REL @ Post-Graduate Programme in Curating, ZHdK, Zürich

25 and 26 October 2019, Zurich University of Fine Arts

workshop and talk:

Experimenting with micropolitical and holistic transdisciplinary advances, in which the cognitive reciprocally intertwines with the non-semiotic, Berit Fischer reconsiders in her research what an ‘ex-hibition’ can be, how else ideas can be ‘ex-hibited’ or rather ‘in-habited’ and made experienced beyond curatorial forms of display, representation and beyond the consumption of in particular the visual. How can the curatorial achieve a more self-determined aesthetic and discursive form of practice, that not only questions the curator’s role and the paradigm in which she ought to operate, but one that actively engages and dissolves an on-looking audience; a practice that strives to nurture agency and partaking protagonists. Through the Radical Empathy Lab –an on-going social and research laboratory for relational, alternative and holistic knowledge production– Fischer proposes what she calls “intra-“ and “affective transformative curation”, that embraces what Brazilian theorist Suely Rolnik defines as “the knowing body”. A curation that emphasises the sensual and experiential and that sharpens our senses for an “active micropolitics”. In her curatorial approach she seeks creating “conscientization” (Paulo Freire), a critical consciousness towards exploring new forms of being together that momentarily allow to reflect, to re-feel and undo a reactionary an-aesthesia (Greek: an-aesthēsis: without sensation). The Radical Empathy Lab investigates the relation between micro and macro dimensions of agency. It encompasses recovering and re-learning subaltern knowledges, practices and forms of relating and of self-empowerment, that decolonise and de-subjectivate the (social) body and its relationality to the other.

Photos: Ronald Kolb