Henrik Högberg hh at iaspis.com
Tue Feb 28 18:52:59 CET 2006


-a festival-inspired exhibition with two seminars

At Iaspis

Jakobsgatan 27, 4th floor, Stockholm

Seminar: Saturday  4 and 11 March 2006, 14-20

  Participants: Timothy Brennan, critic, author, 
professor (Minneapolis), Loulou Cherinet, artist

(Addis Ababa/Stockholm), Peter Geschwind, artist 
(Stockholm), Jonathan Harris, art-historian and 
professor (Liverpool), Edda Manga, researcher 
History of Thought 
(Uppsala/Cairo/Gothenburg/Bogota), Philippe 
Parreno, artist (Paris), Kate Rich, artist and 
bar-manager (Bristol), Natascha Sadr Haghighian, 
artist (Berlin), Hito Steyerl, artist, theorist, 
lecturer (Berlin/Vienna/London), Måns Wrange, 
artist, professor (Stockholm).

Concept: Maria Lind, director Iaspis (Stockholm) 
& Tirdad Zolghadr, freelance critic, curator and 
event co-organizer (Zürich/Tehran).

Multiculturalism is easy to dismiss. For the 
right, it poses a threat to tradition and 
national identity. For the left, it often means 
food festivals, post-Marxist culturalism, or 
reactionary community spokesmen. As in 
discussions on globalisation, perhaps the jist of 
the problem lies in the tools at our disposal, 
the critical terminology, which is awkward at 
best, dangerous at worst. Following the 
government declaration of Year of Cultural 
Diversity 2006, we looked to theorists and 
practitioners with a talent for challenging 
standard terminologies and reassessing their 
critical potential. If a prominent example is the 
recent notion of the multitude, as formulated by 
Antonio Negri & Michael Hardt, keynote speaker 
Timothy Brennan's use of cosmopolitanism is a 
reconsideration of an older concept to critique 
new developments in academia and the cultural 

Another example is that of Ethnic Marketing, a 
term commonly used for marketing strategies 
targeting a non-White market. Used by Tirdad 
Zolghadr and Måns Wrange the term Ethnic 
marketing allows the host country -in this case 
Sweden- to be viewed as a specific ethnic 
populace with a specific buying power and demand 
- for a specific type of multiculturalism to 
begin with. The point in the Ethnic Marketing 
show is to turn this on its head and view various 
White markets as ethnicities themselves that one 
can cater to with various types of cultural 
concepts and commodities - including various 
types of multicultural credentials, visions and 
ideals. One of the very aims of this 
festival-inspired seminar is to discern what this 
Swedish brand might be. Does it play with 
universalist aspirations, or does it share the 
more fashionable notions of Other but Equal? 

One vital critical discourse regarding 
multiculturalism is that of Postcolonial theory, 
the academic trend which surfaced in the 1980s, 
and which, among other things, analysed the 
complicity of Western intellectual traditions 
with various forms of colonialism, old and new. 
In the course of its swift institutionalisation, 
has this movement spawned a newer, updated 
version of that complicity? What are the perils 
of academic engagement, and other top-down 
gestures of goodwill? Finally, what can the 
artworld contribute to this debate? Is it enough 
to critique the streamlined government decrees? 
Are there possibilities of being more 
cooperative, or is the artworld at odds with 
mainstream engagements? The instrumentalisation 
of the visual arts has been decried by critics 
for decades, and the boom in art & culture events 
dubbed "international festivals", for one, seems 
to confirm this suspicion. But does a festival 
necessarily result in a crude reduction of 
subject matter, or does it possibly harbour 
critical potential? Again, when addressing these 
facets of multiculturalism here and now, it is 
crucial that the actual language of the debate - 
the bedrock of the internationalist conundrum - 
be examined once again.


Seminar 1 - Saturday, 4 March

14.00         Introduction by Iaspis director Maria Lind

14.15         Edda Manga, researcher Uppsala University

                    The tolerant racism of multiculturalism

15.00         Natascha Sadr Haghighian, artist


16.00         Kate Rich, artist and bar manager

                    Feral Trade Catering

16.30         Coffee

17.00         Tirdad Zolghadr, freelance critic and curator

How Can it Hurt You if it Looks so Good - 
Multiculturalism from an Ethnic Marketing 

18.00         Loulou Cherinet, Stockholm-based Iaspis resident artist

              A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, 
Glubdubdribb, Luggnagg and Ethiopia

              - The Discovery and Use of an African Identity

18.30         Discussion

19.30         Bar and refreshments

Day 2 - Saturday 11 March

14.00         Timothy Brennan, Critic, Author and Professor

                    The Sublimation of Poverty

15.00         Hito Steyerl, artist, theorist, 
lecturer and future Iaspis resident artist

              From Ethnicity to Ethics 

16.00         Coffee

16.30         Jonathan Harris, Professor University of Liverpool

                    The Aestheticisation of 
Politics? Assessing Perspectives on Contemporary 
Art, State-Corporatism, and Late Capitalist 
Culture in a New Age of Empire

17.30         Måns Wrange, artist and professor 
and Tirdad Zolghadr, freelance critic, curator 
Workshop Ethnic Marketing

18.30         Discussion

19.30         Bar and refreshments

For more information please contact Ann Traber at 
<mailto:at at iaspis.com>at at iaspis.com or visit or 
website <http://www.iaspis.com>www.iaspis.com

More information about the Artinfo mailing list