Speakers Series : Boris Groys – “On the Use of Theory by Art and Use of Art by Theory”.

February 16, 2012 from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
CCS Bard Galleries

To celebrate the closing of Antonis Pittas’s exhibition RETROACTIVE, CCS Bard will present a talk by the esteemed Russian critic and theorist Boris Groys, organized by CCS Bard graduate students Olga Dekalo and Annie Larmon. Groys will speak in the gallery, realizing Pittas’ vision of activating the exhibition as a “public square.” This closing event provides a discursive platform to consider artistic approaches to social justice issues, the relationship between aesthetics and protest, and the aesthetic memes of the current global climate political upheaval.

We all know that critical theory has a powerful attraction for the contemporary art scene. Many artists are eager to use different theoretical discourses for legitimization of their own artistic practices. However, why does an artist need a theoretical explication and legitimization of his or her artwork at all? And why has the global art scene become attractive for contemporary theoreticians? After a long period of time during which philosophy defined itself as contemplation of truth vs. art’s contemplation of illusions and fictions we can observe a growing mutual dependence between theoretical and artistic practices. Thus, it is necessary to investigate reasons for and consequences of this mutual dependence – both for theory and art.

Boris Groys (1947, East Berlin) is an art critic, philosopher and essayist who is currently a Global Distinguished Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University and the Professor of Aesthetics, Art History, and Media Theory at the Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe. He is the author of many books, including The Total Art of StalinismIlya Kabakov: The Man Who Flew into Space from His ApartmentArt PowerThe Communist PostscriptGoing Public, and the forthcoming An Introduction to Atiphilosophy. Groys curated the Russian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale with a project entitled Empty Zones, looking at Andrei Monastyrski’s continuing project ‘Trips Out of Town’, with the still-active artistic group Collective Actions.

About The Speakers Series:  Each semester the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College hosts a regular program of lectures by the foremost artists, curators, art historians, and critics of our day, situating the school and museum’s concerns within the larger context of contemporary art production and discourse. Lectures are open to students and faculty, as well as to the general public, and will also be documented through video and/or audio recordings, which will reside in the CCS Bard Library and Archives.


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