Lectures by Bruno Latour and Chantal Mouffe



9 October 09



New Patrons:
A proposal for promoting art in civil society

Bruno Latour: From Iconoclasm to Compositionism
Chantal Mouffe: Agonistic Politics and Artistic Practices

Followed by a discussion with Joost Declercq and Barbara Steiner, moderated by Alexander Koch.

Event in English
Free admission

The European program New Patrons / Neue Auftraggeber proposes a new model for organizing artistic production.

Between concrete proposals from civil society and artistic production there is often a lack of mediation. Contemporary art broadens the horizon to current topics and public interests. Too often art projects in public space are only consumed as a service. However, art offers the possibility to actively shape society. The European platform New Patrons offers individuals and interest groups the necessary structures to initiate and carry out art projects. Residents, regardless of financial means or education, are the patrons of the projects. They thereby collaborate with experienced curators (mediators). Since 1993, more than 200 artistic productions have been realized across Europe. Since 2009, there are six addresses of New Patrons in Germany with the mediators Inke Arns (Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund), Gerrit Gohlke (Brandenburgischer Kunstverein, Potsdam), Nina Möntmann (in cooperation with Deichtorhallen, Hamburg), Frank Motz (ACC Gallery, Weimar), Barbara Steiner (Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig), and Axel John Wieder (Künstlerhaus Stuttgart). The mediators are in close contact with each other as well as with the founding association Neue Auftraggeber in Berlin. Moreover, they are part of the European network New Patrons.

How can contemporary art be a possible channel for certain topics to the public? Can social interests and conflicts be made visible through artistic works? In their lectures, Paris philosopher Bruno Latour and London political philosopher Chantal Mouffe will explore the role of art. The subsequent discussion with Joost Declercq (New Patrons, Belgium) and Barbara Steiner (Neue Auftraggeber, Germany) will explore the possibilities that are inherent in the shared activities of artists, mediators, and their patrons.

An event of Neue Auftraggeber e. V. in cooperation with KW Institute for Contemporary Art.

Further information: www.newpatrons.eu

The program New Patrons is fonded by the Fondation de France, the Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S.
In 2010 the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung is cooperation-partner.

Bruno Latour, born 1947 in Beaune, Burgundy, was trained first as a philosopher and then an anthropologist. Together with other sociologists, above all Michel Callon and John Law, he developed the Actor-Network Theory, dealing with the impact of science and technology to human society. From 1982 to 2006, he has been professor at the Centre de sociologie de l’Innovation at the Ecole nationale supérieure des mines in Paris and, for various periods, visiting professor at UCSD, at the London School of Economics and in the history of science department of Harvard University. Together with Peter Weibel he has also curated exhibitions at the ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie in Karlsruhe, Germany, including Iconoclash (2002) and Making Things Public (2005). Since June 2007 he is professor at the Sciences Politiques Paris and the Centre de Sociologie des Organisations.
Publications (selection): Iconoclash: Beyond the Image Wars in Science, Religion and Art (2002), Making Things Public. Atmospheres of Democracy (2005), Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory (2005).

Chantal Mouffe, born in 1943 in Charleroi (Belgium), has been educated at the universities of Louvain, Paris, and Essex. She is Professor of Political Theory at the University of Westminster. She has taught at many universities in Europe, North America and Latin America, and has held research positions at Harvard, Cornell, the University of California, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris. Between 1989 and 1995 she was Directrice de Programme at the College International de Philosophie in Paris.
She is co-author with Ernesto Laclau of Hegemony and Socialist Strategy. Towards a Radical Democratic Politics (1985), in which  she claims amongst other the idea of a Radical Democracy.
Further publications include: Gramsci and Marxist Theory (1979), Dimensions of Radical Democracy. Pluralism, Citizenship, Community (1992), The Return of the Political (1993), Deconstruction and Pragmatism (1996), The Challenge of Carl Schmitt (1999), The Democratic Paradox (2000), On the Political (2007).