1977 in Tel Aviv, lives and works in Amsterdam and Berlin) is an Israeli visual artist and filmaker.
An adventure novel based on a true story told in a televised interview by the Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier, describing seven hours in the life of Tibor Klaus Trier—Lars von Trier's father—from the moment that his wife goes into labor early in the morning until Lars is born.
The setting is Copenhagen, dominated by a hospital that recalls von Trier's television series “The Kingdom.” The plot is thick: Tibor arrives with his wife Margaret at the Maternity Ward of Mercy General Hospital, only to realize that he must return home to retrieve a forgotten mobile—his only link to a sister in distress. On the way, he stops to get gas and gets involved in a car robbery. A cancer takes root in his body. Back at home, he sneaks a peak at Margaret's e-mail and a great secret is revealed that makes him rush back to the hospital to kill her and her son. En route he crashes his new car and his body breaks into pieces and he loses his memory. Mercy General is haunted by a great ghost and the day is Armageddon when the ghost needs to challenge the living with an army of zombie children—all born within its walls. Who is this great ghost? What does Margaret hold in her body? Will Tibor survive his one day old cancer? All and more will be revealed…
Translated from the Hebrew by Hillel Roman.
Co-published with Witte de With.
Keren Cytter (born 1977 in Tel Aviv, lives and works in Amsterdam and Berlin) is an Israeli visual artist and filmaker.
A monograph / artists' book that engages with the recent film installations of Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz. Installation shots, research material, scripts, and film stills give an insight into the artists' investigation of performance in film and their dense net of references to experimental film, the history of photography, sound, and underground (drag) performances.
The book's title alludes to an interest in opaque events that are belated, left backstage or off-screen. A number of (fictitious) letters to friends and collaborators such as Sharon Hayes, Yvonne Rainer, Ginger Brooks-Takahashi, and Jack Smith place the work of Boudry & Lorenz in a context of debates around temporalities, activism, the archival, decolonizing practices, and queer histories. Published following the exhibition “Patriarchal Poetry” at the Badischer Kunstverein, September 27– November 24, 2013.
I Want reviews the eponymous duo's double-projection film installation examining issues of gender, sexuality and performativity—and inspired by the words of punk poetess Kathy Acker and convicted whistle-blower Chelsea Manning. This publication documents the major film installation I Want (2015) by collaborative artists Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz, which was presented at their 2015 solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Zürich and Nottingham Contemporary.
The double-projection film installation is based on a script that borrows texts from American punk-poet Kathy Acker (1947-1997), as well as chats and materials by convicted whistle-blower Chelsea Manning that speak of her reasons for revealing nearly one million secret military and diplomatic documents through WikiLeaks, at the same time exposing her transgender identity to her superiors.
Through poetic gestures of appropriation and recombination, Boudry and Lorenz examine issues around gender, sexuality, the performance of identity, and the nature of collaboration. Alongside generous color documentation, written contributions by Gregg Bordowitz, Laura Guy, Dean Spade, and Craig Willse unpack and reflect upon both the historical context and contemporary significance of this multivalent work.
Matter Fictions addresses fiction as a mode of producing reality as well as the significance of matteranimal, vegetable, mineral, hybridbeyond binaries. Recounting a partial history of our relation with matter, the eponymous exhibition at Museu Coleo Berardo (May 4August 21, 2016) explored how the crossover between cosmological narratives, spatial revolutions of concrete poetry, and hypertextual and territorial fictions might impact our understanding of human agency in a time that calls for action on climate change and technocratic policies.
This companion reader features contributions from participating artists and like-minded writers that address the scope of this project as it exceeds the frame of art and the exhibition into the realm of nonhuman ecologies, ontologies, and temporalities.
Contributions by Ursula Biemann, Ccru, Kodwo Eshun, N. Katherine Hayles, Francis McKee, Margarida Mendes, Jussi Parikka, Mariana Silva, Jennifer Teets, and Jason Waite.
rile* is a bookshop and project space for publication and performance. rile* is into poetry, theory, choreography, artist writing and various other text based experiments. rile* organizes performances, meetings, launches, readings... rile* is the base word for silence in Láadan, a feminist constructed language developed by Suzette Haden Elgin in 1982. The language was included in her science fiction Native Tongue series. Láadan contains a number of words that are used to make unambiguous statements that include how one feels about what one is saying. According to Elgin, this is designed to counter language's limitations to those who are forced to respond I know I said that, but I meant this.
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