[spectre] A FIESTA OF TOUGH CHOICES -a festival-inspired exhibition with two seminars: 4-12.3 (Modified by Geert Lovink)

Henrik Högberg hh at iaspis.com
Tue Feb 28 10:01:52 CET 2006

-a festival-inspired exhibition with two seminars
At Iaspis
Jakobsgatan 27, 4th floor, Stockholm
Seminar: Saturday  4 and 11 March 2006, 14-20
Exhibition: 4-12 March 2006, mon - sun 12-18, wed 12-19 or by 
RVSP: at at iaspis.com or + 46 (0)8 402 35 76
Timothy Brennan, critic, author, professor (Minneapolis), Loulou 
Cherinet, artist
(Addis Ababa/Stockholm), Peter Geschwind, artist (Stockholm), Jonathan 
Harris, art-historian and professor (Liverpool), Edda Manga, researcher 
History of Thought  (Uppsala/Cairo/Gothenburg/Bogota), Philippe 
Parreno, artist (Paris), Kate Rich, artist and bar-manager (Bristol), 
Natascha Sadr Haghighian, artist (Berlin), Hito Steyerl, artist, 
theorist, lecturer (Berlin/Vienna/London), Måns Wrange, artist, 
professor (Stockholm).
Concept: Maria Lind, director Iaspis (Stockholm) & Tirdad Zolghadr, 
freelance critic, curator and event co-organizer (Zürich/Tehran).
Multiculturalism is easy to dismiss. For the right, it poses a threat 
to tradition and national identity. For the left, it often means food 
festivals, post-Marxist culturalism, or reactionary community 
spokesmen. As in discussions on globalisation, perhaps the jist of the 
problem lies in the tools at our disposal, the critical terminology, 
which is awkward at best, dangerous at worst. Following the government 
declaration of Year of Cultural Diversity 2006, we looked to theorists 
and practitioners with a talent for challenging standard terminologies 
and reassessing their critical potential. If a prominent example is the 
recent notion of the multitude, as formulated by Antonio Negri & 
Michael Hardt, keynote speaker Timothy Brennan’s use of cosmopolitanism 
is a reconsideration of an older concept to critique new developments 
in academia and the cultural industries.   
Another example is that of Ethnic Marketing, a term commonly used for 
marketing strategies targeting a non-White market. Used by Tirdad 
Zolghadr and Måns Wrange the term Ethnic marketing allows the host 
country -in this case Sweden- to be viewed as a specific ethnic 
populace with a specific buying power and demand - for a specific type 
of multiculturalism to begin with. The point in the Ethnic Marketing 
show is to turn this on its head and view various White markets as 
ethnicities themselves that one can cater to with various types of 
cultural concepts and commodities - including various types of 
multicultural credentials, visions and ideals. One of the very aims of 
this festival-inspired seminar is to discern what this Swedish brand 
might be. Does it play with universalist aspirations, or does it share 
the more fashionable notions of Other but Equal?  
One vital critical discourse regarding multiculturalism is that of 
Postcolonial theory, the academic trend which surfaced in the 1980s, 
and which, among other things, analysed the complicity of Western 
intellectual traditions with various forms of colonialism, old and new. 
In the course of its swift institutionalisation, has this movement 
spawned a newer, updated version of that complicity? What are the 
perils of academic engagement, and other top-down gestures of goodwill? 
Finally, what can the artworld contribute to this debate? Is it enough 
to critique the streamlined government decrees? Are there possibilities 
of being more cooperative, or is the artworld at odds with mainstream 
engagements? The instrumentalisation of the visual arts has been 
decried by critics for decades, and the boom in art & culture events 
dubbed “international festivals”, for one, seems to confirm this 
suspicion. But does a festival necessarily result in a crude reduction 
of subject matter, or does it possibly harbour critical potential? 
Again, when addressing these facets of multiculturalism here and now, 
it is crucial that the actual language of the debate - the bedrock of 
the internationalist conundrum - be examined once again.
Seminar 1 – Saturday, 4 March
14.00         Introduction by Iaspis director Maria Lind
14.15         Edda Manga, researcher Uppsala University
                   The tolerant racism of multiculturalism
15.00         Natascha Sadr Haghighian, artist
16.00         Kate Rich, artist and bar manager
                   Feral Trade Catering
16.30         Coffee
17.00         Tirdad Zolghadr, freelance critic and curator
How Can it Hurt You if it Looks so Good - Multiculturalism from an 
Ethnic Marketing Perspective
18.00         Loulou Cherinet, Stockholm-based Iaspis resident artist
             A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, Glubdubdribb, Luggnagg and 
             - The Discovery and Use of an African Identity 
18.30         Discussion
19.30         Bar and refreshments
Day 2 – Saturday 11 March
14.00         Timothy Brennan, Critic, Author and Professor 
                   The Sublimation of Poverty
15.00         Hito Steyerl, artist, theorist, lecturer and future 
Iaspis resident artist
             From Ethnicity to Ethics 
16.00         Coffee
16.30         Jonathan Harris, Professor University of Liverpool
                   The Aestheticisation of Politics? Assessing 
Perspectives on Contemporary Art, State-Corporatism, and Late 
Capitalist Culture in a New Age of Empire
17.30         Måns Wrange, artist and professor and Tirdad Zolghadr, 
freelance critic, curator Workshop Ethnic Marketing
18.30         Discussion
19.30         Bar and refreshments
For more information please contact Ann Traber at at at iaspis.com or 
visit or website www.iaspis.com

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