Put to the Test. About the Dilemma of Artistic Research

Lecture cancelled

Put to the Test. About the Dilemma of Artistic Research

by Sabeth Buchmann.


Put to the Test. About the Dilemma of Artistic Research by Sabeth Buchmann is organized by Katja Aglert and Stefanie Hessler, and held in conjunction with the recently published book Winter Event – antifreeze, Winter Event – antifreeze, Winter Event – antifreeze, Winter Event – antifreeze, released by Art and Theory publishing. Sabeth Buchmann has contributed to the book with a specially commissioned text, and it includes further texts by American feminist researcher Lisa Bloom and Stefanie Hessler, as well as images by Katja Aglert. The book is the result of a collaboration between Aglert and Hessler and constitutes the finale of Aglert’s artistic project Winter Event – antifreeze (2009–2014), now on display as part of the exhibition On Invasive Grounds at Marabouparken.

In the lecture Put to the Test. About the Dilemma of Artistic Research, Sabeth Buchmann traces the entanglement of artistic and scientific discourses in (post-)avant-garde art. Buchmann discusses them as situated between a neoliberal attempt to make art useful by combining it with science, and artistic research as a genre of its own able to negotiate these borders and problems.

As the privileging of information, knowledge, and knowhow in post-Fordist and thus post-disciplinary societal formations shows, it is their incessant performance that demands new, hence flexible and mobile forms of creative ideas and skills of its social subjects and therefore also its cultural producers. The question it raises for critical discourse is concerned with what type of knowledge artistic knowledge is and how this knowledge is produced and marketed. Buchmann analyzes repetition and rehearsal in Katja Aglert’s Winter Event—antifreeze, contextualizing it as reenactment of formerly image-critical processes inherent in serial forms of production, now under the conditions of a post-disciplinary knowledge society. She argues that through repetition and by putting the work to the test again and again, Aglert seeks to replace the author-centered art object by closed or open systems and transforms the principle of repeatability, the condition necessary for scientific findings to gain approval, back into an aesthetic experiment.

Sabeth Buchmann is an art historian and critic. She regularly publishes in books, exhibition catalogues, and art magazines. Buchmann is an advisory board member of the magazine “Texte zur Kunst” and co-editor of the book series “Polypen” on art criticism and political theory together with Helmut  Draxler, Clemens Krümmel and Susanne Leeb. Since 1997, she works as lecturer, and regularly holds professorships at various academies and universities. Since March 2004, she is Professor of Modern and Post Modern Art History at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.

With kind support from Marabouparken and Iaspis – The Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s International Programme for Visual Artists.