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Aesthetics and Agitation - Art Academies after October 7

Event Label
Panel talks | Workshops
Organisational Units
Fine Arts
Location Address (1)
Schillerplatz 3
Location ZIP and/or City (1)
1010 Vienna
Location Room (1)

Two-days session with panel talks and workshops at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Conceived and organized by Petja Dimitrova, Livia Erdösi, Eduard Freudmann, Nora Sternfeld.

Contemporary art and cultural production that considers itself as political, works towards social change by means of critical thinking and emancipatory practices. Accordingly, political perspectives and positions also play an important role in art academies. Many of their associates, teachers and students, engage in public debates through discursive and aesthetic practices and promote those debates at their institutions.

The events of October 7 and their consequences led to intensive discussions about the Middle East conflict at the art academies. For decades, the conflict served as a projection screen for a political left, which was shaped by the 1968 movement in the spirit of anti-imperialism and international solidarity. Supporting the Palestinian cause was widely taken for granted. Since the 1990s, the unambiguousness of this attitude has been critically questioned within the left, especially in the post-Nazi space. The debates and confrontations resulting from it have meanwhile reached the politicized art field as well as the art academies.

In order to better understand these debates and enable ourselves to conduct them more productively, we are getting together for a two-day event to exchange about what has happened at the art academies since October 7. We will reflect on the role repression and denial played in it, as well as aesthetics and agitation, racist and anti-Semitic world views, the fragility of alliances and the rejection of guilt and fantasies of redemption. Finally, we do not want to give up the hope that it will be possible again to develop practices of solidarity that are based on both, the critique of racism and the critique of antisemitism.

Conceived and organized by Petja Dimitrova, Livia Erdösi, Eduard Freudmann, Nora Sternfeld.
Organized in the framwork of a BIP Erasmus project in collaboration with Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee, Hungarian University of Fine Arts, HFBK Hamburg.


Thursday, May 16, 2024
10 h: Welcome by Rektor Johan Hartle, Introduction by Petja Dimitrova and Eduard Freudmann
10:30–12:30 h: Panel talk: Art academies after October 7
(Jörg Heiser, Jakob Krameritsch, Sashi Turkof, Ruth Mateus-Berr)
12:30–13:30 h: Lunch break
13:30–17 h: Workshops 1, 2, 3, 4 (parallel sessions)
17 h: Plenum
19 h: Panel talk: Denialism (Kübra Atasoy, Ana Hoffner, Isolde Vogel)

Friday, May 17, 2024
10–13 h: Workshops 1, 2, 3, 4 (parallel sessions)
13–14 h: Lunch break
14–16 h: Workshops 1, 2, 3, 4 (parallel sessions)
16–19 h: Plenum

Workshop 1: Aesthetics of Agitation (Tatiana Kai-Browne, Eduard Freudmann)
Workshop 2: Unlearning Antisemitic/Racist Worldviews (Havîn Al-Sîndy, Nora Sternfeld)
Workshop 3: Fragile Alliances (Sheri Avraham, Nora Hasan, Sophie Orentlikher)
Workshop 4: Guilt: Imputation and Rejection (Simon Nagy, Karin Schneider)

The program consists of panel talks (public) and workshops (registration required). If you plan to attend the panel talks please just go ahead, no registration is needed. 

If you plan to attend the workshops, please register by May 2, 2024 at Please be aware that participants are expected to attend the full workshop program which spans over two days. 

Workshop participants who are studying at the Academy of Fine Arts will be able to receive 2 credit points (Workshop B1 or B2 from the study program Fine Arts).