für bildende Kunst
Out now: Booklet »Radical Passivity: Politics of the Flesh«Tuesday, 06 October 2020 — Friday, 20 November 2020
Organized by: neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst
Available in the shop and in the nGbK exhibition space
Softcover: 14,8 x 24 cm
Edited by: Kathrin Busch
Texts: Kathrin Busch and Jonas von Lenthe
Copyediting: Elisa Barth
Translations: Nicholas Grindell
Catalogue design: Till Gathmann
During the exhibition 3 Euro, after the exhibition 10 Euro
»Radical Passivity: Politics of the Flesh« deals in three ›scenes‹ with new forms of sensibility and corporeality in the arts. The themes range from discussions of pain, addiction and arousal (scene 1), to the idea of a new digital corporeality (scene 2), to questions of the social shaping of a no-longer subject-centred sensitivity (scene 3).
The exhibition and its accompanying publication takes its cue from Paul B. Preciado’s biopolitical theory that the form of power in today’s society is ›pharmacopornographic‹: the way humans are subjectivized, he claims, operates on one level via pharmaceuticals (i.e. medicines, hormones, stimulants, tranquilizers, narcotics, etc.). On another level, today’s form of power functions via arousal, meaning not only the porn industry but also other social mechanisms that obey the masturbatory logic of ›arousal – frustration – arousal‹. These regulatory mechanisms are applied to the sensitive flesh in its nervous exposure, sensibility and vulnerability.
The artworks highlight the links between power, illness, sex, excessive sensitivity and art. They focus attention on the involuntary and the obsolete, and question politics of affect-based address. As well as works from the 1960s and 1980s, the exhibition features mainly contemporary work addressing those areas in art and life that are not subject to choice, outside the individual’s scope for action. Frailty, ageing, exhaustion and mortality, but also birth, vulnerability and the capacity for arousal are understood here as phenomena of radical passivity, as an artistic critique of the supposedly governability of corporeal being
Published by Kathrin Busch, neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbK) and Gesellschaft für künstlerische Forschung in Deutschland (gkfd)