Piet Zwart Institute presents Speechless: The Proximity of Gesture, Philosophy and Ci
Piet Zwart Institute

Piet Zwart Institute

Kellom Tomlinson, The Art of Dancing Explained by Reading and Figures (1735).

Lisa Robertson, Visiting Artist at California College of the Arts, San Francisco (Nov. 3, 2008, 19.30h)
Anselm Franke, Curator, Extra-City, Antwerp, and Manifesta 7 in Trento (Nov. 18, 2008, 19.30h)
Diedrich Diederichsen, Professor of Theory, Practice and Communication of Contemporary Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna (March 12, 19.30h)
Marc Camille Chaimowicz, artist, teaches at University of Reading and L’Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Dijon, with Roger Cook, Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies of the University of London (Spring 2009, date tba)

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what kind of speech is it producing? Does film recover what escapes the frame of a photograph? Or is it a matter of re-thinking what an image or a representation is, and how the making of an image, or a figure, or text, both captures and releases physical phenomena? From the early experiments on walking by Gilles de la Tourette to Jeff Tremaine’s “Jackass”, from Berthold Brecht to Catherine Breillat, from Martha Graham to Rubber Johnny, and from and the sequenced photographs of ordinary human activities by Edward Muybridge to Santiago Sierra’s labour performances, a shift in the way vision has been transformed by technologies of capture has had tangible effects on how we sense and understand the production of meaning as well as social and political relations.

This thematic project will be centred on a close reading of “Notes on Gesture,” a short but rich text by Italian philosopher, Giorgio Agamben. Agamben is known for his poetic use of figures, images and historical accounts to illuminate his philosophy. “Notes on Gesture” focuses on how the use of such aesthetic and poetic means of representation reveals a potential for thinking about cinema, gesture, and media in relation to politics as the “sphere of pure means”. The public lectures will contribute to a discussion of a “means without end” as the practice of a politics of gesture.

Piet Zwart Institute
Postgraduate Studies and Research
MA Fine Art
Willem de Kooning Academy/Rotterdam University
Mauritsstraat 36
3012 CJ Rotterdam
[email protected]


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October 31, 2008