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Previous - FORMER WEST 3rd Research Congress: Beyond What Was Contemporary Art

Part One, 19–20 April 2012, The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Secession, Vienna

If we imagine Contemporary Art to be a historical period that emerged from 1989 in parallel to other hegemonic formations such as global neoliberalism, could it be argued that, in sync with the current seismic shifts in society, politics, and economy, it has now reached a dead end? Is Contemporary Art—art in and of the epoch of neoliberalism—on its way out, together with the system that made it possible? What kind of challenges and possibilities might then lie before us in the space of art in times when “business as usual” is no longer an option? Can we speculate collectively on how to move beyond the present confines of Contemporary Art’s normalized and normalizing practices, and articulate what can appear from Contemporary Art’s “formerness?”

The first part of the Congress puts forward a number of propositions to engage with these questions during a two-day gathering of artistic and cultural practitioners in Vienna. Shaped by these discussions, Part Two unfolds in Utrecht in September 2012. The 3rd FOMER WEST Research Congress is developed by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht and co-curated by Marion von Osten, FORMER WEST research advisor and Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.

We are pleased to announce that all lectures and conversations presented during the 3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress, Part One: Beyond What Was Contemporary Art are now available for viewing via the Digital Platform of FORMER WEST: Contributions include lectures by: aaa/atelier d’architecture autogérée; Nancy Adajania; CAMP; Ekaterina Degot; h.arta; Ranjit Hoskote; and Irit Rogoff.

For more information please go to:

Part One of the Congress is realized in collaboration with the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Secession, Vienna and is generously supported by the Mondriaan Fund, Amsterdam; ERSTE Foundation, Vienna; and the Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Vienna.

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