[-empyre-] speaking about recalcitrance

Ana Valdés agora158 at gmail.com
Tue Mar 6 16:07:50 EST 2012

There are many of you who named Olav Westphalen and his research at Mejan,
Kungliga Högskolan i Stockholm, the Royal Academy for Fine Arts, here comes
the invitation for a seminar about it. A pity I am not in Stockholm now.


Welcome to *Performing Recalcitrance,* a week-long public programme taking
place at Kungl. Konsthögskolan | Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm
between March 24 and March 30, 2012.

*Performing Recalcitrance* comprises performances, lectures and workshops.
It serves as the public culmination of a thematic cluster of courses and
academic events around recalcitrance, which are being held throughout the
academic year at Kungl. Konsthögskolan | Royal Institute of Art. But it is
also its own symposium, festival and meeting point for discussion.

While "resistance" and "revolt" are commonly employed as positive terms,
"recalcitrance" has overwhelmingly negative connotations. The current
definition of the word "recalcitrance" dates back to the 17th century (Fr. *
récalcitrant*, lit. "kicking back," 17c.-18c.). It defines a stubborn,
obstinate, at times even passive-aggressive or lazy attitude. Nevertheless,
it seems to be an appropriate description of the nature of certain current
social and political confrontations. This programme explores the role of
obstinate refusal in contemporary art and society, including the academic
setting. It asks whether, under certain circumstances, recalcitrance could
be a meaningful attitude and whether the performance of recalcitrance can
be a useful artistic and social tool.

*Performing Recalcitrance* highlights a range of artistic practices through
works produced for the programme as well as in talks and workshops. The
members of the Berlin-based artist's group *Maiden Monsters* decide to
withdraw from any protest movement and stay in bed. They invite us to a
private encounter with art history and the women's rights movements, but
only after having undergone an initiation ritual. Israeli artist *Omer
Krieger* of Public Movement stages a collective performance, scrutinizing
codes of conduct, legislative texts and the aesthetics of protest movements
in the Swedish context. *Klas Eriksson* sets up a temporary, unauthorized
McDonald's branch on the museum island Skeppsholmen in Central Stockholm,
turning the logic of the standardized and optimized production line inside
out. *Michael Smith* will speak about his role as an American recalcitrant
within mainstream popular culture, such as sit-coms and commercial films
over the last three decades. Filmmaker *Eyal Sivan* will show a selection
of his films and comment on his work, a critique of nationalism and the
politics of memory. *Khaled Hourani*, artist and founder of the art academy
in Ramallah, will speak about his project "Picasso in Palestine", which
brought a "Modernist masterpiece" to Palestine for the first time. *Valeria
Graziano* discusses the role of procrastination in a culture of
entrepreneurship, constantly inducing us to produce value. *Geert
Lovink*will focus on the role of recalcitrance in online media and
speak about
debate and anonymity on the net. *Donatella Bernardi's students* will run
TV Mejan, a continuous, fully operational web TV studio, while *Mårten
Spångberg*  and *Olav Westphalen* will organize "Non Talk Radio," an
intense, 24 hours-a-day, sleepover workshop producing live-radio programs,
which cannot be talk radio; no journalism, no documentary, no filling time
with knowledge (real or presumed).  A number of further workshops,
performances, lectures, a book launch, film screenings and a final panel
discussion will round off the programme.

*Performing Recalcitrance* has been conceptualized and programmed by Olav
Westphalen and Stefanie Hessler. The public programme has been organized by
Kungl. Konsthögskolan | Royal Institute of Art in collaboration with the
Goethe-Institut Stockholm, Iaspis, Index – The Swedish Contemporary Art
Foundation, Konst-ig, Kulturhuset, Moderna Museet and DOCH, the University
of Dance and Circus in Stockholm.

We look forward to an intensive week and invite you to participate in

The programme is available here:


mobil/cell +4670-3213370

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with
your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you will always
long to return.
— Leonardo da Vinci
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