Subjektile – Discussion and Book Presentation



7 May 09



8-10 pm
Subjektile – Discussion and Book Presentation

With Peter Weibel, Kathrin Thiele, Monique David-Ménard, Howard Rouse, Marcus Coelen, and Felix Ensslin.

Humanism or nihilism – this supposedly fundamental dichotomy continues to structure contemporary discourse on the question of the subject. In the wake of the international influence of the nouveaux philosophes, all those who refuse to locate the dangers of the present primarily in terms of terrorism, “rogue states” or the decline of Western values are accused of nihilism; Jürgen Habermas seeks to give religion a humanistic twist in order to supply political modernity with “resources of meaning”; and German cultural and university politics has once again rediscovered humanism as a commodity for international export.

But there has always existed—and there still exists today—the specter of a third alternative, an alternative which is not single and exclusive, but instead plural and productive. This is the specter of, in Nietzsche’s terms, an accomplished nihilism, as it appears in psychoanalysis, deconstruction, Marxism and Deleuzianism. The authors of the “Subjektile” series traverse the fields of these discourses in order to plurally think the question of subject, more urgent today than ever before. Each negotiates, in his or her own way, the problematic of subjectivity and the questions of the “act”, “ethics”, and “reason” that are inevitably bound up with it. The authors include Quentin Meillassoux (After Finitude. An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency), Monique David-Ménard (Deleuze and Psychoanalysis), Michael Turnheim (Sleeping with Reason. Lacan and Derrida), Sonia Arribas and Howard Rouse (Egocracy. Marx, Freud and Lacan), Kathrin Thiele (The Thought of Becoming. Gilles Deleuze’s Poetics of Life) and Alenka Zupančič (Why Psychoanalysis? Three Interventions).

The theorist and artist Peter Weibel will introduce the complex of themes. Monique David-Ménard, Kathrin Thiele, Marcus Coelen and Howard Rouse will then give short presentations of their books. The presentation of the “Subjektile” series will conclude with a round of discussion.

The books in the “Subjektile” series pose the question of the becoming, the prehistory and the future of subjectivity. Against the background of contemporary philosophy and psychoanalysis, “Subjektile” opens up the possibility of thinking the relationship between the subject and the symbolic order in a radically new way. I am very much looking forward to seeing what comes next! Christoph Menke, Frankfurt

This event has been organized in collaboration with diaphanes publishing house and the editors of the series “Subjektile” Marcus Coelen and Felix Ensslin.

Venue: KW Institute for Contemporary Art, 4th floor
Free admission