This symposium is organized to coincide with the visit of renowned French Professor Sylvere Lotringer to Galway as he re-traces the steps of Antonin Artaud to the city and the Aran Islands in 1937. The public discussion will precede his visit to Inis Mor to make a film on the subject emerging from a collaborative workshop on the island with international and local filmmakers and artists. His desire to transpose Artaud’s Mexican writings to Aran in his film provokes many challenging aesthetic and political questions about art, writing, nationality and translation. Lotringer is Professor Emeritus at Columbia University in New York and the founding editor of Semiotext(e) and he is generally credited for introducing French Theory to America.
The symposium will be structured around an open discussion with Lotringer, in which the question of how writing relates to art and politics will be framed by Lotringer’s lifelong love of the work of Antonin Artaud. Artaud’s visit will be used as a springboard from which a number of significant subjects will be explored throughout the afternoon. How can we in the West of Ireland read Artaud’s visit now and activate important connections it reveals between the European avant-garde from which he emerged and his expectations and aspirations for his pilgrimage to Galway at the time?
Over the years the ‘West’ as a concept has hovered between Romantic nationalist ideas and more clichéd tourist frameworks but is it possible for us to invigorate alternative intellectual and cultural associations through a re-examination of the artistic, literary and spatial concepts which dominate our understanding of the peripheral? The ‘West’ in this sense can be framed in such a way that it refers to a sense of space and being peripheral in a conceptual manner which might align itself with Maurice Blanchot’s idea of thought from the ‘outside’. In Blanchot’s essay on Artaud from 1959 he wrote that :
“When we read these pages, we learn what we never succeed in knowing: that the fact of thinking cannot be anything other than devastating; that what is to be thought is that which, in thought, turns away from thought and inexhaustibly exhausts itself in it…”
How artists think of themselves and think about their work when they occupy a spatiality which is at the boundaries or on the fringes finds resonance with how many thinkers, in particular French writers such as Blanchot and Artaud, try to understand the limits of thought and its relationship with the body or the material world.
The symposium will begin with a discussion with Sylvere Lotringer about his extraordinary work in philosophy, publishing and art and will then expand into a broader conversation with invited artists, writers and academics who either live and practice on the fringes in geographical or conceptual terms, or have engaged with ideas from art, literature and philosophy touching on this subject. The closing conversation with the editors of the publication Fugitive Papers, Michaële Cutaya and James Merrigan, will engage with the legacy of Lotringer’s groundbreaking and acclaimed Semiotext(e) publishing project and the possible connections to ‘peripheral’ publications in Ireland today attempting to open up new critical spaces around art.
Finally there will be open discussion involving all present responding to the various issues raised throughout the afternoon.
This event is free and open to all and we would like to encourage artists working in rural contexts to participate.
The symposium will begin at 2pm with an introduction by Katherine Waugh .
There will be an extended conversation between Sylvere Lotringer and Katherine Waugh about Lotringer’s personal relationship with art and literature and how this has influenced his theoretical engagement with so many leading thinkers such as Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, Baudrillard and Virilio, and Lotringer will also discuss his love of Artaud and his new film project.
The remainder of the symposium will consist of literary and artistic interventions intended to open the discussion out in the broadest possible terms.
Professor Luke Gibbons, Ireland’s leading intellectual and most original writer on Irish cultural, intellectual and literary history will engage with the legacy of Romanticism in terms of how we conceive of the ‘West’ and re-visit his writings on Joyce which touched on how Joyce sought to retrieve Galway, Aran and the Irish West for a modernist project, contesting the notion of the Irish West as being ‘provincial’.
Professor Paolo Bartoloni of the Italian Department NUIG who has written extensively on European Literature and its spatio-temporal singularities will speak about how some of his writing, from his work on Blanchot to Interstitial Spatiality to the complexities of translation might relate to the artistic and political subjects of a contemporary ‘West’ of Ireland.
Local artists, writers and filmmakers will intersperse these more theoretical and literary conversations with presentations on their practices which resonate with the ideas being discussed.
Vivienne Dick will present excerpts from a new film project, some of which is based on Artaud.
Other artists based in the West of Ireland including Deirdre O’Mahoney and Ruby Wallis will explore the potential for radical and challenging artistic projects in rural or fringe communities through a discussion of their separate practices.
The closing conversation with the editors of the publication Fugitive Papers, Michaële Cutaya and James Merrigan, will engage with the legacy of Lotringer’s groundbreaking and acclaimed Semiotext(e) publishing project and the possible connections for ‘peripheral’ publications in Ireland today attempting to open up new critical spaces around art.
The afternoon event will be structured in an open and informal way to facilitate the greatest level of audience engagement in the various discussions and there will be a closing wine reception open to all.
