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Art After the End of the World

April 6-8, 2012
MYSTETSKYI ARSENAL, KYIV (Lavrska street 10-12) 

Zygmunt Bauman, Boris Buden, Ilya Budraitskis, Vasyl Cherepanyn, Sebastian Cichocki, Maria Hlavajova, Aleksandra Jasinska-Kania, Artem Magun, Oleksiy Radynski, Gerald Raunig, Slawomir Sierakowski, Oksana Timofeeva

Art is quite comfortable with the idea of the end of art. But how can art deal with the end of the world?

The popular fantasy of the end of the universe coming in 2012 has recently acquired unexpected political significance. There is a growing conviction that the world as we know it should end. In fact, the resounding crash of global financial capitalism and spectacular manifestations of discontent all over the world are telling us that the world of unrestrained consumption is already on its deathbed. Why wait passively until the system decomposes by itself – until "the world ends"? Why not start inventing a new world, the one that will succeed the current apocalypse?

The utopian tradition of the artistic reinvention of society has become a political necessity today. The basic question of the platform and the accompanying publication – "What is and what should never be?" – is addressed not to professional politicians and economists, but rather to artists, philosophers, activists and theoreticians. We expect that the answers to this question will contribute to the process of inventing our postapocalyptic world anew, with a particular focus on the situation of "art after the end of the world." We are aware of the pivotal role of the institution of contemporary art within neocapitalism – contemporary art with its logic of innovation and postindustrial immaterial practice, with its spirit of resistance (so often defeatist) and its critical attitude (so easy to domesticate). In any case, we believe that the artistic ability to see the horizons of an uncertain future and to create the vector of the possible is priceless.

These issues are not to be considered from a neutral, totalizing, "globalized" point of view. Rather, our suggestion is rooted in the experience of an "apocalypse" that for more than two decades now has defined the context where the Kyiv Biennial is about to take place. The collapse of symbolic that occurred with the end of "socialism" in the Soviet bloc is comparable to the ongoing fall of the global neocapitalist system. This experience seems to be gaining new significance nowadays, as similar threats are becoming universal.



Friday, April 6

18.00 – Introduction (Ekaterina Degot, Natalia Zabolotna)
18.30 – Living in the Interregnum. Keynote speech by Zygmunt Bauman
20.00 – discussion with Zygmunt Bauman, Vasyl Cherepanyn and Slawomir Sierakowski

Saturday, April 7

Session 1

11.00 – Boris Buden. Art After the End of Society
12.00 – Sebastian Cichocki. Dematerialization / Annihilation of Art in the 1960ies and What We Can Learn from It
13.00 – Maria Hlavajova. To Undo Contemporary Art: Some Interim Speculations from “former West”
14.00 – panel discussion (moderated by Ekaterina Degot) 

Session 2

17.00 – The End of the World in Current Sociological Debates. Panel discussion with Zygmunt Bauman, Boris Buden, Aleksandra Kania, Slawomir Sierakowski. Moderated by Vasyl Cherepanyn

Sunday, April 8

Session 3

11.00 - Gerald Raunig. The Art of Existence and Molecular Revolution
12.00 – Oksana Timofeeva. Artistic Beast
13.00 – panel discussion (moderated by Ekaterina Degot)

Session 4

15.00 – Ilya Budraitskis. When Does the History of Revolution Start?
16.00 – Artem Magun. The Sense of Perestroika and Its Contemporary Meaning
17.00 – panel discussion (moderated by Oleksiy Radynski)

Session 5

18.00 – Vasyl Cherepanyn. Art, Knowledge and Politics after the End of the World
19.00 – After the Artistic Freedom. Panel discussion with Ilya Budraitskis, Vasyl Cherepanyn, Lesya Kulchynska, Oleksiy Radynski, Gerald Raunig, Oksana Timofeeva. Moderated by Ekaterina Degot


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