The next session of the Toronto reading group will be taking place at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, December 21st at Art Metropole. Continuing our exploration of the field of affect through the lens of the five artists currently developing commissioned projects for If I Can’t Dance, we’ll address the practice of Sung Hwan Kim. In particular, our encounter with Sung’s practice and writing will be informed by a text that begins by questioning the location of the social and the historical within the field of affect. ‘The Artist is a Currency’ is a transcript from a panel discussion between Rhea Anastas, Gregg Bordowitz, Andrea Fraser, Jutta Koether and Glenn Ligon that took place in March 2006 and was published in Grey Room.
Specifically, our discussion will begin with a series of questions asked by Rhea Anastas that opens ‘The Artist is a Currency’:
“How can the question—or is it a crisis—of the subject be located in contemporary art today? How does the art field represent and make use of its subjects? If we begin with the observation that the searching and deconstructive political articulations of subjectivity of the 1980s and 1990s have transformed, if not disappeared, where in current practice can the critical spaces that speak against the affirmative and antitheoretical mainstream of the art world—of New York’s largely market-driven art world—be observed?”
We will counter the panel discussion by collectively listening to excerpts from Sung’s recording entitled One from in the room: dog I knew, a radio adaptation of his In the Room series of performances and by reading his narrative reminisces entitled On my breathing the stars rise and set from his 2009 Witte de With publication. Through both we will feel how Sung’s performative practice rejects a single canonized stream of ‘political articulations of subjectivity’, and instead accumulates and articulates both studium and punctum by way of strategies of song, text, and performance.