Sylvère Lotringer, Ph.D., born in Paris in 1938, is Jean Baudrillard Chair at the European Graduate School EGS and Professor Emeritus of French literature and philosophy at Columbia University. He is based in New York and Baja, California. Sylvère Lotringer is a literary critic and cultural theorist, and as general editor of Semiotext(e) and Foreign Agents book series was instrumental in introducing French theory to the United States. His interests range from philosophy, literature and art to architecture, anthropology, semiotics, avant-garde movements, structuralism and post-structuralism. Sylvère Lotringer studied at the Sorbonne and received his doctorate from the École Pratique des Hautes Études VIe section in Paris in 1967 before moving to New York in the early 1970s. Among the books Sylvère Lotringer has published, he has co-written with Paul Virilio: Pure War (1983), Crepuscular Dawn (2002), and The Accident of Art (2005), and with Jean Baudrillard: Forget Foucault (1986), Oublier Artaud (2005), and The Conspiracy of Art (2005). Sylvère Lotringer has also written extensively on Georges Bataille, Simone Weil, L. F. Céline, Marguerite Duras, and Robert Antelme, and is the author of Antonin Artaud (1990), French Theory in America (2001), Hatred of Capitalism (2002), David Wojnarowicz (2006), and Overexposed (2007). Silvère Lotringer frequently lectures on art and has published catalogue essays for the MOMA, the Guggenheim Museum, the Musee du Jeu de Paume, Modern Kunst and has edited numerous magazines and books such as Philosopher-Artist (1986), Foreign Agent: Kunst in den Zeiten der Theorie (1991), and Nancy Spero (1995).
He has written several books in collaboration with Jean Baudrillard (The Conspiracy of Art, New York, 2005, Oublier Artaud, Paris 2005) and Paul Virilio (Pure War, New York, 1982; Crepuscular Dawn, 2002; The Accident of Art, New York, 2005). His most recent books are Hatred of Capitalism, New York, 2002; Fous d’Artaud, Paris, 2003 and A Satiete, Paris, 2006). He has written art essays on Nancy Spero, London, 1996 and David Wojnarowicz, New York, 2006 as well as catalogue essays for The Guggenheim Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, The New Museum in New York, The Musée du Jeu de Paume in Paris, the Kuntshalle, Wien, amongst others. He is presently the Jean Baudrillard professor at the European Graduate School and at IDSVA.
Hadrien Laroche is a former student of the Ecole normale supérieure. He completed his doctorate in philosophy under Jacques Derrida in 1996 at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS); Jacques Derrida considered Laroche, his last doctoral student, as “one of the most talented and original thinkers of his generation.” He has published essays on Jean Genet, Paul Cézanne, Marcel Duchamp (“La machine à signatures,” Inculte #18, 2009) and three French-language novels—Les Orphelins (Paris: Allia/J’ai Lu, 2005), Les Heretiques (Paris: Flammarion, 2006) and La Restitution (Paris: Flammarion, 2009)—which have placed Laroche at the forefront of contemporary French writing. Last publication in English : The Last Genet, a writer in revolt, essay, Arsenal Pulp Press, 2010 and The Orphans, fiction, Dalkey Archive Press.
Professor Luke Gibbons, is Professor of Irish Literary and Cultural Studies at the School of English, Drama and Media Studies, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, and formerly taught at the University of Notre Dame, U.S.A., and Dublin City University. He has published widely on Irish culture, film, literature, and the visual arts, as well as on aesthetics and politics. His publications include Gaelic Gothic: Race, Colonialism and Irish Culture (2004), Edmund Burke and Ireland: Aesthetics, Politics and the Colonial Sublime (2003), The Quiet Man (2002), Transformations in Irish Culture (1996), and co-wrote (with Kevin Rockett and John Hill) Cinema and Ireland (1988), the pioneering study of Irish cinema. He was a contributing editor to Seamus Deane, ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (1991), and has edited two recent collections, Re-Inventing Ireland: Culture, Society and the Global Economy (with Peadar Kirby and Michael Cronin, 2002), and ‘The Theatre of Irish Cinema’ (with Dudley Andrew), a special issue of The Yale Journal of Criticism (2002). He won a Kaneb teaching award at the University of Notre Dame, where he co-supervised over 20 Ph. D dissertations. His research interests include film, modernism, romanticism, aesthetics, visual culture, critical theory and cultural history, particularly as they bear on developments in Irish culture.
Professor Paolo Bartoloni Italian Department NUIG. Prof Bartoloni specializes in critical theory, comparative literary studies and translation studies and has written on Blanchot, Borges, Heidegger, and spatio-temporal issues in literature as well as on the subject of translation and interstitial space. Important recent publications include a text Blanchot Literature of Indistinction: Blanchot and Caproni (in After Blanchot: Literature, Criticism, Philosophy) , Blanchot and Ambiguity: Paolo Bartoloni and Anthony Stephens (eds.), and books include Ambiguity in Culture and Literature 2010 , On the Cultures of Exile, Translation and Writing 2008, Intellectuals and Publics: Essays on Cultural Theory and Practice1997.
