Speaking Positions/Viewing Positions


december 6th, 7th, 8th


Universität / Haute École
HEAD Genève / work.master
Simone Schardt and Wolf Schmelter
Contact email
for student applications
Content description

The topic of our 3 day workshop will be to question positions of viewing and speaking alongside the re-reading of de/conceptual modes of artistic production. Through presentations, filmscreenings and reading sessions we’d like to discuss alternative ways of knowledge production and formats of representation as a result of translational processes. 
We kindly ask the participating students to prepare a 10-minutes presentation of their artistic, curatorial and/or theoretical work to be held during the workshop. We consider the presentation itself as a format of translation of the artwork. Participating students should question common presentation formats and try to explore different positions of speaking, viewing, (re-)presenting and translating their artistic practice. 
We provide texts by Walter Benjamin on translation and Jacques Rancière on emancipating knowledge production and the role of the spectator, that should be read in preparation for the workshop.


Short bio :

In their collective practice Simone Schardt & Wolf Schmelter analyse genealogies of institutional critique and site specifity with the concept of exhibition as artistic medium. Since 2003 they have initiated Kinoapparatom, an instant cinema on the move to present artistic films at specific sites. In 2007 they developed Surprise*Surprise in cooperation with Les Complices*, Zurich, a series of interventions, a multilayered comment on exhibition practice.


Walter Benjamin: «The Translator’s Task», in: TTR: traduction, terminologie, rédaction, vol. 10, no 2, 1997, p. 151-165, translated from german by Steven Rendall (Org. «Die Aufgabe des Übersetzers», in: Illuminationen, Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp 1972)

Jacques Rancière: The Ignorant Schoolmaster. Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation, Stanford: University Press 1991, translated from french by Kristin Ross (Org. Le maître ignorant : Cinq leçons sur l'émancipation intellectuelle, Paris: Fayard 1987)
Chapter 1:
«An Intellectual Adventure», p. 1-8
«The Emancipatory Master» and «The Circle of Power», p. 12-18

Jacques Rancière: The Emancipated Spectator, Lecture at the Fifth International Summer Academy in Frankfurt/Main in 2004, reprinted in slightly revised form in: Artforum, March 2007

These texts can be downloaded here. (11MB)

bilingual: english/german