Lecture: On the Art of Getting Beyond Identity Politics by Pascal Gielen
19 March 2020, 20.00
We were supposed to welcome Pascal Gielen. Pascal is editor in chief of the international book series Antennae - Arts in Society a.o., you might know him from our Bookstore. We invited him among other artists to give us a lecture introducing the research present in his upcoming volume The Arts of Ambiguity: Addressing and Understanding Monoculture ((eds. Nav Naq and Pascal Gielen), Valiz, Amsterdam, 2020. Moving beyond identity politics, Pascal argues for a model that is based on so-called “commoning” politics and dissent. In the coming week we will interview him and share this on our socials and website.
Can we move beyond identity politics?
We’re commencing the March program by welcoming Pascal Gielen (editor in chief of the international book series Arts in Society a.o.) to give us a lecture introducing the research present in his upcoming volume The Arts of Ambiguity: Addressing and Understanding Monoculture (Valiz). Moving beyond identity politics, Pascal argues for a model that is based on so-called “commoning” politics. Joining Pascal will be several guests and performative contributions to be announced shortly.
Since the 1970’s art institutions and cultural infrastructures have been criticized by colonial and post-colonial criticism for their monoculture and uniform language. A solution was sought in a more multicultural approach in which multiple cultures were presented more equally. However, multiculturalism is based on an identity policy that takes harmony and consensus to easily for granted.
In his lecture, Pascal Gielen argues for a model that is based on so-called 'commoning' politics and dissent. It does not matter to smooth out or suppress conflicts and tensions, but to make them visible and ‘liveable’. Such a ‘commonist’ policy does not focus on identities, but on the democratic free keeping and releasing of common necessary sources, such as education, language, culture, but also labor, health care and housing. Such resources are the subject of continuous struggle and discussion. Cultural institutions could be the ideal platforms for such a politics of dissensus.
Pascal Gielen (1970) is professor of sociology of art and politics at the Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts (Antwerp University - Belgium) where he leads the Culture Commons Quest Office (CCQO). Gielen is editor of the international book series Antennae-Arts in Society. In 2016 he became laureate of the Odysseus grant for excellent international scientific research of the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders in Belgium. Gielen has published many books which are translated in Chinese, English, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Ukrainian. His research focuses on creative labour, the common, urban and cultural politics. Gielen works and lives in Antwerp, Belgium.