Thursday 7 March 2013, 5pm.
UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies / eMigrating Landcapes Project
invites you for a lecture
Discussion afterword will be held by Joanna Rajkowska
Wednesday 13 March 2013, 5-7 pm.
Room Senior Common Room, 4th floor
UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies
16 Taviton Street, London WC1H 0BW
For further details please contact: email@example.com
About the lectures:
Like the structure of language that relies on negative differentiation so does cartography rely of division and navigation. Derrida’s statement that “Boundaries, whether narrow or expanded are nothing more that the limits of the possible” exemplifies this perception of national geographies.
Geography is knowledge – who we are, where we are – what our heritages and allegiances are – has always been linked to geography. The proposed concept of ‘exhausted geographies’ is a concept that is trying to work against the grain of both the boundaries of the possible and of location as the site of identity and knowledge.
Irit Rogoff is a writer, curator, and organizer working at the intersection of contemporary art, critical theory, and emergent political manifestations. She is Professor of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, London University where she heads the PhD in Curatorial/Knowledge program and the MA in Global Arts program. Rogoff has written extensively on geography, globalization, and contemporary participatory practices in the expanded field of art. A collection of recent essays, Unbounded—Limits’ Possibilities, is published in 2012 with e-flux journal/ Sternberg and her new book, Looking Away—Participating Singularities, Ontological Communities, comes out in 2013. Rogoff lives and works in London.
WHERE THE BEAST IS BURIED
A giant artificial palm tree erected in the heart of Central Europe, an eradicated language reborn in a public square in Turkey, a child born for the city at the Berlin Biennale, an artificial volcano “erupting” in a Swedish town: Joanna Rajkowska’s approach to art in public spaces is as idiosyncratic as it is complex. Possibly the strongest artistic voice emerging out of Poland today, she works with and within charged contexts in order to shift our aesthetic, ideological and cultural expectations about the places we inhabit, the ways we inhabit them and, consequently, each other. Rajkowska’s strategies, based on the human body, its position in the public space and positioning towards other human bodies, redefine the definitions of the political, the community and relations inside them.
Rajkowska’s unique artistic vision and methodology combines subjective narratives and critical discourses with a deeply felt concern for the spaces in which her works appear and the people they touch. Instead of simply invading or occupying public spaces, she blurs the identities and hidden tensions associated with them, navigating around communal dreams and fears. Historical trauma, cultural discourse, aesthetic relevance and geopolitical references all blend in her works in ways which both distress and heal, challenge and resolve, attack and absolve. Rajkowska deals with all these issues on an intuitive level, digging for desires and myths in ways which are not spoken of directly, far from a discursive level which would disrupt the physical and emotional realms involved. Her works resist interpretations which could offer simple solutions to complex problems. Instead, they are conceived of as social utopias to be tested in practice and frameworks for individuals or communities to experience, discuss and give meaning to.
WHERE THE BEAST IS BURIED is the first English-language book about Joanna Rajkowska and her unique practice of work in public space, in extremely diverse cultures and geographies: from Konya in Anatolia, through Warsaw and Berlin up to Curitiba in Brazil. A collection of stories, essays, interviews and images covers her best-known projects. The most intimate insight into them offer her own stories, which form a dramatic enquiry into both the personal and the conceptual roots of her work.
‘Joanna Rajkowska explores urban spaces and experiential stories. Her concern is with the regeneration of ‘atrophied’ public spaces and their political and social histories. Rajkowska’s art offers new ways of experiencing space and sociality, whether in Berlin, Warsaw, the West Bank, Turkey, Peterborough, London or Copenhagen. She is one of the most significant women creating public art in today’s art world.’
‘To be able to arrive in a city, without the need to feel you had to belong there, but still with the sense that your arrival changes something about the city so that it won‘t be the same as it was before you came: how does this work?’
TABLE OF CONTENTS
2. Joanna’s Stories / BODY
3. List of projects / SPIRIT
4. Essays and conversations / MIND
EXCERPT FROM BOOK
I’m like a dog which, once it has picked up a scent, goes in the right direction and digs up a decent bone. But when I lose the scent, I lose myself completely. In the mid-1990s, when I started developing a more conscious way of working, all the markers led me towards public art.
