CRITICAL ART IN A TIME OF CONSENSUS, On Jacques Rancière’s aesthetical thinking.
Seminar at the French Institute in Stockholm.
Mattias Åkeson, ‘Corporate Red’
SITE Magazine and Index invites you to a seminar with and about the French philosopher Jacques Rancière.
Jacques Rancière has since the 1960’s in a long series of books developed a thinking based on the notion of radical equality. During the last couple of years his works on political theory, aesthetics, literature and film have gained a large interest both in France and internationally. For Rancière, politics is the search for emancipation according to an ideal of universal equality. But every political communality, he means, is also an aesthetical communality, a ”distribution of the sensible” that defines what can be said, seen and done, and which thereby decides who has access to this communality and who is excluded from it. It is starting from this distribution that the question about the politics of aesthetics and about the critical potentials of art can be posed. There is no conflict between an art for art’s sake and a political art – they both define a new structure for the common life.
Also participating in the seminar are Fulvia Carnevale, philosopher and artist, Paris, and Alexandre Costanzo, philosopher and editor of the magazine Failles, Paris.
On the evening of the 18th, SITE Editions new publication with texts by Jacques Rancière in Swedish translation, Texter om politik och estetik (Texts on politics and aesthetics) will also be presented. The book gathers fundamental essays from the last ten years on political theory, on the birth of the concept of aesthetics and on the history of literature, film and visual arts, and it constitutes the first Swedish book-length presentation of Jacques Rancière’s works.
For the cover of the book, artist Mattias Åkeson has designed the work Corporate Red, at the invitation of Index and SITE. ‘Corporate Red’ stems from a project for the Norrköping Art Museum in 2005 where the artist was investigating the concept of welfare. This was executed in the video ‘The Two Factors of a Commodity’, a survey of interiors shown in lifestyle magazines, and in a study of the colour red and its transition from historically symbolising struggle, revolt and resistance to its current vogue as a general aesthetic solution in public contexts such as stores, conference rooms, etc.
Mattias Åkeson, in collaboration with architect Mattias Ståhlbom/TAF Arkitekter, created this nuance of red and named the colour sample ‘Corporate Red’ with the intention of using it in various public environments. To date, the red colour has served to coat a background wall in the Norrköping Art Museum in conjunction with the artists exhibition at the Museum. Although books are limited in size, they embody a physical place and they are being carried through both private and public spaces in a kind of semi-public state. The content of books comments on and provides a basis for discussion about the reality we find ourselves inhabiting. As from 18 May 2006, the ‘Corporate Red’ operates from the cover of Site Edition’s Jacques Rancière publication: Texts on Politics and Aesthetics. This book is available from Site Magazine by e-mailing email@example.com as well as being available at the Index bookshop.
SITE Editions is a book series for political philosophy, aesthetic theory and essays, and is published by SITE Magazine in collaboration with the publishing house Propexus. SITE Editions first publication was Giorgio Agamben’s Undantagstillståndet (The State of Exception), which came out in 2005. During 2006 SITE Editions will publish, besides Rancière’s Texter om politik och estetik, a collection of essays by Jean Genet, which have never been available in Swedish before. For additional information, contact SITE Editions at firstname.lastname@example.org
SITE Magazine and Index wish to thank the French Institute and Södertörns Högskola for help and generous support.
The Index exhibition programme is curated Markus Degerman, Andreas Gedin, Helena Holmberg, Mats Stjernstedt and Niklas Östholm.