ARE YOU ALIVE OR NOT? Looking at ART through the lens of THEATRE . February 18: Act 1, scene 5. A short interview with publisher Solange de Boer by Gabriëlle Schleijpen, a lecture by theorist Johan Hartle and an artist lecture by choreographer Mårten Spångberg. Studium Generale Rietveld Academie & Rietveld Uncut 2015

17.02.15 | tag: Amsterdam

In January, February and March 2015, through talks, readings, discussions, performances, workshops, film screenings and an exhibition of student work, Studium Generale Rietveld Academie* & Rietveld Uncut** are collaborating on an extensive, artistic research trajectory.
Entrance free.

Enter: The Emancipated Spectator (Solange de Boer and Gabriëlle Schleijpen), Guy Debord and Jacques Rancière (Johan Hartle), Claire Bishop, Jean-François Lyotard, Jacques Rancière and Mårten Spångberg (Mårten Spångberg)

1 3 . 30 – 1 5 . 3 0
A short interview with publisher Solange de Boer by Gabriëlle Schleijpen, a lecture by theorist Johan Hartle and an artist lecture by renowned choreographer Mårten Spångberg
1 5 . 4 5 – 1 7 . 15
Beamclub screening of The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord (1973) (87min). In his 1967 book The Society of the Spectacle and his 1973 film of the same name the French intellectual Guy Debord criticizes capitalist society in a series of brief theses.

Reading Rancière in your Mother Tongue

In his text The Emancipated Spectator Jacques Rancière, one of today's leading French philosophers, reveals how the idea that in our consumer culture audiences are bound to passively absorb art and culture, has led contemporary artists and theatre makers to a variety of attempts to activate their audiences. The spectator would thus become an 'emancipated' member of the cultural community. But Rancière offers a radically different perspective on spectatorship.

Since Rancière's books are written in French, most of us need to read them in a translated version. Today nearly all texts of any importance are widely available in English - the 'lingua franca' of our globalized world. Why then, would someone dedicate all her time and passion to the contextualization, publication and dissemination of seminal theoretical texts (like Rancière's The Emancipated Spectator), translated in her mother tongue which is shared by not more than 23 million speakers worldwide?

Solange de Boer is the founding director of publishing house Octavo publicaties. Octavo publishes Dutch translations of texts at the cutting edge of art, politics, and philosophy. The catalogue includes both classic and contemporary titles. Octavo stands for authoritative translations and well-designed but affordable books.

Octavo published landmark books by Friedrich Schiller, Jacques Rancière, Serge Daney, Theodor W. Adorno, Alain Badiou and Boris Groys, to be continued with translations of texts by Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, Didi-Huberman, Giorgio Agamben and many others.

The Critique of Spectacle

Guy Debord is one of the most provocative figures of 20th century art, politics, and theory – also and because of his insistence on the unity of these three different forms of intervention. Being at the very center of the Situationist International and an influential avant-garde filmmaker, his importance for the recent history of art can hardly be overstated.
Debord’s position, however, leaves a number of questions open. One central problem concerns the possibility of social critique. According to Debord’s theory of the spectacle individuals are alienated from their own lives, blocked from socially meaningful practice. This opens up a number of questions: How can alienated individuals possibly reclaim their political power? How can we politically intervene and build alternatives if the ‘spectacle’ deprives us of this capacity?

By recapitulating Jacques Rancière’s critique of Debord's theory of the spectacle in The Emancipated Spectator, Johan Hartle’s lecture will critically assess the importance of Debord for the present and point out some basic tensions of contemporary social criticism.

Johan Hartle works at the philosophy department of the University of Amsterdam (UvA). He is interested in the continuity of cultural Marxism in contemporary art, theory and politics and on figures of immanent critique in contemporary artistic practice. One of the specific interests of his art critical work is the recurrence of Marx in contemporary Fine Arts (such as in the work of Alfredo Jaar, Pedro Reyes, Rainer Ganahl, Phil Collins and others). He is currently working on a book on the visual politics of Red Vienna.

Another Part of Hell
It’s not a matter of life or death but existence.

In this lecture choreographer Mårten Spångberg will open up his work through a problematisation of aesthetic experience in contemporary Western society, reanimating a Kantian project in order to bypass engaged art practices and neoliberal forms of instrumentalisation. Departing from 2004, Rancière's Emancipated Spector and aesthetic sensibility, a pathway will be opened to connect with Lyotard’s approach to aesthetic experience producing a rift in the post-structural obsession with conceptual practices, cognition and critique in favour of art as concept, sensual affirmation and embodiment. Thus sketching a speculative dynamic to aesthetic practices, in particular in respect of omnipresent capitalism and relational value.

Mårten Spångberg is a choreographer living and working in Stockholm. His interests concern choreography in an expanded field, something that he has approached through experimental practices and creative processes in a multiplicity of formats and expressions. He has been active on stage as performer and creator since 1994, and from 1999 onward he has created his own choreographies, from solos to large scale works, which have toured the world. Mårten Spångberg has thorough experience in teaching, both theory and practice and he was director for the MA program in choreography at the University of Dance in Stockholm from 2008 till 2012. In 2011 his first book, "Spangbergianism" was published.


January 7 - January 14 - January 21 - January 4 - January 11 - February 18 - March 4 - March 11

13:30 to 15:30 to 17:30: talks ~ readings ~ presentations ~ performances ~ screenings
at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie

18 to 22 March: installations, actions & conference-festival at de Brakke Grond

*Studium Generale Rietveld Academie is a rambling, cross departmental and trans disciplinary lecture and performance program with an annually changing, overarching research theme, addressing students of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, as well as the general public.

**Rietveld Uncut is an annual joint presentation by the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. Within the Rietveld the process of making, from concept to work, is an important element throughout the whole study. This process often stays invisible to the outside world; Rietveld Uncut aims to shed a light on this unique, dynamic and experimental part of the academy and reveals this process to the public. Departments and individual students contribute with projects evolving around the research topic introduced by the many guest lecturers invited by Studium Generale Rietveld Academie.


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Framework studium generale: Gabriëlle Schleijpen