AFASIOTOPIA* or The Palliative Turn
18.09. - 20.09.2020
What would happen, if we began to think of art as a practice that helps us leave this life behind? A process that prepares us for the fact that individually and as a civilisation we will cease to exist in this form rather soon? In a three-day symposium, a group of artists and thinkers might lay the groundwork for the forceful declaration of the ‘Palliative Turn’ in art.
Narratives, art works, films that are trying to usher in profound change are plenty. Many of them are smart, sensitive, beautiful. But they are generally based on the assumption that somehow, through education, reason, technology or social action, we can solve our problems. What if this assumption of our capability to fix things were just another facet of the self-aggrandizing species-exceptionalism that got us into trouble? What if our ambition to control, not just our own lives, but even the planet’s equilibrium is just the latest symptom of what has been wrong all along? And, finally, could acceptance of our predicament, learning how to let go and eventually die well, be a first step towards learning how to live right? Living right, one might guess, would imply a less destructive presence. (This is, ironically, where hubris might sneak in again).
With Annemarie Goldschmidt (Kinesiologist, DK), Kasia Fudakowski (artist, UK), Dafna Maimon (artist, FI), John Luke Roberts (comedian, UK), Simon Blanck (artist, SE), Lars Erik Hjertström Lappalainen (Philosopher, SE), Dr. Keith Larsson (climate researcher, USA), Lydia Roeder (palliative care expert, DE), Olav Westphalen (artist, DE/SE)
This symposium has been initiated by Olav Westphalen and is funded by the Swedish Arts Grants Committee.