Madness

By the end of the Middle Ages, madness had replaced leprosy as the illness that existed on the margins of society. Sebastian Brandt’s book Stultifera Navis (Ship of Fools), from 1494, is a symbol of this process. The Ship of Fools wandered the rivers of Europe, and madmen travelled on it to some other world(s). Madness was fascinating because it was a different kind of (forbidden) knowledge related to the end of the world, and Foucault described the ship as a heterotopia: an inventive space, a reservoir of imagination. In the 18th century, when ideas based on reason became the primary source of legitimacy, madness was locked away from the rest of the world. In the so-called “great confinement” process of enlightened absolutism society created a space in which criminals, the poor and the mad were locked up and excluded, kept in a kind of total institution. In the 19th century these houses of confinement were replaced by lunatics’ asylums.

stultifera-navis_ed

First presented at the Glossary of Common Knowledge seminar in Moderna galerija, Ljubljana.

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We are Deserts, But Populated by Tribes, Flora and Fauna

RhR_Laura Lima – pdf

RhR was initiated in its First Movement by Laura Lima who was, at that time, assigned as its administrator; “Laura Lima in the service of RhR”. This did not necessarily mean she was its sole author, because nomenclature did not mean much in such circumstances. Instead RhR was an “instance” which referred to both the instance of thought and the set of actions launched during that process. In the RhR instance Lima worked with the production of a collective body that continually reinvented itself in the landscape, by way of recomposing various bodies in new, experimental couplings and collectivities. So it was not so much about creating work as such but a question of leaving one’s territory and entering another. It was also about finding another language within the art language, a specific need to create barbaric words and from all that realize a new notion, a new concept, with other words, to enter a new territory – a construction, as she put it, “between poetry, reason, madness, existence and power”.
Published in: Laura Lima: On_Off, Editora de Livros Cobogo, Rio de Janeiro, 2014

Politicization of Friendship

In the history of philosophy as well as theory of art there exists a variety of works based on the idea of friendship. The core of our present interest in friendship goes beyond friendship as mere closeness, affinity, affection or a certain consensus of opinion. It actually implies a broader political dimension and consequently even a certain tension and malaise. The exact nature of this dimension, the way it manifests itself in relation to friendship and, last but not least, the way it affects art, are questions that both this text and the exhibition seek to answer.

Politicization of Friendship – pdf

Written for the exhibition Politicization of Friendship, Moderna galerija (MG+MSUM), Ljubljana

30. Nov ’93 – Pieter Brueghel in the letters of my father

In his book Images in Spite of All philosopher Didi-Huberman wrote that in order to know, we must imagine for ourselves. So, what do we imagine when watching Ibro Hasanović’s short film made in 2013? Are we watching an artistic film or a homemade video that was originally recorded on a VHS tape by Hasanović’s father Hamdija back in November 1993? There is no written explanation about this piece, except a short notice by the artist that says: Video made out of the “VHS letter” that my father sent me during the war in Bosnia.

Ibro Hasanovic – pdf

Barši

Barši – pdf

Flying across South America in 1929, Le Corbusier observed the great rivers of the Parana, the Uruguay, and the Paraguay from the air. From above, the land appeared in entirely new configurations, and the meanders of the great rivers made evident the ways in which a natural force contends with the laws of nature. Le Corbusier was so fascinated by this he applied the idea of meander also to human thinking: “Following the outlines of a meander from above, I understood the difficulties met in human affairs, the dead ends in which they get stuck and the apparently miraculous solutions that suddenly resolve apparently inextricable situations.”

Exercise in Affects

Exercise in Affects – pdf

What is power, what is the relationship between power and art? To be more precise the question should be asked differently: “How is it [power] practiced?” This is undoubtedly a difficult if not impossible question. By it we do not mean some kind of representation of power (“power does not pass through forms”) nor the notion of power as a solely aesthetic experience. Neither is power interpreted as a system of certain relations that call its internal operations into being, as for example museums’ legitimation to produce what they name (works of art), making rules establishing what is meaningful, who has the authority to decide, privilege to speak, and so on. Instead we are interested in something else. Power, as will be emphasized in the continuation of this text, is understood as a relation between forces, “a set of actions upon other actions”; in other words, an exercise in affects.