MSUM: Lecture. STEPHEN WRIGHT: Just Art (dialectics of autonomy)

Davour Zare, Authentic Tension, video still, 2012

Friday, 25 January 2013, at 6 p.m.
You are kindly invited to attend the lecture by art theorist and writer Stephen Wright on Friday, 25 january 2013, at 6 p.m. at the conference room of the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova.

The lecture is organized in the framework of the Dear Art exhibition curated by the What, How and for Whom / WHW collective. The exhibition is on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova until 24 February 2013. The lecture will be in English.
It is often argued that the downside of autonomous art is that it is, well... just art. Not the corrosive, perhaps dangerous, real thing. Is it not for this reason that an increasing number of practitioners are ramping up their practices to the 1:1 scale, venturing out of the safe frames of the artworld to engage with other lifeworlds? While this escapological drive certainly bears enquiry, the very notion of "just art" may also need rethinking. In Here and Perhaps Elsewhere, Jean-Luc Godard famously quips that "this is not a just image, it is just an image". One may hear a slightly twisted echo of that claim in Giorgio Agamben's powerful notion of "bare life", that one might also translate as "mere" or "just life". Stripped of all legal protection, in its very vulnerability, life becomes a form of concrete resistance. So what about art? Is it possible to imagine a positive politics (of art), which would underscore that what gives art power is not that it identifies with life to such an extent as to be indistinguishable from it, but rather that it is mere art. Just art.

Stephen Wright is a Paris-based art theorist and writer, whose writing focuses on the conditions of possibility and use of art-related practices without objecthood, authorship or spectatorship.

The lecture is kindly supported by the Instutut France Ljubljana.

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