‘Flying’ by Adrian Piper (1982) comes as a continuation of reading sessions unfolding in the new temporary location of Guest Rooms in the bustling area of Saint Gilles in Brussels. The text follows a previous series ’The Mythic Being’ created by the artist between 1972 and 1975, addressing multiple issues around race and gender. It is also about the abstraction of the Self, through the embodiment of a stereotype persona. Piper is an (afro-) American female conceptual artist and philosopher specializing in Kant’s philosophy, and especially his ‘Critique of the Pure Reason’. Piper’s philosophy and artistic practices are intertwined. After having worked within Conceptual Art, she developed her practice regarding the issues of feminism, race and xenophobia, especially in the United States. ’The Probable Trust Registry: The Rules of the Game #1-3’ presented at the Venice Biennial 2015 addressed broader issues of humanist utopias.
The reading is introduced by Hélène Jacques. Hélène recently graduated from Art History at the Université catholique de Louvain. Throughout her master thesis promoted by Alexander Streitberger (Lieven Gevaerts Centre) she studied the work of Adrian Piper, whose body took a central position in the artist's work since the beginning, and later on, it increasingly removed itself, giving the space for the spectator's body. Hélène is now pursuing the Curatorial Studies program at KASK in Ghent.
We would like to extend our thanks to Adrian Piper, APRA Foundation Berlin.
The text and discussion held in English
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Guest Rooms is unfolding in their new temporary location in the bustling area of Saint Gilles in Brussels and launching the series of reading sessions. For this very first meeting, we focus on a text 'Dehumanisation through Decomposition' coming from the recent book 'Necros: An Introduction to the Ontology of Human Dead Body and Remains' by a Polish historian Prof. Ewa Domanska (Adam Mickiewicz University at Poznan, Stanford University). Her teaching and research interests include comparative theory of the human and social sciences, history and theory of historiography, ecological humanities, genocide and ecocides studies. In her book, she offers a post-anthropocentric and ecological perspective on life after death, posing questions such as: When a human being ceases to be able to recognise the dead body as a human body? What can the remains, considered as organic collective subjects, tell about the multispecies identity, relational subjectivity and community of organic matter? How do changing social and cultural norms, such as rising ecological awareness, influence the approach towards the remains?
The reading is be introduced by Gaja Karolczak who is a body researcher. She studied Science of Performative Creativity in Malta and Rome, and is an alumna of a.pass programme, Brussels, where she inquired into the nature of phantomic sensation through somatic approach. Gaja is now dealing with alternative education modalities and communities co-creating meaning. She co-founded Sense of Movement Foundation and co-leads Grupa Samoczytająca reading group in Poznan. Currently also a practitioner of Structural Integration.
We would like to extend our thanks to Prof. Ewa Domanska who chose one of her texts for our reading session.