[artinfo] The Old Left and the New Right

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Mon Feb 27 14:06:49 CET 2017


The Old Left and the New Right

April 4-July 13, 2017

The Extreme Centre: April 18-19, A symposium on 
the future of politics in populist times with 
Tariq Ali, Ágnes Heller, Sreçko Horvat, Saskia 
Sassen, Andreas Speit, Teresa Forcades.
Performances: Michael Portnoy, Laibach

Volksbühne am Rudolfplatz, Aachener Str. 5, 50674 Cologne

Ever since the end of the Cold War, the 
conventional categories of Left and Right have 
been in doubt, yet it is especially in the last 
five years that there has been a fundamental 
global shift. New populisms arise not only in 
Europe and the US, but also in the Middle East or 
in Asia, and often they defy clear political 
classification. Authoritarianism and plebiscitary 
democracy blend, as former leftwing 
constituencies are captivated by nationalist and 
protectionist agendas. Conservatives cast 
themselves as reformers or even radicals, 
appropriating cultural techniques for 
anti-establishment resistance traditionally 
associated with progressives and 
anti-capitalists. What does the rise of this new 
right mean to the old left, and where do these 
categories become meaningless or suspended? Is 
the matter so simple as a mere retribalization of 
politics? These are the questions that guide 
Academy of Arts of the World program of the 
spring 2017, PLURIVERSALE VI: The Old Left and 
the New Right.

Opening on April 4, the group exhibition 
_Enigmatic Majorities_ at ACADEMYSPACE features 
works by Anne Arndt, Xiao Ke/Zi Han, Cristina 
Lucas, Ferhat Özgür, Anand Patwardhan, Tomas 
Rafa, and Chulayarnnon Siriphol, and addresses 
the global dimension of the current shift. In 
their films, artists face "the people" in moments 
when that category is celebrated or only just 
constructed as an "empty signifier" floating in 
space, ready to gravitate this way or that.

The cornerstone of the season is the symposium 
_The Extreme Centre_ on April 18 and 19 at 
Volksbühne am Rudolfplatz with the participation 
of historian and author Tariq Ali, sociologist 
Saskia Sassen, philosopher Ágnes Heller, 
journalist and writer Andreas Speit, social 
activist Teresa Forcades and philosopher and 
activist Sreçko Horvat. The symposium takes its 
title from a recent book by Tariq Ali and looks 
at the future of politics in populist times.

On April 18, at the end of the first day of the 
symposium, Academy is proud to premiere a 
performance by New York-based artist Michael 
Portnoy, who, with his usual touch of paradox and 
sense of humor, will artistically reflect upon 
current political debates, in particular 
so-called "character assassination," the 
deliberate destruction of reputations through the 
misrepresentation of facts. The symposium ends 
April 19 with a live performance by one of the 
pioneers of antifascist subversion, the legendary 
Slovenian group Laibach.

As a follow-up to the symposium, Academy Member 
Mark Terkessidis, journalist Richard Gebhardt and 
anti-fascist activist Bianca Klose explore the 
rise of right-wing populism and the simultaneous 
decline of old-school right-wing parties in a 
discussion at ACADEMYSPACE on May 11.

Later in the program, the Academy presents the 
German premiere of the most recent monumental 
film by renowned Indian documentary filmmaker and 
political activist Anand Patwardhan, Ja Bhim 
Comrade (May 30 at Filmpalette). Also premiering 
are new artistic productions and coproductions by 
the Academy, among them Katarina Zdjelar's new 
film on German choreographer Dore Hoyer's work in 
the GDR inspired by Käthe Kollwitz (June 20 at 
the Kunsthochschule für Medien KHM) and _Nature 
Theater of Oklahoma's_ new film Germany: Year 
2071 on June 25, the latter made in cooperation 
with Impulse Theater Festival. This year, the 
Academy also presents the results of its new 
experimental Open Call in the Paris region, 
initiated by Academy Member Monika Gintersdorfer.

On July 13, PLURIVERSALE VI ends with a lecture 
by British American political scientist Arun 
Kundnani on the relation of the right-wing with 
Islamophobia in the West and another Academy 
commission, a new sound performance by Academy 
Member Terre Thaemlitz, reflecting on the 
bourgeois, heterosexist notions of marriage, 
family and childbearing in their global dimension.

This season, the Academy also continues its 
educational program, the Youth Academy, with new 
guest artists, Bik van der Pol. A new reading 
group accompanies the entire program, following 
its themes with deeper readings.

Curated by Ekaterina Degot, David Riff, Aneta 
Rostkowska and the entire Academy team.

A full program of events will be presented 
shortly on 

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