This workshop is dedicated to an investigation of painting and drawing as a site for critical and historical analysis. The aim is to widen the sensibility for the very meaning and expressive value of the means and possibilities we have in painting and drawing. By looking at the very way in which certain attitudes express in the material world, we draw a direct line to our own field of action as ‘manual labourers’ and understand gestures and traces these gestures leave as meaningful.
The workshop challenges a common notion that artistic research finds an automatic expression in photo- and text – based documentarist formats with a conceptual touch.
We will follow Felix Guattari’s militant notion of the need for a liberation of subjectivity in order to open up new horizons for political and creative resistance to standardizing and homogenizing societal processes. We will also consider Michel de Certeau’s idea of “tactics“ in “The Practice of Everyday Life“, where he talks about daily ways – tactics – by which consumers navigate in, use and transform territories created by governments, corporations, and other institutional bodies.
In selected texts and correspondences, we will then look at examples of nationalism and racism and the rhetorics and attitudes they produce, both in European colonial history and in the current French presidential election, and connect this analysis with personal experience. It will take some time to let these structures and conditions resonate. The very means of painting and drawing: the dialectics of touching and being touched, will then be our field of experimentation for the communication of what we analyzed as guiding principles. Every moment that the medium entails is loaded and meaningful: the tools to leave traces and inscribe an intention, the hands that hold
these tools and that eventually refuse performance, the carrier, its condition and placement. Illustrating certain principles, or resisting to them and subverting them will be the subject of this orchestration.