Odds & Ends VI – “It’s time we made a start…”

The Discovery Award – a chance to view and vote

The LOOP video art festival and art fair have established the Discovery Award “to support and recognize the recent production of videos and films by international artists through a free open call”.  The exhibition featuring the finalist projects will be included in the program of LOOP.  There’s an online video channel screening the films selected for the second stage of the competition that enables the audience to vote until 18 May for the ten works to be included in the exhibition.  The online channel can be viewed here.

Adrian Melis’ Surplus Production Line (2014)

Linea de producción por excedente exploring the shifting politics of labour within the framework of neo-liberalism, in which employees and job-seekers are forced into harsh competition with each other and alienating them from their personal feelings. Melis started a private company in Amsterdam…[read more here].”

Courtesy of Adrian’s vimeo site here (thanks to the Discovery Award for drawing the film to our attention).


Harun Farocki ‘On The Documentary’

We documentarians often make Direct Cinema films. We look for events that occur as if they had been staged for a film. At the same time, we have to prove that we have found something and recorded it without writing or staging it. We might montage a sentence without the first words, or film a door half open—preferably not due to constraint, but to calculation.” Harun Farocki, read more here.

Thanks to e-flux and Trafic.

JJ Charlesworth on Why Art World Hypocrisy Stars at the 56th Venice Biennale

A polemic worth reading and discussing.

“What the Biennale doesn’t want to investigate is the mystery of its own creation. Why should it? Who really needs this vast moot for an increasingly homogenous and international style of slightly-political, issues-based art? Not the visiting public, for sure–we’ll look at anything, but we’re not the ones making it happen. No, who really needs it is the new global class of cultural entrepreneurs for which art has become a truly international opportunity, as the emerging economic regions seek to assert themselves on the world stage through the vehicle of the new global art culture. But however political these curators and artists think themselves, the art itself changes absolutely nothing. The Chinese still need oil, the European Union still shuts the door on immigrants, Libyans still drown in ships sinking in sight of the coast of Italy–little more than subject matter for yet more self-regarding political art.” J J Charlesworth, read more here.

Thanks to ArtNet.

A Few Post-UK Elections reflections from Marx

“Where it has come to power the bourgeoisie has obliterated all relations that were feudal, patriarchal, idyllic.  It has pitilessly severed the motley bonds of feudalism that joined men to their natural superiors, and has left intact no other bond between one man and another than naked self-interest, unfeeling ‘hard cash’.  It has drowned the ecstasies of religious fervour, of zealous chivalry, of philistine sentiment in the icy waters of egoistic calculation.  It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of countless attested and hard-won freedoms it has established a single freedom – conscienceless free trade.  In a word, for exploitation cloaked by religious and political illusions, it has substituted unashamed, direct, brutal exploitation.” Marx and Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party.
“Philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways, the point is to change it.” Marx, Early Political Writings.

And from Simon Critchley – “It is time we made a start”

“No revolution is going to be generated out of systemic or structural laws.  We are on our own and what we do we have to do for ourselves.  Politics requires subjective invention, imagination and endurance, not to mention tenacity and cunning.  No ontology or eschatological philosophy of history is going to it for us.  Working at an interstitial distance from the state a distance that I have tried to describe as democratic, we need to construct political subjectivities that are not arbitrary or relativistic, but which are articulations of an ethical demand whose scope is universal and whose evidence is faced in a concrete situtation.  This is dirty, detailed, local, practical and largely unthrilling work.  It is time we made a start.”  Simon Critchley, Infinitely Demanding – Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance, p.132.

Karen Mirza, Brad Butler’s Everything for Everyone and Nothing for Us (2014)

Everything for Everyone and Nothing for Us is set in a TV studio, where a protester-in-training listens to audio extracts from a political speech by Margaret Thatcher. Having absorbed the sounds, the protester uses movement to exorcise Thatcher’s voice, retraining the body to resist capitalism.” Brad Butler.

Courtesy of Karen and Brad’s vimeo site here (thanks to the Discovery Award for drawing the film to our attention).