Reading Workshops 2019
are non-academic and informal discussions about seminal texts, devoted to current issues of contemporary art as well as exploration of the recent past. This season highlights themes, related to the LCCA event programme in 2019 – social utopias, geopolitical and cultural divisions, migration and politics of memory.

Curator Ieva Astahovska

#1 Reading Workshop
26.  02. 2019.

Immortality, life and death in the age of post-humanism”

Professor in religious studies and the author of the book The History of Immortality, Dag Øistein Endsjø participates online

The concept of immortality, also the issues related to technological progress, post-humanism, bioethics, the relationship between life and death in the age when human impact has brought significant changes in a wide range of fields, are becoming increasingly topical both in popular culture and in other fields, including contemporary art. However, immortality as a theme has always been central both in Western and in Eastern cultures – the belief that the physical body can exist indefinitely, has shaped the history of the world and continues to influence modern society. Revisiting distinction between living and non-living, various aesthetic, historical, political and philosophical assumptions are involved in the reflection on immortality. An intriguing view of the concept of immortality can be found in the works of the authors of Russian Cosmism, largely forgotten movement of thought, whose utopian principles, combining Western Enlightenment and Eastern philosophy, Russian Orthodox traditions, and Marxism, inspired several thinkers in the 20th century and today.


Boris Groys, “Introduction”. Russian Cosmism. e-flux, The MIT Press, 2018, pp. 1–16.

Alexander Bogdanov, “Immortality Day”, Russian Cosmism. e-flux, The MIT Press, 2018, pp. 215–226.

Dag Øistein Endsjø, The History of Immortality (Udødelighetens historie, 2016)

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#2 Reading Workshop
12. 03. 2019.
Contemporary art and ecology

Environmentally engaged art bears the potential to both rethink politics and politicize art’s relation to ecology, and its thoughtful consideration proves nature’s inextricable binds to economics, technology, culture, and law. However, contemporary artistic and activist practices address and negotiate environmental conflict in other ways than corporate media and the entertainment industry that generally rest content and benefit financially in presenting an endless stream of apocalyptic scenarios that make it seem as though environmental catastrophe is our ineluctable fate (or they ignore climate change entirely). There are growing numbers of social-movement campaigners, artists, political theorists, and activists who intent on thinking outside the enforced narratives of disaster capitalism. Art, given its long histories of experimentation, imaginative invention, and radical thinking, can play a central transformative role in ecological sustainability.
“If a Green Revolution is to happen,” writes activist and literature professor Nicholas Powers, “we have to switch from apocalyptic imagery to utopian prophecy, to create a cultural ‘wilding’ that opens horizontal spaces into which people can enter and join the carnival.”


T.J. Demos, “Introduction”. Decolonizing Nature: Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology. Berlin: Sternberg, 2017, pp. 7–29.

Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas, “River Runs, a Study in Water and Public Imagination”. Public Space: Lost and Found, 2017, The MIT Press, pp. 129–140.

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#3 Reading Workshop
17. 04. 2019.  


The twenty-first century is the century of the migrant. It has become more necessary for people to migrate because of environmental, economic and political instability, today people relocate to greater distances more frequently than ever before in human history. In other ways, we are all becoming migrants. People. “A specter haunts the world and it is the specter of migration,”, in their seminal work Empire Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri paraphrase Karl Marx.
Displacement, nomad’s existence, traveling, the journey is everywhere in contemporary works, whether artists borrow its forms, its iconography or its methods. However, often it is imaginary universe, and artists reflect on displacement not only in the literal sense. The journey becomes not just the fashionable theme but a sign of a deeper development, which affects the representations of the world in which we live and the way we inhabit it, concretely or symbolically. The artist has become the prototype of the contemporary traveller, whose passage through signs and formats highlights a contemporary experience of mobility, displacement, crossing, writes Nicolas Bourriaud.


Thomas Nail, “Introduction”. The Figure of the Migrant. Stanford University Press, 2015, pp. 1–7.

Nicolas Bourriaud, “Journey-Forms”. The Radicant. New York: Lukas & Sternberg, 2009, pp. 106–131.

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#4 Reading Workshop
28. 05. 2019.  


Although censorship is a hallmark of authoritarian regimes, freedom of expression in art and culture may be restricted also today. The most recent example is the removal of the classic of the 1970s neo-avant-garde, Natalia LL’s “Consumer Art” from the permanent display at the National Museum in Warsaw, commenting that there is no place for “presenting gender-related topics in a National museum.” After a viral social media campaign the art work was returned to the display.
Today, censorship appears as a radical intervention of power that regulates the eventing, the performance or the construction of the visible and its context and meanings, in an attempt to fence off, reclaim, i.e. reterritorialize the political space that it can manage, writes Lidija Marinkov. The framework of legal definitions, but more often of the ideological apparatus, especially in societies where censorship is not legally regulated, implies prohibitions that should protect the morals, religious dogma, national interests and nowadays, the security order. The power structure nowadays knows that by censoring an artwork, it doesn’t stop it from spreading, but rather makes it better known to the public with the attention that the act of censorship produces. What censorship does is take away the multilayered connections between its aesthetics and its political agenda, and leaves it only to be read through the lens of censorship. Censorship tries to speak louder than the artwork, using the artwork as the medium for speech.


Yazan Khalili, “Freedom of Speech, Fredom of Noise”. e-flux journal #97 – February 2019.

Lidija Marinkov Pavlović, “The Return of the Political and Art Censorship”. Seismopolite. Journal of Art and Politics #20 – 2018.

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#5 Reading Workshop
12. 06. 2019.


The centre–periphery relationship in today's global world is one of the most visible areas of focus in contemporary culture. It is also the focus of the art festival Survival Kit that attempts to highlight this complex relationship through the concept of outlands. Personal stories and micro-experiences are the vehicles through which it seeks to examine broader societal issues, including the relationships between certain countries and the histories of entire regions.
The concept of outlands is also related to the field of postcolonialism, which in cultural and ideological analysis, and in the critique of Eurocentrism, nationalism, economic determinism has moved from academic studies to many other areas. Postcolonial art speaks of both the current state of affairs and the future that has overcome hegemonic political, cultural and knowledge-production systems of the West, and where encounter, dialogue and integration takes place across the battle lines of difference and ethnocentrism in a multicultural world.


Cassius Fadlabi, “Everybody Just Calls Me Fadlabi”. Survival Kit 10.1. [Catalogue]. LCCA, 2019, pp. 51.–57. lpp.

Cameron Mccarthy, Greg Dimitriadis, “Art and the Postcolonial Imagination: Rethinking the Institutionalization of Third World Aesthetics and Theory”. ARIEL

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