PARRHESIA part 2: ResearchLAB

PARRHESIA part 2: ResearchLAB

24,25 & 26 september 2015

see also

PART 2: Research LAB on Thursday 24, Friday 25 and Saturday 26 September in collaboration with the research group Image in Context, supervised by Bibi Straatman and Anke Coumans at Minerva Art Academy. Within the context of this LAB artists and theoreticians will discuss how – based on the courage of ordinary people – current neglected truths can be brought to people’s attention in an artistic manner in the public domain. I
n addition to the artists mentioned, the following theoreticians art taking part as well: Lara Garcia Diaz, Carmen van Bruggen, Steyn Berghs, Marianna Maruyama.

Location: Minerva Art Academy, Praediniussingel 59, Groningen. T
ime: 10.00 -17.00 hours,  p
lease apply if you are interested in the public parts of the programme. la
nguage: English. Entry: free of charge.
Thursday 24 September 10.00 – 12.30 hours: opening lecture Bibi Straatman (SIGN, Winschoterkade 10, Groningen).
Thursday 24 September 17.00 – 18:00 hours: lecture Joost Smiers about alternative economic scenarios (Minerva Art Academy, Praediniussingel 59 Groningen).
Friday 25 September 17.30 hours: opening exhibition SIGN, Winschoterkade 10, Groningen.

ResearchLAB, DAY 1 : Thursday September 24

In SIGN at 10 ‘o clock in the morning:
 Lecture of Bibi Straatman on “Parrhesia and democracy” followed by pitches of the participating artists and designers: DesignArbeid, Eleni Kamma, Yuri Veerman,Woodstone Kugelblitz… You are welcome to attend it at Sign, Winschoterkade, 10, Groningen
see also link :
Thursday September 24/9 Lunch
 In Minerva: a delicious lunch made by students & Bibi (foto’s)
Thursday September 24/9 afternoon 24/9: 
In Minerva continuation of the pitches: Hannes Bernard (Sulsolsal), Roel Roscam Abbing, Gijs de Heij, Katja Verheul.
 Interesting project of Roel Roscam Abbing. Find information on his attempts to create more transparancy in internet traffic.
Thursday late afternoon 24/9 lecture
At 17 ‘o clock Lecture of dr. Joost Smiers on the lack of transparency of multinationals. Based on his new book, he will debate a proposal voor a new economy. This lecture was at Academy Minerva, Praediniussingel 59 Groningen.
ree entrance. You are very welcome to join us in our attempt to find new parrhsiastic obligations.

Vrijdag 25 september

ResearchLAB/ Day 2 Friday september 25
. Interesting topic brought in by Woodstone Kugelblitz during the parrhesia lab at Academy Minerva.
 It is linked to the horizontal organization, brought in by Paul Verhaeghe in his book on authority.
What Is Sociocracy and Why Do You Need it?
Friday 25/9 morning in Minerva
. Also Brought up by theorist Lara Garcia Diaz at the Parrhesia Lab:
On the detention of Cuban artist Tania Bruguera, by Coco Fusco
The State of Detention: Performance, Politics, and the Cuban Public

saturday 26 september

ResearchLAB/ DAY 3:  Saturday in Minerva 26/9 in the Green Room.
Today the results & formulation of the first ideas for a ‘work in progress’ concerning the parrhesia LAB will be presented. At15.00 hr. at Academy Minerva, Praediniussingel 59. You’re welcome!

It was a very intense program for the theorists: Lara Garcia Diaz, Carmen van Bruggen, Steyn Bergs, Marianna Maruyama. /artists Woodstone Kugelblitz, Yuri Veerman, Katja Verheul, DesignArbeid, Roel Roscam Abbing, Sulsolsal, Gijs de Heij, Eleni Kamma & students Minerva. All happened under the supervision of Bibi Straatman & Anke Coumans (Lectoraat Image in Context).
Later in Part 3 (From 7 November to 20 December) the artists will produce and present new work inspired by the LAB. The work will be manifested at several spots and in several ways in a variety of disciplines.
See also our videoarchive for Parrhesia film impression of the Lab (film by Elsie Vermeer)
Links Neoliberalism has brought out the worst in us Paul Verhaege.


PARRHESIA or the courage to tell the truth in a transparent society

Lara Garcia Diaz

Given the aggressiveness of our current neoliberal hegemony, it is unsurprising that philosophy as a discipline has recently concerned itself with reformulating what democracy might mean, raising the urgency for new instituent practices to flourish. Moreover, there is no doubt that the hybridization between previously differentiated spheres such as labour, political action and intellectual reflection has brought many artistic practices to envision new forms of production, offering, in many cases, spaces for resistance that make visible that which has no reason to be seen. Indeed, art still occupies an increasingly central role in our societies, and yet, how can artistic practices contribute to the counter-hegemonic challenge to neo-liberal hegemony and be the terrain to confront and foment new forms of instituent practices?

To open the debate, my aim is to recall Michel Foucault’s believe that power is constitute of existence and therefore not inherently negative. As political theorist Chantal Mouffe argues, “[…] the prime task of democratic politics is not to eliminate passions nor to relegate them to the private sphere in order to render rational consensus possible, but to mobilise those passions towards the promotion of democratic designs. Far from jeopardizing democracy, agonistic confrontation is in fact its very condition of existence” (2012:756). And yet again, how can artistic practices engage with radical social criticism without fancying themselves in an imagined distance or deconstructive intervention in the institution?

In keeping with the possibility for artistic practices to propose agonistic spaces where an ideological system of meaning can be challenged, my goal in the research lab is thus twofold. First, I will examine Foucault’s understanding of the conception of truth (parrhesia) by the division of two major sides or aspects of Parrhesia. One side is concerned with guaranteeing that, “the process of reasoning is correct in ensuring if a statement is true” (2001:168). And the other side is centred with the question: “What is the importance for the individual and for the society of telling the truth, of knowing the truth, of having people who tell the truth, as well as knowing to recognize them?” (2001:170). Thereafter, I am interested in Foucault’s examination of parrhesia as “a kind of verbal activity where the speaker has a specific relation to truth through frankness, a certain relationship to his own life through danger, a certain type of relation to himself or other people through criticism and a specific relation to moral law through freedom and duty” (2001:189). Second, I will like to reflect on the necessity for artistic practices to be self-critical and yet do not imprison their own existence in the art institution. Here, I believe, as Ilan Kapoor explains, that “it is not enough to have the outward trimmings and institutions of liberal democracy (elections, parliaments, rule of law and so on); we also need to ensure the quality and inclusiveness of democratic processes in the multiple spheres of social life and within all public institutions” (2002: 459). And therefore, my final aim is to link Foucault’s understanding of parrhesia with Paolo Virno’s theorisation of `exodus´ and Raunig’s analyses of contemporary institutional critique practices in which […]“what is needed here and now, is parrhesia as a double strategy: as an attempt of involvement and engagement in a process of hazardous refutation, and as self-questioning” (2006). Can artistic practices still transform `the arts of governing´ through processes of instituting based on fearless and courageous forms of speech able to traverse institutional structures? Can artistic practices “ensure the quality and inclusiveness of democratic processes in the multiple spheres of social life and within all public institutions”?