Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Harmless Unnecessary Cat

A talk-essay of mine from a couple of years previous has been kindly published on Edmund Hardys Intercapillary Space. Here’s a sample:

Poetry is intrinsically futural: it delineates a relationship to the future that is both simple and impossible. It makes a future by refusing to relinquish its possibilities of commitment and thoughtful pressure to the critical idiom of the spectacle of resistance. I think that the “demand [...] placed on thought” by the attempt to fashion the impossible perspectives that Adorno describes could help to formulate a criticism that would define poems not as loci of resistance, serene in their localised discretion, but as the echoes of the future from which resistance gains its energies, tactics and emotional intelligence of possibility. Perhaps this would help us to think about poetry as the historical expression of presently ineradicable social contradictions, rather than, as it sometimes feels with the resistance model, as the cauterization or suppression of those contradictions in the service of defending the authentic remnants of a life already given over to its pre-, post- or sub-aesthetic abolition. I wonder if this might either intersect with, or entirely bypass, Jacques Rancière’s polemical distinction between the pretentious uselessness of critical art conceived as such on the one hand, and the critical attention to the dogma of the equality of the intelligence on the other, by which lights his theory re-interprets entire swathes of 20th century art as the historical hangover of the failures of didactic methodology and of the misguided ontological compartmentalisation of art and life.

The full weft can be read on the Intercapillary Space website, and the original oral delivery can be recovered here, and below.

ED ATKINS «Un-like». Part 3: WORDS. 26 April 2014. from Kunsthalle Zürich on Vimeo.

Ed Atkins, Ann Cotten, James Richards and Adam Kleinman are also represented. Some of the discussion is omitted. 

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