nGbK Lectures 2018

2 March–31 December 2018

Event Series


Oliver Marchart, Nora Sternfeld

Members initiative

The format “nGbK lectures” was initiated in 2016. In panels and discussions the nGbK will intervene in the public debate, formulate statements, offer solidarity or voice outrage. At irregular intervals, members of the nGbK organise evening events dedicated to cultural-political issues.

Friday, 2 March 2018, 19h (DE)
nGbK event space, 1st floor
Welche Welt? Welche Kunst? Und welche Ausstellungen? [Which world? Which art? And which exhibitions?] – Large-scale exhibitions between dissident claim, artistic freedom, political access and economic exploitation
Nora Sternfeld

Words of welcome: Ingo Arend, nGbK Board
To whom does the documenta belong? This has become an increasingly contested question in the past years. On the one hand, the documenta has been reclaimed by a global art field with its stakes, discourses and markets; on the other, it has been promoted and defended in the media and in politics as a German brand (perhaps like VW, Nivea or the German national football team). The art it featured this past summer was much discussed, described in the arts pages of German newspapers as unaesthetic and by right-wing politicians as “distorted”. Every large-scale art show prompts the encounter of structurally differing, conflicting goals: economic interests, location issues, local patriotism, resentments, attempts at seeking the upper hand in cultural-theoretical discourses, but also artistic-curatorial rigorousness and intellectual-political ambitions to shift what can be expressed, presented and viewed. Against this background, what is the freedom that needs to be defended? And what can be expected from large-scale exhibitions in a neoliberal world that is becoming fascist in many places?

Nora Sternfeld is Professor for Curating and Mediating Art at the Aalto University in Helsinki and designated documenta Professor at the Kunsthochschule Kassel. She is a member of the Vienna-based office trafo. K that works on research and mediation projects at the intersections of education, art and critical knowledge production (with Ines Garnitschnig, Renate Höllwart und Elke Smodics).
She is furthermore a member of the directing team of /ecm – educating, curating, managing – master’s study course for exhibition theory and practice at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and belongs to the core team of the Viennese network Schnittpunkt. Ausstellungstheorie & Praxis. She also belongs to Freethought, Platform for Research, Education and Production (with Irit Rogoff, Stefano Harney, Adrian Heathfield, Mao Mollona, and Louis Moreno). In this context, she was one of the artistic directors of the Bergen Assembly 2016.
She has published on contemporary art, mediation, exhibition theory, policies of history, and antiracism. Nora Sternfeld is the author of “Das Pädagogische Unverhältnis. Lehren und Lernen bei Rancière, Gramsci und Foucault” (Vienna, 2009), and “Kontaktzonen der Geschichtsvermittlung. Transnationales Lernen über den Holocaust in der postnazistischen Migrationsgesellschaft”, (Vienna, 2013), as well as co-editor of numerous readers.

WEdnesday, 18 April 2018, 19h (DE)
nGbK event space, 1st floor
Art as Conflict. The Aesthetics of Artistic Activism
Oliver Marchart

Words of welcome: Ingo Arend, nGbK Board
Oliver Marchart presents theses on an aesthetics of the political. His lecture focuses on the relationship between artistic and political practice, the production of the public sphere and the function of strategies of propaganda, agitation and organisation. Based on examples, Marchart grants a sneak preview of his book ‘Conflictual Aesthetics. Artistic Activism and the Public Sphere‘ to be published by Sternberg this summer.

Oliver Marchart is Professor of Political Theory at the University of Vienna and currently Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study of the University of Konstanz. From 2012 to 2016, he was Professor for the Sociology of Art at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. His publications include: Hegemonie im Kunstfeld. Die documenta-Ausstellungen dX, D11, d12 und die Politik der Biennalisierung (König 2008), Die politische Differenz. Zum Denken des Politischen bei Nancy, Lefort, Badiou, Laclau und Agamben (Suhrkamp 2010), Das unmögliche Objekt. Eine postfundamentalistische Theorie der Gesellschaft (Suhrkamp 2013), and Der unmögliche Horizont. Politik und Ethik radikaler Demokratie (forthcoming).