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12 Nov 2010

Witte de With presents the symposium 'Rotterdam Dialogues: Morality'

Act X, Rotterdam Dialogues: Morality
Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art


Friday 19 November Saturday 20 November 1 - 7 p.m.

Witte de With Office
+31 (0)10 411 0144
+31 (0) 10 4117924

Witte de With
Center for Contemporary Art
Witte de Withstraat 50
3012 BR Rotterdam
The Netherlands

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'Rotterdam Dialogues: Morality'
Friday 19 & Saturday 20 November, from 1 to 7 p.m.

Witte de With presents a two-day symposium structured around lectures, dialogues and a masterclass by Wendelien van Oldenborgh. It is the penultimate act of our 'Morality' program.

Since the Fall of 2009, the team at Witte de With has been developing a series of exhibitions and events that make visible the gray zones of contemporary morality. This was motivated by our perception that an exponential number of moral attitudes are emerging in the public sphere that reinforce rigid, binary frameworks for thought and action. With this in mind, our aim has been to shed some light on the workings of morality from a range of different perspectives, focusing on the areas where its application is elusive and unstable, culturally specific and politically ambivalent. Our sense is that the question of morality must remain in play but open and undefined. The purpose of Rotterdam Dialogues: Morality is to forge a constructive discussion around this increasingly ubiquitous but elusive term, transferring the explorations and speculations developed throughout this past year's exhibitions and events to the discursive field.

With this symposium we wish to shed some light on the fraught encounter between the values that characterize the idea of an open, egalitarian society, and the intolerances articulated in the name of morality. As with previous Acts of the program, the symposium guests have not been asked to specify the meaning of morality, but rather to introduce case studies through which to think constructively about spaces and instances where binary distinctions – good and evil; right and wrong – fall apart. From the figure of the zombie and its dubious status as an allegory of the contemporary capitalist subject, through the role of comedy as a site for the performance of political critique, to the social organization of tent cities as forms of social protest; each guest will share her or his intellectual experience to form a base for concrete discussion.

The participants represent a wide range of disciplines: philosophy, psychoanalysis, literature, curating, criticism, art, anthropology and architecture.

- Lars Bang Larsen (critic, Barcelona/Copenhagen)
- Clémentine Deliss (director, Museum de Weltkulturen, Frankfurt)
- Dessislava Dimova (art historian and freelance curator, Brussels)
- Felix Ensslin (Professor for Aesthetics and Art Mediation, State Academy of Fine Arts, Stuttgart)
- Joseph Grima (director, Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York)
- Nikolaus Hirsch (director, Städelschule, Frankfurt)
- Candice Hopkins (curator, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa)
- Koyo Kouoh (administrator, curator and critic, Dakar)
- Mian Mian (author, Shanghai)
- Matthias Mühling (Head of Department Collections /Exhibitions/ Research, Städtische Galerie im Lembachhaus und Kunstbau, Munich)
- Wendelien van Oldenborgh (artist, Rotterdam)
- Adriano Pedrosa (independent curator, editor and writer, Saõ Paulo)
- Tariq Ramadan (Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies in the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford University)
- Aaron Schuster (philosopher, Institute for Cultural Inquiry, Berlin)
- Tirdad Zolghadr (independent critic and curator, New York, teacher at Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College).
And with New-York-based artist, Rainar Ganahl, as a special respondent from the audience.

Please refer to our website: for the full running schedule.
For tickets purchase, please contact us via or call +31 (0)10 411 0144.

2-day ticket: € 10
1-day ticket: € 7,50
Students and Witte de With Friends: € 5

The Morality project is generously supported by the Mondriaan Foundation and SNS REAAL Fonds.
Witte de With is funded by the City of Rotterdam and the Dutch Ministry of Culture.