Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien

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Date | 10.01.2014 - 11.01.2014
Venue | Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Schillerplatz 3, 1010 Vienna, M13 and Tanzquartier Wien, Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna, Studios and Hall G

Symposium within the frame of the correspondent exhibition. Concept by Georgia Holz & Claudia Slanar. Participants: Carola Dertnig (artist, Vienna), Janez Janša, Janez Janša (artists, Ljubljana), Carrie Lambert-Beatty (art historian, Harvard University, Boston), Mathilde ter Heijne (artist, Berlin), Donelle Woolford (artist, New York).


Donelle Woolford
Self Portrait (diversification), 2011
Courtesy of the artist


It seems today’s artistic subject can only “survive” by splitting up, since it now has to play many roles and fill many gaps in this capitalist society. What does this split mean for artistic authorship and production as well as for spectatorship?

In parallel to the exhibition the symposium traces several questions such as: Does the “Death of the Auhtor” go hand in hand with the renaissance of the audience and the rediscovery of artistic sovereignty? Can the desire to contest authenticity be read as means to resist the post-Fordist pressures of individualization?

With the invited participants, artists and theoreticians alike, we want to encourage a trans-disciplinary exchange between theory, (art) history and artistic practice. We thereby also hope to challenge the symbolic as well as the real effects of fictional and performative interventions into academia.

All the lectures will be in English, Carola Dertnig's performance will be in German with an English transcript available.


Friday, January 10th, 2014
19.30, Tanzquartier, Studios
Donelle Woolford (Artist, New York)
Performance in cooperation with Tanzquartier Vienna

In the performance Performer/Performer/Audience/Mirror, Donelle Woolford re-enacts the piece that was originally conceived and performed by artist Dan Graham in 1977. However, the only "reproduction" occurs within the work itself. This means that the work is staged in exactly the same way as Dan Graham's dance studio or similar room with a wall of mirrors and an audience, but as a Pas de Deux. Donelle Woolford is an emerging artist from New York who has exhibited in London, Paris and Vienna.Multifaceted as a narrative, a scripted role, and a fictional character, Woolford has actually entered the real world through different actors in different locations. The shifting embodiment of Woolford, along with the diversity of her work, hint at the fact that she is actually the invention of artist Joe Scanlan who, in turn, casts young African American women to portray her.It can thus be said that Woolford is the author of the artworks Scanlan produces.If so, then Scanlan both colludes and questions the institutional structures and representational politics of the art world.The impersonation gives him freedom to create artworks that do not necessarily fit within his own biography.But as a construction, Woolford also challenges our desire to connect an artwork to an artist-subject and to read the work through the author's "authentic" biography.

(Followed by Oleg Soulimenko, The Dance I Don't Want To Remember 20:30 pm / Tanzquartier Wien / Halle G
Information and tickets: www.tqw.at)

Saturday, January 11th, 2014
Academy, M13

15.15, Carrie Lambert-Beatty (Art historian, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA)
Lost Wax, or, The Parafictional Object
Keynote lecture

Parafiction-art in which a fiction is presented as fact-is a practice of fabulation and figment. But surprisingly often such art centers on physical objects and material processes of making. In fact it sometimes seems that artists today must invent fictions in order to make objects. In the parafictional object two traditional functions of the artist come together: the artisan, or materiality specialist; the artificer, or maker of fictions. This requires asking historical questions: how are these being reinvented in contemporary art? And why? And it invites theoretical speculation: Can a material thing be fictive? How does theory of parafiction square with philosophies of materialism?

16.00, Mathilde ter Heijne (Artist, Berlin)
If it's me, it's not me.

Through her art works, art projects and collaborations Mathilde ter Heijne has been researching the production and construction of (gender) identity in different time periods and cultures. She frequently uses alter egos to research and represent structures and situations through which identities can be created or refused. Furthermore she also uses this technique to personally experience the researched phenomenon. So-called "universal human emotions" like love, revenge, compassion and sacrifice can have a very different meaning to individuals. How do cultural, political and social constructions of identity influence the understanding of emotions?

17.00, Janez Janša, Janez Janša (Artists, Ljubljana)
NAME Readymade
Lecture performance

A name. Everybody has one. But what is a personal name? What is its role in the society? What happens when the personal name of a known public figure suddenly multiplies and starts to appear - locally and internationally - in contexts other than the original one? Does this multiplication lead to the "devaluation" of the original name or does it rather contribute to its popularity and dissemination? In what way does the multiplication of a personal name render the communication confused and unstable? What does a personal name mean - in terms of brand - in our society? And finally: what would happen if we all have the same name? NAME Readymade is a project presentation dealing with a wide range of issues related to the "name changing" gesture perpetrated by three Slovenian artists who, in 2007, officially, and with all the papers and stamps required, changed their names and assumed the name of the Slovenian Prime Minister at the time, Janez Janša. Ever since, all their works, their private and public affairs - in a word, their whole life - have been conducted under this new name. NAME Readymade is a parcours through different stages and aspects of the act of name changing and its consequences, including public, relational and intimate ones; it is an investigation of how, in western society, the concept of personal name coincides with (or differs from) the question of personal identity.

18.00, Carola Dertnig (Artist, Vienna)
Lora Sana Expanded

With Lora Sana, (Actionist), Jakob Lena Knebl (aka Actionist 1 and 3), Hans Scheirl (aka Actionist 2) Claudia Slanar and Georgia Holz (aka Curator/ Moderator), Dorothea Zeyringer (aka fellow companion).

