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Anti-Humanist Curating


This research strand explores the problems of the legacy of Humanist ethics, in their many forms, as recognized as the persistent residual core of almost all historical and contemporary curatorial practice and theory. The research focuses on discussion of key problematic issues to critique how curatorial practice is especially susceptible to instrumentalisation by various hegemonic forces to produce determined 'socially beneficial' goals.

The key move is to explore how new organizing principles for curatorial practice that seek to de-privilege the production of a subject-centred private individual subjecthood could be made manifest, and to urgently propose how curatorial practice could avoid instrumentalisation as an agent of the State (i.e avoid complicity with weak naïve Liberal or stronger cynical Neo-Liberal political modality) and avoid banal assimilation and desublimation into a mill of commodity exchange (i.e. avoid being a pawn in or avoid producing new paradigms for the various 'economies of scope' of Post-Fordist Capitalism).

L to R: Matthew Poole, Roger M. Buergel, Bridget Crone, Anselm Franke
Whitechapel Gallery, London 25th November 2010

Recent Seminars:

7.30pm Monday 23rd May, 2011
Anti-Humanist Curating Seminar #3
Venue: xero, kline & coma
258 Hackney Road, London E2 7SJ

Louis Althusser, Marxism and Humanism, 1964

This seminar explored Louis Althusser's controversial reading of Marx, where he proposes a 'theoretical anti-humanism' within Marx's conception of communism. This is written in 1964 in frustration at the emergence of the contradictory, and according to Althusser an insidious authoritarian 'Humanist Communism' (or 'Socialist Humanism') arising in the Soviet Union and across Europe at the time.

7.30pm Monday 20th June, 2011
Anti-Humanist Curating Seminar #4
Venue: xero, kline & coma
258 Hackney Road, London E2 7SJ

In this paper Michel Feher explores the concept and operations of 'Human Capital' as a burgeoning measure of value within post-Fordist Capitalism and Neo-Liberal politics. This seminar  explored if and how this concept is intrinsic to art production and curatorial activity.

Past Seminars:

Thursday 8th July 2010
Anti-Humanist Curating Seminar #1
Venue: Goldsmiths College, London
Speakers: Robert Garnett & Matthew Poole

Thursday 25th November 2010
Anti-Humanist Curating Seminar #2
Venue: Whitechapel Gallery, London
Speakers: Roger M. Buergel, Bridget Crone, Anselm Franke, and Matthew Poole