ephemeropteræ 2016/#6
Bassam El Baroni | Pierre Bal-Blanc | Sandra Terdjman

Pierre Bal-Blanc "I Comitted a Happening" Lecture on Oscar Masotta, MALBA Buenos Aires, 2015. Photo: Florencia Cambon

Bassam El Baroni – Nemocentric Antagonism
"We now arrive at a maximally simple metaphysical position with regard to selves: No such things as selves exist in the world. At least their existence does not have to be presupposed in any rational and truly explanatory theory." –  Thomas Metzinger, Being No One
Chantal Mouffe’s notion of Agonism has been a ‘go to’ concept for theorists looking to account for notions of the public sphere and democracy within the discourse on art. Unpacking the concept’s parameters in relation to questions regarding subjectivity and the place of reason in art, Bassam El Baroni suggests that the theory suffers from ambiguity on how antagonism can be transformed into Agonism. Despite its attack on Jürgen Habermas’s opposing ‘discourse ethics’ theory (and the rationalist tradition in general), the two positions share many similarities.
Traversing theory and examples from art practice, El Baroni’s talk draws out a rethinking of art’s approach to subjectivity, politics, and antagonism in line with the concept of Nemocentrism – the idea of a subjectivity centered on no one (or nemo in Latin)- outlined in Thomas Metzinger’s magnum opus Being No One (2003). Nemocentric Antagonism, he concludes, provides art with a more realist understanding of how political antagonism and subjectivity can work within the site of art itself. 
Sandra Terdjman
As many of her peers, mainly male archaeologists, M learnt to divide and rationalize the world in categories. Some of her archeological findings contributed to museums' collections, still organized in departments by periods, mediums, and regions. It was her encounter with ethnopsychiatry that made her reconsider this heritage. Her gaze shifted from object to people. M preferred exchange with people to fact-finding and object analysis. In research, she found meaning in processes of participatory and collaborative nature. She realized that those categories she was hired to sustain were no longer appropriate. She could not perpetuate such epistemological laziness, she thought. In this talk, Sandra Terdjman will present the work of M and speculate on how methodologies in social sciences inspire the building of contemporary art collections and their role in the production and dissemination of art.
Pierre Bal-Blanc – Soleil Politique
In September 2014, having been offered to use the fourth floor spaced of the Museion in Bolzano, Italy for his exhibition Soleil Politique, Pierre Bal-Blanc instead installed the artworks in the foyer, info lounge, bookshop, project space, and “Passage” area, and moved the communal spaces of the museum upstairs. The subversion of the hierarchy of the exhibition space served as the framework for an exhibition that posed incisive questions concerning the role of the museum and the use of its authority in shaping cultural discourse. 
Inspired by the compositions of Cornelius Cardew “that allow the performers to freely follow their own musical direction guided by clusters of notes arranged on a grid,” Bal-Blanc developed an exhibition score leaving quote free and open all groupings, tempos, and reading order of the works, in order to highlight the intimate connection between immanence and the unconscious.  
For ephemeropterae#6, Bal-Blanc announces and launches the new publication Soleil Politique through a performative lecture. The book was conceived by Bal-Blanc in dialogue with designers Vier5 and the Paraguay publishing house and maps the process that lead to the exhibition as well as some of its afterthoughts and consequences.
Bassam El Baroni is an independent curator and a member of the faculty at the Dutch Art Institute in Arnhem, NL. He is based in Alexandria, Egypt. Formerly, he was founding-director of the discontinued non-profit art space Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum (ACAF), 2005 - 2012. He was co-curator of Manifesta 8, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, 2010, Murcia, Spain for which he curated OVERSCORE, an exhibition across three different venues in the region. In 2015, he curated ‘What Hope Looks like after Hope (On Constructive Alienation)’ one of two exhibitions part of the HOME WORKS 7 Forum in Beirut, Lebanon. Since 2004, El Baroni has curated a diverse array of exhibitions and projects including Eva International - Ireland’s Biennial, Limerick, 2014, the Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF), Norway, 2013 (co-curator), ‘When it Stops Dripping from the Ceiling (An Exhibition That Thinks About Edification)’ at the Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, 2012, and the locally influential Cleotronica 08, festival for media and internet arts, Alexandria, 2008. He is the curator of ‘Nemocentric’ an exhibition at Charim Galerie, Vienna, opening in September as part of Curated by Vienna 2016.
Sandra Terdjman is a curator developing frameworks for shared knowledge and artistic productions. In 2013, she together with Gregory Castéra initiated Council, a curatorial platform that conducts pluridisciplinary researches on social issues resulting in various forms of publications, events, productions and exhibitions. Council has developed projects on hearing and deaf knowledge (Infinite Ear, Sharjah Art Foundation, Bergen Assembly, Norway 2013-2016), the construction of “nature” within the Law (The Manufacturing of Rights, Ashkal Alwan, Beirut, 2014-ongoing) and on how the anthropocene affects humans scale (On Becoming Earthling, Le Musée de l’Homme, Paris, 2015-ongoing). She is also the co-founder of Kadist, a contemporary art foundation based in Paris and San Francisco. As the director from 2006-2012, she created a residency for artists and curators and produced a number of artistic projects. Since then, Sandra Terdjman advises the foundation’s program and collection.
Pierre Bal-Blanc is an independent curator and art critic based in Athens and Paris. He is currently curator for the Documenta14. He was director of CAC Brétigny (Contemporary Art Centre of Brétigny, greater Paris in France). There from 2003 to 2014, echoing the societal thought of Charles Fourier, he has run the “Phalanstère Project,” a series of site-specific proposals aiming at critical rethinking of the logic behind accumulation of art works.
His exhibition sequences La monnaie vivante/Living Currency adapted from Pierre Klossowski essay and Draft Score for an Exhibition negotiate the current and historical analysis of the body and the strategies related to performance in visual arts. The three chapters of Reversibility reflect on the consequences of the art object’s materiality upon the configuration of the cultural domain’s protagonists, as well as on the role and shape of the cultural institution today. The Death of the Audience reveals the processes of emancipation and alienation taking place in the interstice between the figures of the artist and the spectator. He has recently presented Soleil politique, an exhibition at Museion in Bolzano, Italy that has continued his exploration of the forms and responsibilities of museums, their daily activities, and their relationship with the city (catalog Soleil politique, Paraguay press, 2015).
July 22, 2016 at 7 pm
TBA21–Augarten, Scherzergasse 1A, 1020 Vienna
free admission
supported by
Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein
Bassam El Baroni
Sandra Terdjman