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09 May 2019

Political Animal comes to CCA Glasgow and Glasgow School of Art this June


Political Animal - Art Writing Constructing the Contemporary City
Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow
http://www.cca-glasgow.com/programme/political-animal-art-writing-constructing-the-contemporary-city-2019

Info

Talks & Events - Friday 21 June - Saturday 22 June 2019

Contact

politicalanimal2018@gmail.com

+44 (0)141 352 4900

Address

http://www.cca-glasgow.com/programme/political-animal-art-writing-constructing-the-contemporary-city-2019
Centre for Contemporary Arts
350 Sauchiehall Street
Glasgow G2 3JD
United Kingdom

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Just when you thought you were powerless in the presence of contemporary art… Political Animal is back!

Political Animal is an interdisciplinary cultural event which explores how the contemporary city can be written, curated, performed and (re)built. Through talks, presentations, exhibitions and assemblies, questions around the roles of the collective and the individual in the operations of the city will be raised and discussed. Aristotle defined humans as the 'political animal' because humans rationalise, normalise and codify their social relations in a city. Yet do all 'civil' practices participate in the rejection of the unconscious and instinctual urges that form the non-political aggregations of the mob, the pack and the herd? How does the body of the collective absorb or exclude the living body through art, the law and the media?

The Leverhulme International Network of Contemporary Studies (LINCS), together with Glasgow School of Art, the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) and The Drouth, have invited a collection of international artists, writers, performers, academics, musicians and activists from all over the globe to come together between 21–22 June 2019. CCA's Public Engagement Curator Viviana Checchia and Professor Johnny Rodger from Glasgow School of Art will bring together existing works and projects and commission new ones from artists who explore the subject of the contemporary city at the core of their practice.

The participants will share their politicised practices. Together they will explore how the contemporary city can be written through curating, performing and building. The device of the 'assembly' will be a principle vehicle of exploration in this event, and various questions will be addressed by the participants as art and cultural practitioners and as citizens. What are the respective and interrelational roles of the collective and the individual in the operation of the contemporary city?

The name of the event, Political Animal, is taken from the writing of one of the foundational philosophical writers on civics, namely Aristotle. By using this term to define the human being, where 'polis' is the Greek word for 'city' (and the root of our word 'politics/political' etc) he is saying on a most literal level that the human is an animal who lives in towns or cities. From thence of course one can extrapolate, as thinkers and interpreters of Aristotle have done down through the centuries, and push the interpretation further to argue that Aristotle defined the human as the 'political animal' because humans, biologically a species of animal, rationalise, normalise and codify their social relations in a city, as opposed to differing types of aggregations of other animals. As such there appear to be almost two distinct parts coming together in this human being –the rational, civil, normalising being and the instinctual, bestial, existential being.

The animal theme, besides its role in the Aristotelian definition, also has a long history of exploitation and development as an allegorical rationalisation and codification of social behaviour through the literary form of the fable. The thinking here is, of course, of the European tradition of Aesop and La Fontaine, and this is said to come down to us from the even older Indian tradition of the Panchatantra. Johnny Rodger's researches into the Contemporary and what it means go back to his publication of Contemporary Glasgow in 1999. But alongside a sustained scholarly and analytical approach to the question, for the past few years he had been using the form of the modern prose poem fable in order to come at the question of the 'contemporary' through the very different angle of literary form. He now has a collection of twenty of these modern fables – some of which have been published individually in The Drouth.

Prabhakar Pachpute will launch a new series of work produced for this event and commissioned by GSA, CCA and The Drouth to accompany the publishing of the book Political Animal. The exhibition will present ten framed A3 drawings, a series of wall interventions (murals, stencil etc) as well as various 3D objects. The work Prabhakar will produce will be conceptually based on Johnny Rodger's writing and site-responsive to Glasgow and the GSA gallery.

We aim to move critically and artistically towards an exposition of living in the contemporary city from those two poles of the human constitution and operate with the contrast, dialogue, movement, play and tension between them. It was further decided that as this event involves participants from different backgrounds, interests and ways of working then the notion of 'assembly' would be a key concept.

There will be various forms of engagement—conference/performances/exhibitions—all contained in two main arenas: a human assembly and an animal assembly. Instead of the usual closing remarks, the end of this event will take the shape of a BarCamp. BarCamp is an open, participatory workshop-event, the content of which is provided by the participants themselves. It is an intense event with discussion and interaction between attendees. Unlike the traditional conference format, BarCamps have a self-organising character, relying on the passion and the responsibility of the participants.

Participants include Viviana Checchia, Jasmina Cibic, Daniel Godínez Nivón, Fucking Good Art, Agnieszka Kilian, Màiri Lafferty, Francis McKee, Prabhakar Pachpute, Richard Parry, Karla Portilla, Johnny Rodger, Alicja Rogalska, Farah Saleh, Ravi Sundaram and Carol Yinghua Lu. In partnership with Glasgow School of Art, Leverhulme International Network of Contemporary Studies and The Drouth. Supported by Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.


Thursday, 20 June 2019

Location: Glasgow School of Art
6pm // Opening Political Animal solo show by Prabhakar Pachpute and book launch by Johnny Rodger & Prabhakar Pachpute


Friday 21 June

9.30am–10am // Registration
10am–10.15am // Welcome
10.15am–12am // The Festival Cabinet
Art Making the Contemporary City (The Culture of the Festival)
Chair: Viviana Checchia
Carol Yinghua Lu, Richard Parry, Francis McKee
12.00–12.30pm // Face to Face: Carol Yinghua Lu & Mairi Lafferty

12.30pm–1.30pm // Lunch break

1.30–4.30pm // The Cabinet of Spatial Justice
Spatial Justice in the Contemporary City
Chair: Karla Portilla
Farah Saleh, Jasmina Cibic, Alicja Rogalska
4.30pm–5pm // Screening Jasmina Cibic, Alicja Rogalska
5pm–6pm // Assembly - The Political Gathering of the People


Saturday 22 June

10am–10.15am: Welcome & Intro
10.15am–12.15pm // A Medium-Sized Cage: Writing/Publishing/Alternative Media and the Contemporary City
Chair: Johnny Rodger
Fucking Good Art, Ravi Sundaram, Agnieszka Kilian, Mairi Lafferty
12.15pm–12.45pm // tequio assembly by Daniel Godinez Nivon

12.45pm–1.45pm // Lunch break

2pm: BarCamp

Participants include: Camilla Crosta, Gustavo Ferro, Maiada Aboud, Michael Kordas, among others.

6.30pm // Launch of The Drouth @ The Vic, 20 Scott St



CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

Deadline: Sunday 2 June 2019, 5pm
BarCamp: Saturday 22 June 2019, 2pm

Instead of the usual closing remarks, the end of this event will take the shape of a BarCamp. BarCamp is an open, participatory workshop-event, the content of which is provided by the participants themselves. It is an intense event with discussion and interaction between attendees. Unlike the traditional conference format, BarCamps have a self-organising character, infused with the passion and the responsibility of the participants.

We are looking for proposals from anyone who would like to attend the event and make use of the BarCamp. This could be a talk, a workshops or simply a paper to be made available during Political Animal. Any public activity led by individuals or groups who would like to contribute to address the general public or communities would be welcome and supported by Political Animal within the limitation of our resources and financial capabilities.
Please send proposals consisting of 250 words to politicalanimal2018@gmail.com by Sunday 2 June 2019.