Thu 5 March 2020 | 8:00 pm - 11:30 pm
1:1 - HaSharon 4, Tel Aviv,

Art Beyond Art in the Age of Rising Fascism
Kuba Szreder
Thursday 5.3.2020, 20:00
1:1 Center for Art and Politics
4 Hasharon St., Tel-Aviv

In theory, art cannot move beyond itself anymore than a person can step outside themselves. In practice, artists, post-artists, and not-not-artists move beyond what is usually deemed as art proper in response to such urgencies as the rise of fascism or climate catastrophe. They not only produce paintings, they also bring them to demonstrations. They use their talents to not only to hone marketable portfolios, but also to engage meaningfully in the creative struggles of life today (to paraphrase Rasheed Araeen). They not only spin in artistic networks, but also actualise artistic ideas in multiple social contexts.

In the process, artworkers transgress binaries that typically orient both theoretical disputes and artistic practices, perennially bouncing between autonomy and instrumentalization, fine and applied arts, meaning and function, or aesthetics and use. Paradoxically, the very same binaries are evoked to justify exploitative art markets that cater mainly to the one percent, as if art is more autonomous when used to whitewash tarnished reputations, rather than brought to demos.

I will revisit some of these debates by discussing artistic practices embedded in the Anti-fascist Year in Poland, a country-wide initiative promoted by a coalition of public institutions, NGOs, social movements, art collectives, individual artists and activists. Amongst many other examples, I will talk about the Demonstration of Paintings, an anti-fascist re-enactment conducted by the Consortium for Postartistic Practices in March 2019 in Warsaw. The performance actualised a previously unrealised vision of a Polish-Jewish modernist painter Henryk Streng, who in 1934 created a painting under the very same name.

KUBA SZREDER is a researcher, lecturer and independent curator, based in Warsaw, working as an associate professor at the department for art theory of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. He co-curated many interdisciplinary projects, such as Making Use. Life in Postartistic Times (together with Sebastian Cichocki, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw 2016). He actively cooperates with artistic unions, consortia of post-artistic practitioners, clusters of art-researchers, art collectives and artistic institutions in Poland, UK, and other European countries. In 2009 he initiated Free / Slow University of Warsaw, with which he completed several inquiries into the current conditions of artistic labor. In 2018, together with Kathrin Bohm, he established the Centre for Plausible Economies in London, a research cluster investigating artistic economies. Editor and author of books, catalogues, chapters and articles tackling such issues as the political economy of global artistic circulation, art strikes, modes of artistic self-organization, instituting art beyond art market and the use value of art. Currently working on an English edition of his book ABC of Projectariat (2016), a critique of the political economy of artistic circulation.

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