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22 Jun 2017

Nottingham Contemporary: Doing Deceleration

Installation view Exhausted Academies at SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul 2016, Image courtesy of Seoul Museum of Art

Nottingham Contemporary


Exhibition: Exhausted Academies: Nottingham Contemporary, June 30 – July 5 Summer Lodge: Doing Deceleration, Nottingham Trent University, July 3 – July 14 Symposium: Doing Deceleration, Nottingham Contemporary/Nottingham Trent University, July 4


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Nottingham Contemporary
Weekday Cross
Nottingham NG1 2GB
United Kingdom

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The imperative to 'do deceleration' is less a call to 'slow down', to withdraw or retreat from the process of production as such. Instead, the invitation is to explore ways in which we might disrupt or dislodge the pressure of acceleration: the ubiquitous demands to do more and more – faster and faster – that arguably underpin our contemporary culture of immediacy and urgency, of 24/7 access and availability, with its privileging of multitasking, perpetual readiness and ethos of 'just-in-time' production. In one sense, the requirement to do more and more can result in a reality of less and less, the cultivation of superficial engagement overriding the possibility of deep, sustained immersion, diminishing the potential of attention and concentration. How does the art school or even the artists' studio respond to or alternatively refuse these cultural tendencies? How might the space-time of the studio or residency provide an alternative model for practice, perhaps even offer the conditions of resistance? Less the reactive manifestation of chrono-phobic anxiety, how might doing deceleration reveal rest and reflection as active components of artistic production, the practice of doing-nothing as complementary rather than oppositional to action? Here, radical deceleration does not involve the retreat towards the promise of a singular (slower) temporality, but rather has the capacity to reveal and bring into relation a plurality of micro-temporal co-incidings.

These questions are central to the symposium Doing Deceleration. The symposium takes place on July 4 from 10.00 to 13.00 at Nottingham Contemporary and from 15.00 to 18.00 at Nottingham Trent University. Contributors include: Emma Cocker, Adrian Heathfield, Finn Janning, Danica Maier, Henk Slager and Mick Wilson.

Doing Deceleration is a partnership between Nottingham Trent University Summer Lodge and Nottingham Contemporary, programmed in conjunction with Exhausted Academies, an exhibition project curated by Visiting Professor Henk Slager (Nottingham Contemporary, 30 June – 5 July 2017). Exhausted Academies asks how might we rethink the relation between artistic research and the art academy, specifically through a critique of the 'exhausting' achievement-oriented and instrumentalised tendencies of the contemporary neoliberal institution, and a return to a 'verticalist' perspective that 'makes space' for attention and concentration; for experiment, novel questions and speculation; for reflexivity, new modes of imagination; for an open-ended form of differential thinking that values not-knowing, the singular, the affective, the transgressive, and the unforeseen.

This new iteration of Exhausted Academies – a previous edition took place in the context of the project The Village, SeMA Biennale Media City Seoul 2016 – consists of the following six works: Tiong Ang, As the Academy Turns (2016 edition); Inci Eviner, Co-action Device (2017); Rene Francisco, Art Works on Commission, Free; Isabella Gresser & Byung Chul Han, Fatigue Society (2015); Ane Hjort Guttu, Time Passes (2015); Muntadas, About Academia (2017 edition). The videos by Inci Eviner and Rene Francisco were produced recently in the context of the project To Seminar, BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht.

For information about Doing Deleration:
For information about NTU Summer Lodge: