30 March, 2016

participants of the discussion – Hrach Bayadyan, Hrant Galstyan, Siranush Dvoyan

French philosopher Jacques Rancière says that aesthetics is not a discourse but an historical regime (along with the other two - ethical and representational regimes) of the encoding and the identification of art. That is the regime that put art at the time of its origin on the way of opening and emancipation. Today it is in trouble being identified with politics. According to the French philosopher today aesthetics is politics not by accident but in essence, because on the one hand it continues to recognize the autonomy of art making it suppress the boundaries between its practices and those of ordinary life, and on the other hand it turns into a free aesthetic game the promise of new revolution and emancipation.

But isn’t politics in the same trouble? Isn’t politics in its turn aetheticized? In global terms hasn’t it ceased to produce subjectivities being fully surrendered to the management, to the aesthetic passion to render it flawless and perfect. Doesn’t the obsession of contemporary art to become the sole domain of producing subjectivity, if we explain it in Rancière’s formulation, mean a paradigmatic change of the encoding and identification regime of art back to its ethical regime – with its preoccupation with service.

Those who love me have power over me, greater power have those whom I love - says the artist in his own name. But he speaks in general on behalf of art. Can art make its weakness and vulnerability a subject of worship for the society or, if we question the metaphor of one of the most famous curators of our times Hans-Ulrich Obrist, can it become the community’s toy? Can art become a communicative means ensuring the cultural-political unity of the society?

The public program of the project “(Im)potences: Power against Love” has double aim. On the one hand it proposes to analyse the material that lies on the basis of the project, on the other hand - to discuss the problems that emerge from the content layers of the project.

The subject of the project is accordingly the sit-in on the Baghramyan avenue, the media used by the participants during the sit-in, the performative practices adopted from other social revolts (flashmob, mic check, etc.), the photo and video images (showing the gestures and movements) produced, the pronounced words (calls, appeals, foul language), the voiced and written criticism about them. The project in its turn, on the one hand with aestheticization of the feelings of love, solidarity, wistfulness and regret, and on the other hand with ethicalization of the conceptual perceptions of the author of the project about the role of art and the artist, gives an opportunity to discuss the problem of the connection between art and politics in general. For the planned four meetings prominent Armenian media theoreticians, literary critics, cultural critics, art theorist and art critics will be invited who will discuss and will comment on the issues of interest to the art-loving and politically active public.