A Culture Beyond Crisis? Curating in a Time of Violence A one-day conference across the fields of arts, politics and philosophy

Goethe-Institut and CalArts School of Critical Studies

The challenge of curating art in a global context highlights significant problems that cut across the terrains of art, politics, and media culture. The Goethe-Institut Los Angeles and CalArts School of Critical Studies have invited key international speakers from the disciplines of media theory and global studies, curation, and art practice to explore and investigate issues around curation in a closed scholarly symposium on Friday, October 24 which will be followed by a one-day public conferenceopen to all— across the fields of arts, politics, and philosophy on Saturday, October 25. 

Featured participants will include Zeina Barakeh, Bassam El Baroni, Amanda Beech, Chandra Khan, Matthias Lilienthal, Sohrab Mohebbi, Reza Negarestani, Rijin Sahakian, Mohammad Salemy, James WiltgenTirdad Zolghadr, and Fareed Majari

In a world that welcomes the plurality of difference as its primary ethical and representational framework, we face residual and often irresolvable contradictions. These include competing comprehensions of what determines art's politics in the global ecology of art, the issue of how art is deployed to ameliorate social crises under the auspices of neo-liberal marketization, and how the concept of the political in the majority is globally conditions upon faith in the non-representational image. 

The curatorial issues that perennially foreground an art world critique extend to social and political questions as to how we organize the image and in turn, how the image organizes us. Taking up the question of the curatorial as the problem of social organization, we seek to explore the role that images play in the production of communities, antagonisms, and the organizational systems of a political life, in order to ask how we might conceive of a future that exceed the apparent limitations of the present and the condition of perpetual conflict? Considering the role of the media image in the formation of collectivity and dissent, exemplified particularly through the lens of the Middle East and the Arab Spring, we interrogate the possibility of if and how these structural and formal differences in the means by which we communicate have any affect upon the development of new paradigms of community, other manifestations of culture, new comprehensions of the political and crucially, whether they can enable different considerations of these category forms and relations. The question of the crisis of culture, its organization and administration, and the crisis of the political are now mapped onto each other. Can we think beyond crisis in this time of violence? 

Organized by Fareed Majari, Director of Goethe-Institut Los Angeles; Dr. Amanda Beech, Dean of Critical Studies at CalArts; James Wiltgen, Critical Studies, CalArts; and Chandra Khan, Critical Studies, CalArts. 

Image Credit: Composite of video stills from Rabih Mroue's The Pixelated Revolution (2012). Commissioned and produced by dOCUMENTA (13), with the support of Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut/Hamburg. Courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut/Hamburg.

Sat 10.25 10:30AM – 7PM

this event is free

for a schedule, more information, and to RSVP, visit goethe.de/losangeles

Please RSVP no later than Tuesday, October 22.


Goethe-Institut Los Angeles

5750 Wilshire Blvd Suite 100
Los Angeles, CA 90036