Rachel Haidu: A Melancholic Autocracy: On the Paradoxes of Skill in Marcel Broodthaers' Museum Fictions

Do it yourself. Deskilling and Reskilling in the Digital Techno Age.
Ringvorlesung Institut für Kunstkritik

Rachel Haidu: A Melancholic Autocracy: On the Paradoxes of Skill in Marcel Broodthaers' Museum Fictions
Mittwoch, 14. Dezember 2016, 19 Uhr, Aula

Marcel Broodthaers is perhaps best known for having declared a museum, along the same lines through which Marcel Duchamp declared his readymades art. But whereas Duchamp’s paradigm seems to have limited its radical implications to the realm of art, Broodthaers’s museum created a self-consuming bureaucracy that in turn re-framed the relation between politics, activism, and melancholic authorship. It is within that highly topical framework that Rachel Haidu will address the questions of “reskilling” as a performative practice.

Rachel Haidu is Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Art History and Director of the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester. She is the author of The Absence of Work: Marcel Broodthaers 1964-1976 (MIT Press/October Books, 2010) and numerous essays, most recently on the works of Ulrike Müller, Andrzej Wróblewski, Yvonne Rainer, Sharon Hayes, James Coleman, Gerhard Richter, and Sol LeWitt. Her current book manuscript, tentatively entitled The Shame of the Self, examines notions of selfhood that develop in contemporary artist’s films and video, dance, and painting.

Der Vortrag findet in englischer Sprache statt. 

Program:

Winter semester 2016/2017:
Julia Gelshorn (13. Dezember)
Rachel Haidu (14. Dezember)
Amalia Ulman (17. Januar)
John Roberts (18. Januar)

Summer semester 2016:
Lucy McKenzie (12. April)
Benjamin Buchloh (22. Juni)
Beatrice von Bismarck (23. Juni)

This lecture-series (conceptualized by Isabelle Graw) revolves around the question of artistic skills in a digital world. What do they actually consist of? While it always mattered how an artist performs herself since the Modern Age, it seems that the „Auftritt des Künstlers“ (Beatrice von Bismarck), namely, her public staging of herself, has become increasingly important in a Media Society. Has the modeling of her „personality“ turned into a skill that is required from her? Or should one rather argue that artistic practices still represent other competences, attitudes and ways of life that question the ideal of an entrepreneurial self? What have traditional skills been replaced by?

It seems that the deskilling of the arts that is usually associated with the „Duchamp-effect“ and post war practices allowed for a reskilling that is currently quite popular in the artworld. Is it a historical necessity that deskilling entails reskilling? Historically speaking, „deskilling“ was a male privilege in the 1950´s and 1960´s. Many male artists opted for anti-subjective aleatory procedures that rejected skills, whereas women artists practiced another form of deskilling in the 1970´s by reintroducing formerly devaluated, „female skills“ into their work. Could one argue, at least in retrospect, that it is precisely these lower or soft skills associated with the sphere of reproduction that are have risen to the status of a valuable resource in our New Economy?