Seminar 4: Tirdad Zolghadr: That's Why You Always Find me in the Kitchen at Parties

March 12th through March 23rd, 2007, 7–9 pm

The unitednationsplaza seeks to elaborate models for art institutions that transcend the traditional boundaries between research, education and display. In this context, rather than offer a conventional course, Tirdad Zolghadr intends to pursue this possibility of new forms of discussion as rigorously as possible. In other terms, the aim is to apply the analytical rigor customarily reserved for ideological, infrastructural or art-critical concerns to the very material format in which these discussions are embedded. Why is it that the visual arts, rather punctilious in form, format, genre, media- and site-specificity, perpetuate discursive rituals steeped in medieval university traditions. The models here are limited to the seminar and the lecture hall, or to formulaic panel discussions flanked by Evian bottles and Powerpoint presentations. Can one expect new answers to older questions regarding form and content, quality and innovation, aesthetics and politics, if our modes of discussing them remain so fossilized? A serious consideration of untapped possibilities may help reevaluate age-old conventions, perhaps even allow a heightened sense of specificity. In which ways, for example, do certain formats overly predefine the reflection on certain themes. In the light of these questions, we shall reconsider issues of rhetorics, populism, symposium economics, artworld divisions of labor, postcolonialism and inclusivity, as well as helpful curatorial initiatives, teaching projects and artist interventions.

The seminar is based on an open structure allowing not only for theory, discussion and the odd Powerpoint presentation, but also surprise guests, historical digressions, entertainment, and the constant threat of genuine audience participation.

Topics include:

+Symposia Tourism
+The Aesthetics of Circulation
+The Deictics of Knowledge
+Artworld Divisions of Labor
+Direct Democracy
+The Odor of Discourse
+University Heroics
+Speaking Techniques
+Gentle Condescension Gracefully Staged


Tirdad Zolghadr, Stefanie Wenner, Adrienne Goehler, Florian Schneider, Jan Verwoert, Jennifer Allen and Joerg Heiser

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