The Painting Atlas - An Artist Book Project
Wednesday, 9./16./23.10.13, 18–20 h (Workshop: 16.10.13 with Carsten Zorn, 23.10.13 with Oona Lochner)
Discussions about contemporary painting nowadays often remain within a horizon of modernism.
This workshop, led by artist Olga Lewicka and invited guests, searches for current and updated aspects within the long history of painting before modernism. It aims to bring perspectives of contemporary artistic practices into conversation with the theory and knowledge of artistic, cultural and social studies on the other.
It thus addresses artists as well as art historians or sociologists, among others.
The limitation of the painting discourse to the artworks, criticism and theory of the 20th century is one of the main settings that Olga Lewicka examines with her current work, The Painting Atlas. The project stresses the importance of painting as art and as a cultural technique of visual thinking for pioneering and creating modern political ideas and discourses of knowledge. This is therefore also the workshop' s starting point: After a preparatory study of short selected texts, each session brings up a new complex of thesises and questions for discussion.
Aspects to be discussed are, among others:
* Is one of painting's biggest strenghts the fact that its history is so closely connected to the history of modern society, from its very beginnings?
* Which political and scientific-history heritage do the concrete materials of painting – the canvas, the stretcher frame, the oil paint – contain?
* Could painting open up new political and social potential by undergoing a critical analysis of its first climaxes, within an ambivalent early phase of capitalism, colonial conquership, and modern bourgeoisie (14th – 16th century)?
* Which factors determine the seasonal value up- and downturns the medium has always faced?
Carsten Zorn: From Alchemy to Abstraction: On the Usage and Disadvantage of the Art-Historical Narrative – Beyond for Art Itself.
Under the title From Alchemy to Abstraction Carsten Zorn interrogates the various options for recounting the history of art, and the advantages and disadvantages each telling contains -- including, but not limited to, their meaning for art itself. He bases his talk on this year's Venice Biennial as well as the recent Berlin exhibition on the work of Hilma af Klint, he emphasizes the recent enhanced view to the world of unorthodox, even obscure, somewhat theosophical-esoterical discourses and practices that eventually led to the development of modernism and specifically of abstract painting.
How are art-historical epochs and singular facts rearranged in their description to underline certain sources of inspiration and influences of thought history and development? Which narratives, theoretical figures and images of the historical process are maintained throughout? Which political implications do they have? And what would the alternative possibilities be for telling the history of art while purposefully avoiding these troubles, perhaps by adopting the help of the "Global History" approach?
Oona Lochner: Perspektiven des Historischen
This time, Olga welcomes art historian Oona Lochner to talk about the relations between Renaissance and contemporary painting with regard to subjects such as market, consumerism, labour, mobility; but also canvas, textile, and perspective.