In conjunction with the exhibition BORROWORROB: in search of symmetry, labDORA and the HDLU is hosting a conference on the city, currency, and space. Two sessions will be devoted to the following themes:
1) Doubling Space: How does one double, repeat, and fold space in the city? How does one expand and reproduce it?
2) Space as Asset: How does art engage flows of economy, and how does this function create new spatial logics, conditions, and relations?
Space as Asset
Introduction: Peter Macapia
Keynote: Paolo Cirio
Tomislav Tomašević and Teodor Celakoski
13:00 – 17:00
Introduction: Peter Macapia
Keynote: Ana Hušman
14-14, Marko Salapura
In many ways, contemporary art practices double and fold the space of the city back into itself. This practice has important historical precedents, one of the first of which was Manet’s Bar at the Folies-Bergerè (1882), in which issues of class, gender, spectacle are raised to the surface of a new visibility concurrently through the transformation of painting as a social, commercial, and formal enterprise. What are some of the important contemporary gestures in which space is doubled, folded, and repeated in the urban context through artistic or political practices and what are their effects? How do these practices constitute forms of spatial redistribution and new forms of visibility? What are the historical, economic, social, and political forces of which they are the product? What histories do they seek to establish? To what extent are they distinct from or contribute to global influences reshaping the urban environment? Authors are encouraged to address these questions from the perspective of their own practices, those of others as well as from critical, historical, contemporary, geopolitical, socio-economic, anthropological, or other perspectives.
Allora and Calzadilla, Chalk, 1998-2002, Lima Francis Alÿs, Sometimes Making Something Leads to Nothing, 1997, Mexico City
Space as Asset
On a global level, the financialization of art has created extremely strong markets that have outperformed many others, even during times of financial crisis. From this perspective art operates globally as a form of currency. But there are other forces, organizing practices that are creating new spaces and new economic relations, in which both “practice” is spatially redistributed. Already within the recent history of advanced practices groups such as WHW(How, What, and for Whom?) have participated in some of the more groundbreaking practices like The Otolith Group, Slavs and Tatars, in which a collective redistributes identity and agency among a group rather than the agenda of a single artist or concept. Similarly, in other instances “economy” is spatially redistributed. Artists like Paolo Cirio use hacking as a means of introducing activism into artistic and aesthetic contexts, reselling assets of other assets and exposing hidden wealth functions of yet further hidden economies. In yet other examples, quasi-institutional practices like E-flux creates a time bank in which goods and services are redistributed through a social network where exchange requires interactions and thus the creation of space.
As art becomes increasingly developed as a global form of investment, and simultaneously, as the global fair circuit is doubling every few years, mining local cultures and geographic regions for “undervalued” practices and trends, critical contemporary artistic practices are reshaping art as commodity, as asset, or as object. But they are increasingly reshaping the spatial practices, reorienting economic logics that define art as a cultural value. How are these challenges being explored today in Zagreb, regionally in the Balkans, and in what way do the historical forces that have shaped the region point to, away from, or against many of these global systems? What are the spatial assets that art seeks to redistribute, how are they redistributed, and for whom? Contributors are invited to reflect on this theme from the perspective of their own practice, the practice of others, and from historical and contemporary philosophy, politics, economy etc.
Christie’s Auction Advertisement for Urs Fischer, Untitled (Lamp/Bear), Installed in plaza of Seagram Building: photos courtesy Carlos Coutinho, copyright Carlos Coutinho 2014.; Slavs and Tatars, “PrayWay,” 2012; Renoir, The Boating Party, 1880-81.
*Borroworrob: In Search of Symmetry is generously supported by FACE Croatia, The City of Zagreb Office for Education, Culture, and Sport, The HDLU Treasury and Mint. Additional Support provided by The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, Epson, The Sheraton, Stay Zagreb.