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SODA Lecture Series Performativity of Class

Through an assemblage of readings and reflections, this intervention will playfully speculate on the paradoxical position of the 'curator' within broader structures of the global art circuitry and, by extension, the social totality. It primarily draws on Marxian class theory and literature on the relationship between contemporary art and class, but also anecdotal observations, to ask:

Uferstudios Guido Borgers

Should a curator be likened to a precarized worker or a hedge fund manager? Have there been attempts in recent history to situate the 'curatorial' within expressions of class struggle? What is the real 'value' of the social capital that curators supposedly hold? Can they - would they - unionize and see themselves as operating from a ? And most importantly, does the curatorial refer to a specific form of labor or class position, or is it a portmanteau concept that obfuscates class positionalities instead of rendering them more legible?

How do class and classism manifest themselves in bodies? How do experiences of exclusion, isolation, assimilation or shame translate into somatic experiences or bodily stances and gestures? What do 'social advancement' and 'belonging' taste and smell like? The Performativity of Class lecture series is an intersectional examination of the current comeback of the concept of class with a focus on the conditions and realities of work in the fields of education and body-based performing arts: areas in which social inequality and privilege are often reproduced, rather than dismantled.

In dialogue with experts from art, scholarship and education, the series explores how class positions determine relationships among students, teachers. In a larger social context, it will also examine how social privileges translate into understandings of knowledge and the body, into speaker positions and structures, and what role performative and artistic (counter-) strategies play in this.

The lecture series is jointly curated and organised by Prof. Dr. Sandra Noeth (MA SODA/HZT Berlin) and Prof. Dan Belasco Rogers (UdK Studium Generale).

(Program in English)
Additional information

Edwin Nasr (b. 1994) is a writer and curator from Beirut. Their research is broadly concerned with art practice and material culture's ability to make legible spaces of capture and extraction. Since 2018, Nasr has been taking part in the development of programs, publications, and exhibitions at Ashkal Alwan and is currently a curator at CCA Berlin - Center for Contemporary Arts. They completed de Appel’s Curatorial Programme in 2020-2021, followed by a research fellowship. Together with Sarah Rifky, they curated a three-day multidisciplinary summit, Towards an Institute of Black Studies, at the Quai Branly Museum, Paris; and Alexandria: Past Futures, a survey exhibition that will travel between Bozar - Center for Fine Arts, Brussels and the MUCEM, Marseille. With Hera Chan, they launched an ongoing podcast and research project, NOT A READY-MADE HISTORY, commissioned by SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin and further developed with the Singapore Art Museum and the Seoul Museum of Art. Forthcoming and recent essays can be found in Afterall Journal, n+1, Bidoun, Spike Art Magazine, The White Review, and The Funambulist.
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