ACT VI: Remember Humanity

Witte de With Centrum voor Hedendaagse Kunst (Center for Contemporary Art), Zuid-Holland, Rotterdam, 05/13/2010 - 08/29/2010

Witte de Withstrasse 50


Witte de With is pleased to present two upcoming exhibitions in the Morality program begun in the Fall of 2009: Act VI: Remember Humanity, and Act VII: Of Facts and Fables. They open simultaneously on 12 May. Act VI runs until 29 August and Act VII continues until 26 September 2010.

A scripted public event that presents, through the words of an Interpersonal Dynamics Consultant and some members of his audience, directly opposing views on 'free speech ideology'.

Written and directed by Nicoline van Harskamp.

Featuring Greg Shapiro as Max Bonner; Paula Juan Lima as Alejandra Alvarez Nowak; Yvette Supraski as Mrs. Malik and Mark Bellamy as Whiff.

This event will be broadcasted live through Ustream and will be available for viewing through this link.

Many of the themes that have dominated contemporary political thought point to the ominous view that 'humanity' has become an historical subject, no longer essential to contemporary economic and political considerations. For instance, the notion of 'bare life' taken up by Giorgio Agamben, suggests a bankruptcy of the human rights charter in terms of humanity's capacity to hold to its principles of freedom and equality. The notion of 'immaterial labor' most famously developed by Maurizio Lazzarato, indicates a further alienation of the world from its material fabric and concrete foundations. The imperative suggested in the title of this exhibition, to 'remember humanity,' is therefore an allusion to a present condition in which humanity has become an historical subject rather than part of our objective reality.

The exhibition Remember Humanity starts from this hypothesis and includes the work of artists who approach 'our' present as a field on fragmented existences and isolated interests. Together, these works provide a partial sense of how the construction of the world and the construction of the idea of humanity are mutually conditioned. The works here included do not set out to affirm 'humanity' in a nostalgic way, or attempt to 'retrieve' it from the record of lost ideas. More central to the logic of these works is an examination of how the notion of human is constructed in opposition to the animal, to madness, to the idea of the primitive, in contraposition to War, and also in the affirmation of 'labor' and 'consciousness.'

Curated by Juan A. Gaitan and Nicolaus Schafhausen; assisted by Amira Gad.

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