Friday, December 01, 2006

Lecture and Book Launch: Mika Hannula

The Politics of Small Gestures Chances and Challenges for Contemporary Art
Mika Hannula
Lecture and book launch
December 1, 18:30

“The Politics of Small Gestures
Chances and Challenges for Contemporary Art"
published by art-ist, istanbul

...This is an argumentative book. It is openly opposed to quite a lot of different attitudes, trends and tendencies that are popular and widespread in contemporary art. It certainly has a good look at its enemies and a good go at them, but at the same time it tries to make a very precise point of also being for something else. In one simple sense, the whole book is about what that ‘something else’ can be. A ‘something else’ that comes in the guises and acts of small political gestures. A ‘something else’ that allows us to find and generate tools and the courage to find alternatives beside and beyond the instrumentalization of our life worlds, the society of the spectacle, the full blown commodification and mystification of artistic practice.

As an argument, it does not come out of nowhere. It has a distinguished background, a certain acutely present ‘thisness’, and hopefully also a future of a productive and challenging kind. The background that it emerges from is my personal experiences in contemporary art over the last couple of years. You will find numerous reflections on these confrontations with individual works of art in the main argument. What needs to be addressed, already at this point, is the intellectual debt this book as an argument owes to the realization of the 9th International Istanbul Biennial, curated by Charles Esche and Vasif Kortun, and held in September 2005. This book is an extended and developed version of an argument first put forward in an essay published in the Istanbul Biennial reader...

Mika Hannula,

Ph.D in Political Science, born 1967 in Turku, Finland.
Lives and works both in Berlin and in Helsinki. Works as lecturer, writer, critic and curator.

Currently professor for Art in Public Space at the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, Finland, and also associate professor for Artistic Research at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Göteborgs University, Sweden

A selection of publications:
Everything or Nothing – Critical Theory, Visual Culture and Contemporary Arts, Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, 2005
Artistic Research – methods, theories and practices, Göteborgs University, 2005 (with Juha Suoranta and Tere Vadén)
Rock the Boat: Localized Ethics, the Situated Self, and Particularism in Contemporary Art, Salon Verlang, Köln, 2003 (with Tere Vadén)