Following the first part of the 3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress: Beyond What Was Contemporary Art (19–20 April 2012, Vienna), Part Two takes place in Utrecht on 29 September 2012.
The remarkable discussions in Part One of the Congress among artists, thinkers, and activists began to untangle the speculative proposition that alongside the ongoing seismic shifts in society, politics, and economy in the so-called West we move beyond the confines of Contemporary Art’s practices. The question before us was: how can we collectively imagine the possibilities ahead in the space of art and reconfigure the field as a set of potentialities while harvesting the imaginaries in thinking through the “formerness” of the capitalist product/propaganda impasse of Contemporary Art?
Part Two extends these propositions and addresses theorist and curator Irit Rogoff’s question in her closing lecture referring to the use of the term “art”: “What on earth do they mean?!” Rogoff suggested that while “the world of ‘art’ is one of multiple practices and a proliferation of incommensurate protocols that produces the confusion of one word which has contradictory meanings for so many of the stakeholders within the field,” it is “actually a part of living through a major epistemological crisis.
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