The point at which I made some radical personal decisions brought about a revolution. It turned out that, although I had been fixated for years on my own inabilities, I am primarily a herd animal, a social activist and hands-on artist, all in one. And that nothing interested me more than communities and how they are organised, that is, how people are with people. In summary, I now know where the bone is buried.
The world is not a complicated mechanism, it is not architecture, the world is a monster. Unpredictable in its actions and beyond comprehension. Even if we humans believe that we are able to control its movements, it is an illusion. In Eastern Europe, where I come from, people know very well that the monster is ready to devour them at any time, that instead of negotiating with it, it is better to curse it, or just passively submit to its violence.
One of the strategies of public art that I developed through years of working in the public space of post-communist Eastern Europe is the assumption that a sense of power is generated at the very moment of real, physical contact with the project. It is not a moment of control. It is rather a moment of acceptance of oneself in a particular place, time and in given circumstances. Thus confidence and subjectivity are built. And this is when people start to look around themselves more carefully and see each other in a completely different context. The essence of my practice lies in the unifying effect that an unfamiliar object can have on fragmented or antagonistic communities. Unfamiliarity becomes a new, shared point of reference that irreversibly changes the relations between people.
Celem konferencji Ta sama Europa? Inna literatura? Współczesna proza europejska, która odbyła się w Instytucie Cervantesa i Instytucie Goethego w Warszawie 14 i 15 listopada 2008 roku, oraz niniejszej publikacji pokonferencyjnej było i jest rozpoznanie oraz promowanie zjawisk zachodzących w najnowszych literaturach europejskich, a także wypracowanie wspólnej przestrzeni dialogu między tymi literaturami. Cieszymy się, że nasza konferencja stała się przestrzenią umożliwiającą wypowiedzenie się tym badaczom, którzy śledzą zmiany zachodzące w literaturach różnych krajów i rejestrują nie tylko najpopularniejsze, ale i najciekawsze zjawiska literackie współczesności.
Książka, którą oferujemy czytelnikowi, stanowi zapis spotkania literatur i literaturoznawców, pisarzy, tłumaczy i wydawców, przedstawia literaturę pozostającą poza literackim mainstreamem, zarówno polską, jak i obcą.
Justyna Czechowska i Anna Kramek-Klicka
The Eagle Unbowed: Poland and the Poles in the Second World War – review.
Allen Lane, 768pp, £30
It is a fact occasionally acknowledged that British schoolchildren spend too much time studying the Second World War. That they do, however, is hardly surprising. Britain’s war record can be summarised in half a dozen words – started nobly; continued pluckily; ended victoriously – which makes life nice and easy for teachers.
While reading The Eagle Unbowed, Halik Kochanski’s history of the war in Poland, I tried to create a similar summary for the Poles. Poland’s war started badly with the German invasion. It got worse when the Soviet Union joined in. It got even worse when Britain and France stood by and watched while their ally got dismembered. Then it got worse still.
read more here
The Liberal Democrats are warning their Tory coalition partners against acting in a discriminatory manner as ministers draw up plans to impose welfare restrictions when Romanians and Bulgarians are given full travel rights across the EU next year.
As MEPs from the two countries claimed they were being treated as “second-class Europeans”, Lib Dems said Britain must act within EU law which says that Romanians and Bulgarians must be treated like all EU citizens from next year.
March 13, Wednesday CSR 5 pm.
Irit Rogoff lecture (visual art, emigration and freedom?)
A lecture on borders and freedom as seen in contemporary art
Commentary and discussion with Polish artist Joanna Rajkowska
See: Exhausted Geographies
March 20, Wednesday, room 433, 5 pm.
A meeting with the authors hosted by Urszula Chowaniec. The discussion and commentary by Tim Beasley-Murray and Agata Pyzik.
May 13, Monday CSR 5 pm.
eMigration outside and within the borders.
Dialogues on contemporary poetry and notions of the emigrating writer.
Genowefa Jakubowska-Fiałkowska and Wioletta Grzegorzewska.
A meeting with the authors hosted by translator and editor Marek Kazmierski.
June 20, Tuesday CSR 5 pm.
Polish eMigrants: the notion of generation in the poetry of Maria Jastrzębska and the prose of Marek Kazmierski.
The commentary and discussion by the poet and artist Steven Fowler.