Pool 5: Radical Visions – Language in Resistance

Autumn Term 2019

Time: 10:00 - 18:00 o'clock

23 / 24 / 25 September
24 October

Universität / Haute École
Zürcher Hochschule der Künste
Quinn Latimer
Contact email
for student applications
Content description

What is kinship, what is knowledge, what is margin, what is center? Whose voice issues from whose nonuniversal body? How to understand a language—lucid, ludic—that resists, that refuses the normative, the hegemonic, and all of its valences of violence, so as to articulate something counter? Resistance is a much-used word in these days of late capitalism, strongmen, and ecological collapse—what does it really mean, though? This class focuses on examining counterhegemonic practices in contemporary art and writing, as well as on tracing the often radical forms and images that result. We will engage with resistance as a political and aesthetic fact and field—one shaped by constellating hierarchies of race, geography, gender, indigeneity, class, and citizenship—and survey the myriad languages (both visual and linguistic) and subjectivities that come to voice through it.

Radical artistic forms and schools of thought from the fields of film, performance, fiction, poetics, feminist and queer theory, and postcolonial studies will be engaged with on their own terms, while the works of a group of contemporary artists, thinkers, and writers—all of whom propose counter models to the carceral conditions of the contemporary world—will be studied and used as examples for the formation of new modes of conceiving of artistic practice itself. Contemporary works of art and writing that engage with postcolonial poetics, black feminist thought, queer and trans theory and activism, Indigenous artistic practices, and issues of labor and class consciousness will be studied and discussed, as will the critical sociopolitical contexts from which they arise.

The class will proceed as both a seminar of experimental readings of poetry, fiction, art history, and theory, and as a workshop in which new writings will be produced via exercises based on the artworks and texts being looked at. Artists, poets, filmmakers, thinkers, and hybrid others whose work we will explore include Lorenza Böttner, Banu Cennetoğlu, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Tony Cokes, Mahmoud Darwish, Anna/Anča Daučíková, Mahasweta Devi, Valie Export, Arlette Farge, Kim Hyesoon, Amar Kanwar, Bhanu Kapil, Deanna Lawson, Simone Leigh, Zoe Leonard, Audre Lorde, Ana Mendieta, Adrian Piper, Claudia Rankine, Martine Syms, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Wu Tsang and Boychild, François Vergès, and Jackie Wang, among others. Using these artists as our guides, we will think through ideas of center and periphery, of who is amplified and who is silenced, of who is included and who is banned. “To ban someone is to say that no-one may harm him,” Giorgio Agamben once wrote, cryptically. Bhanu Kapil, as if in a kind of pre-response, asks: “What did Ban do that outweighed art? What kind of art did she produce?” Together, we will find out.

* Quotes from Bhanu Kapil, Ban en Banlieue (Nightboat Books, 2015).

About the teacher:

Quinn Latimer is a writer and editor whose work often explores feminist economies of writing, reading, and image production. She is the author of Like a Woman: Essays, Readings, Poems (2017), Sarah Lucas: Describe This Distance (2013), and Film as a Form of Writing: Quinn Latimer Talks to Akram Zaatari (2013). Her writings and readings have been featured widely, including at REDCAT, Los Angeles; Chisenhale Gallery, London; Radio Athènes, Athens; the Poetry Project, New York; the Venice Architecture Biennale; and Sharjah Biennial 13. Latimer was editor-in-chief of publications for documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel.