Art from (another) perspective: AVOWING LOSS

Art from (another) perspective: AVOWING LOSS

23. 05. 2024

Lecture by Fernando Domínguez Rubio organized by National Gallery Prague and Institute of Ethnology, 30. 5. 2024, 18:00, Trade Fair Palace

The objective of this talk is to claim the urgent need to re-think the aesthetic infrastructures that sustain contemporary production of cultural memory through a radical avowal of loss. The talk will explore how modern aesthetic infrastructures have been organized around a disavowal of loss. That is, they have been built around the premise that it is possible to deny loss and to sustain the image of cultural objects remaining identical over time. The talk will examine the rather particular unnatural ecologies that have been built to sustain this disavowal of loss, and the kinds of climatic, financial costs, as well as logics of exclusion and dispossession, that this logic has created. The talk will then call for the need to abandon once and for all this unsustainable disavowal of loss. It will do so by breaking the false equation that modernity has enforced upon us which states that memory and permanence is only possible by negating change and disavowing loss. It will then conclude by asking what kind of cultural memories and pasts can be created through a radical avowal of loss, that is, by accepting the change and loss as productive elements to be embraced rather than elements to be fixed or eliminated.

Fernando Domínguez Rubio (PhD Sociology, U. Cambridge, 2008) is an Associate Professor of Communication at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of Still Life: Ecologies of the Modern Imagination at the Art Museum (University of Chicago Press, 2020), an ethnography of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) exploring the technologies, climatic infrastructures, and forms of care and labor required to prevent artworks from falling apart. He has written numerous articles on material culture, art, and urban infrastructures. He is also the co-editor of The Politics of Knowledge (Routledge, 2012) and the co-editor of the forthcoming Fragilities: Essays On The Politics, Ethics And Aesthetics Of Maintenance And Repair (MIT Press, 2024).

Lecture will be in English.

Admission: free / Duration: ca 60 minutes / Venue: Korzo space, ground floor of the Trade Fair Palace