Fugitive Papers is an artistic research project by James Merrigan and Michaële Cutaya to explore ideas about art, writing, criticality and public(s) in Ireland. The project aims at opening critical spaces to think, exchange and debate about art and art-writing through public discussions, printed publications and online.
Vivienne Dick was born in Donegal in 1950 and studied at University College, Dublin. Between 1977 – 1982 she lived in New York, part of a group of filmmakers whose affiliation to the music and aesthetic of punk became known as ‘No Wave’. Working mainly on Super 8, Dick’s films from this period feature many musicians from the punk movement in NY with performances and music from Lydia Lunch, James Chance, Pat Place, Adele Bertei, and Ikue Mori.
Dick returned to Ireland in 1982 and then to London in 1985, where she was a member of The London Filmmakers Coop for many years and produced a number of films in 16mm, and in videoHer films have been screened at cinemas, museums and film festivals internationally, including Tate Britain, Moma and the Whitney in New York, IMMA in Dublin, and the Edinburgh and Berlin Film Festivals. She has received a number of Production Awards from The British Arts Council and The Irish Film Board, and has had work commissioned by Ch 4 (Dazzling Image, Midnight Underground), BBC (Artrageous, The Late Show) and RTE. Her work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art and Anthology Archives, NYC and the Irish Film ArchivesShe lives in Galway, Ireland, where she teaches and continues to make films.
Deirdre O’Mahony is an artist and academic. She completed her PhD at the University of Brighton titled New Ecologies between Rural Life and Visual Culture in the West of Ireland: History, Context, Position, and Art Practice in 2012. In her latest research she has been exploring three themes, all arising from earlier work on the perception and representation of rural landscapes. This concerns first, the multiple and often conflicting perspectives on ‘community’ in rural places, secondly the creativity of tacit, practice-led knowledge and thirdly, the relational dynamic between the local/rural and the national/global.Solo exhibitions include Abandoned Clare X-PO 2011, re-presentations; the BCA Gallery 2009, Viscqueux; Galway Arts Festival, 2006, Wall; Context Gallery Derry and LCGA, 2002 and WRAP; Galway Arts Centre in 2000. Selected group exhibitions include Hybrid Denver USA, 2012, TRACE Limerick City Callery, 2012, 10,000 to 50, IMMA Dublin 2008 and Eire/Land McMullen Museum Boston, 2003. Public art projects include SPUD, a collaborative project with Frances Whitehead T.U.R.F (Transitional Understandings Of Rural Futures), ongoing, Mind Meitheal ongoing, Abridged: 0 – 20 Abandoned Clare, 2011, funded by the Arts Council, X-PO 2007-8 funded by the Arts Council and Cross Land, 2007 commissioned by Clare Co. Council. O’Mahony has received numerous awards, both national and international including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Fellowship in 1995 and visual arts bursaries from the Arts Council of Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíonn, 1997/2001 and 2010.
Patricia Allio is a French dramatist and filmmaker whose recent film Night Replay, on illegal mexican border crossings, has screened at the Pompidou centre and internationally. She will participate in the workshop and film on the Aran Islands.
Dr Gavin Murphy is a lecturer in Art History and Critical Theory at GMIT. He has published widely on contemporary art and photographic practices.
Ruby Wallis is a practice based PhD researcher with NCAD and GRAdCAM. She will discuss ‘Unfixed Landscape’ Is it possible to define ‘place’ through artistic practice? In 2012 Wallis has had work published in The Journal of Artistic Research (JAR). Recent exhibits include, The Lab, Dublin. G126, Galway. Basic Space, IMMA (residency). In the near future Wallis will present her practice at On-Walking, International multidisciplinary conference and at Portfolio 13 -International Portfolio review, Dublin.
Katherine Waugh is a writer, filmmaker and curator. She co-directed the award winning The Art of Time, a film on the complex temporalities in contemporary art, film and architecture, which has shown internationally in galleries and Film Festivals in New York, Paris, the ICA and most recently in the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Recent projects include a symposium she curated and moderated for the AV International Arts Festival 2012 in Newcastle based on its theme As Slow As Possible (after John Cage) and a series of films programmed in conjunction with IMMA’s Time Out of Mind exhibition. A film installation project A Laboratory of Perpetual Flux, was curated by Annie Fletcher of the Van Abbemuseum Holland for eva International 2012. In February 2013 she co-presented ‘Unfolding Aspen’ at the Whitechapel Gallery London (with artist Mary Ruth Walsh); a conceptual mapping with film, audio and text of Aspen 5&6 by Brian O’Doherty 1968.She has curated a discussion on Art and Writing The Question Itself with Sylvere Lotringer and leading art writers in the South London Gallery this May. She has written essays for artists books and catalogues nationally and internationally.