Carola Dertnigs Podiumsgespräch ist zwar inszeniert, kommt aber der Realität ganz erstaunlich nahe. Es hat der Wirklichkeit regelrecht aufs Maul geschaut / von den Lippen gelesen. Aktuelle öffentliche Gesprächsrunden im musealen Kontext überraschen nicht nur mit bereits vorher festgelegt scheinenden Kanonisierungen sondern auch mit dem dazugehörigen Verhalten - unerschütterlicher männlicher Saturiertheit oder vorauseilender Unterwürfigkeit und einer oft sogar betont auftretenden antifeministischen Konditionierung von Frauen selbst. Diese werden dabei aber nicht als Produkt von bewilligten patriarchalen Strukturierungen begriffen, sondern noch stolz als eigene Haltung vertreten. Die SprecherInnen führen dabei weniger die Lächerlichkeit solcher Herrschaftsgesten vor als das Ungeheuerliche, wie Herrschaft auf Faselei, Ungereimtheiten und Unwissen gründen kann und doch unbeirrt ihren Anspruch behauptet und zementiert. Lora Sana erscheint in diesem Zusammenhang weniger als erfundene Figur denn als Bündelung weiblicher Stärke, Widerständigkeit und kämpferischer Konsistenz.

Moderators Q&As: Georgia Holz and Claudia Slanar (Curators)


Donelle Woolford will be played by:
Jennifer Kidwell is an artist and recent graduate of the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training in Philadelphia. She holds a B.A. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University and has studied performance with teachers from Juilliard, Yale and The New School. Most recently she played Rosie in the world premiere of Robert Wilson's opera Zinnias at Montclair State University. She has played Donelle at Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Galerie de Expeditie, Amsterdam; The Guggenheim Museum, New York; and White Flag Projects, Saint Louis. She currently lives in Philadelphia.

Abigail Ramsay works in the performing arts as an actor, director and administrator. She holds a BA from Brown University and is a graduate of England's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, where she was active in the theatre and BBC4 radio plays. She has participated in the launch of Ruffled Feathers Theater Company, Brooklyn; and directed Simple Majorities by Benjamin Marshall for the African American Playwrights Exchange. She has played Donelle at the ICA, London, where she performed my first public lecture; Wallspace, New York; and The Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton University. She lives in Brooklyn.


Carrie Lambert-Beatty is an art historian who focuses on art from the 1960s to the present, with a special emphasis on performance in an expanded sense. She teaches art history and visual studies at Harvard University. Her 2008 book Being Watched: Yvonne Rainer and the 1960s is a critical history of the art of a signal member of the American avant-garde, exploring minimalism, dance, performance documentation, and the artistic response, often at the level of the political unconscious, to the burgeoning media culture of the 1960s. Published by MIT Press, Being Watched was awarded the de la Torre prize for dance studies. Lambert-Beatty's writing on recent art appears in journals such as Signs, Artforum, and October, of which she is an editor. In recent years, Lambert-Beatty has been concerned with the potential and limits of political art in contemporary practice and has written on hybrids of art and activism such as Women on Waves and The Yes Men. Her essay on recuperation--both neurological and ideological--in the work of the art team Allora + Calzadilla accompanied their representation of the United States at the 2011 Venice Biennale.Lambert-Beatty is currently at work on a book expanding on her 2009 essay "Make-Believe: Parafiction and Plausibility" (October 129), exploring the delights and dangers of deception, fabulation, and states of doubt in contemporary art and culture.

Mathilde ter Heijne was born in 1969 in Strasbourg, France. From 1988--1992 she studied at the Stadsacademie, Maastricht and from 1992-1994 at the Rijksacademie, Amsterdam. Since 2011 she has been Professor of Visual Art/Media, Installation, and Performance at the Kunsthochschule, in Kassel. She works in a variety of different mediums, including installation, sculpture, photography, and video. Specific topics featured in her work include women marginalized in society, domestic and political violence, matriarchal societies, ancient rituals and spells, the decoding of prehistoric symbol systems, and the psychology of various fictitious female artists that she tries to re-insert into the canon of art-history.

Janez Janša is the name of Slovenia's economic-liberal, conservative prime minister - and has also been the name of three well-known Slovenian artists since the summer of 2007; officially and with all the papers and stamps required for an official name change. All of their works, their private affairs, in a word their whole life has been conducted under this name ever since. Janez Janša, Janez Janša and Janez Janša cut right in the midst of their own realities and the reality of the space and time, in which they work. For this purpose they used procedures typical for art - transformation, translation, representation and mimicry. They turned around the classical relational scheme between art and life as it was developed in the 20th century. Art in previous century is redefined by way of reality entering into artistic contexts without mediation, while Janša, Janša and Janša want to achieve the opposite so that their methods cut deeply into their material lives and the lives of their immediate surrounding.

Carola Dertnig is an artist who is interested in upturning and overwriting aspects of performance art history through strategies of feminist historical revisionism, including imaginative reconceptualization and performative interventions with existing documentation. Dertnig lives and works currently in Vienna. Since 2006 she has been Professor for Performative Art at the University of Fine Arts in Vienna. She was a participant in the 1997 Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in New York and has been teaching as a guest professor at Cal ARTS in Los Angeles. Dertnig's work has appeared in several exhibitions at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Artists Space, New York, Museum of Modern Art New York, CCS Bard Galleries, Secession, and MUMOK in Vienna. 2006 Dertnig edited Let's twist again. If You Can't Think It, Dance it. Performance in Vienna from 1960 until today together with Stefanie Seibold. 2009 - 2011 Dertnig was part of the research project Performing Knowledge in the Arts.