Tag Archives: CalArts

The Becoming Resurrection: A Chris Kraus Intervention

23 Jun

The Becoming Resurrection: A Chris Kraus Intervention

Date: Saturday, July 10, 2010
Time: 8:30pm – 11:30pm
Location: Beaubourg 268
City/Town: San Francisco, CA 94132

“[T]he more false starts one has, the better off you’re going to be.
Young artists should test themselves again and again . . .
A string of failures is probably the best way to get where you’re going.”

-Dennis Adams

Description

Beaubourg 268 brings you a night of uber-feminism, anti-feminism, in-différance and perhaps the highest aesthetic examples of Hegelian Aufhebung. Join Chris Kraus and friends for a discussion of the art world, her writing career, and her new art book “Where Art Belongs” that will be out in Feb 2011.

In the stifling antechamber that was the 90s, Chris Kraus wrote her debut Text about the “risk of failure” and “the inability of practice of any kind.” Five years after Dick Hebdige’s arrival to CalArts, in the wake of the reshaping of the General Education curriculum, Kraus published her first novel I Love Dick (Semiotexte 1997). Inspired by an evening she had spent with the English academic rock star, Kraus’ intervention had captured – in a kind of “downward synthesis” – the shattering importance of the two bodies converging due to, in part, the shared belief in the creative, emancipatory potential of failure.

Chris Kraus’ exegesis is a reversal of Otto Weininger’s thesis that ‘Woman Doesn’t Exist.’ Like with Sex and Character, the thing that strikes many readers about I Love Dick is its indifference to “Différance”. I Love Dick can indeed be read as a deconstructive proof that meaning is forever “deferred” or postponed through an endless chain of signifiers; nonetheless, Chris Kraus’ epistolary novel additionally begs to be read as a messianic breakout; an act, a cut, a one-time Event to redeem the core of Chris[x]ianity by abandoning its institutional shell.

Woman Does Exist, or more precisely – A Woman Exists: Christ Cross. As the poet Eileen Myles reformulates it: “(I keep typing Christ. Is Chris our girl on the cross?)” It is from this serendipitous theological proposal that Beaubourg 268 would like to present the works of emerging artists Tracy Molis, Cameron Adair, Robert Hansen and Aaron Spafford. For what dies on the cross/Kraus is not simply the sexist phantasmatic support of dumb ideology (Weininger: ‘Woman is only and thoroughly sexual’), but the superego Big Other/Big Dick/the injunction to Experiment! that haunts and betrays today’s art schools.

So that what is left is the holy spirit, or less hyperbolically: “Another Space which can no longer be dismissed as a fantasmatic supplement to social reality.”

The Becoming Resurrection: A Chris Kraus Intervention
Saturday, July 10, 2010, 8:30 – 11:30 pm

AN OPEN INVITATION TO THE PUBLIC / 18 NOV

19 Nov

If you live in the bay area, and you are at all interested in joining, or even contributing something to our little beaubourg – we invite you to leave a comment on our Beaubourg 268 blog (below). Beaubourg 268 is located  at the southern periphery of the San Francisco Peninsula. Adjacent to San Francisco State Universiity, the institution’s new home is a modest two story residential building that hopes to attract educators and students alike. The ground floor contains a small garden, sound studio, and outdoor planning areas; the second floor holds a small archive-library, along with lodging accommodations.

Most of the artists and thinkers in Steven Henry Madoff’s new big book, Art School suffer from one of two opposing superstitions: either art schools are the new business schools preparing designers and emerging artists for the real world, or art schools are the new pockets of resistance and reform informing social stakeholders for the real world challenges of global consumer capitalism. As a literary terrorist, one of whose concerns is the future of art school, I sometimes am asked: “Which theoretician should I know?” To their astonishment, I have yet to reply to them with the usual French names: Baudrillard, Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault, etc. Rather, I’ve tended to answer with one of two names: Gina Clark & Robert Hansen.

Gina Clark was born and raised in Southern California. Over the past decade she has worked across a variety of media including performance, film, photography, installation, and curating. Within these practices, the desert-based CalArts graduate has supported the preservation of the innovative and exploratory arts; always mindful of the fact that we are living in an age dominated by Domesticity & Artifice.  Robert Hansen is a sound artist, visual artist, writer and founder of the renowned group Mini Voyeur. From its initial formation, the group was exploring properties in speech, sound and acoustics; all the while, infusing humor in to the concepts of music, memory and logic. Robert has maintained an extended library of recorded audio and video documents created with the help of friends and family.

The newly established Beaubourg 268 will offer the public a series of classes, projects and improvisational “adventures” that remain more or less outside the existing coordinates of art schools such as Cal Arts and Goldsmiths. Under its co-founder Gina Clark, her weekly Carnal Knowledge workshops will stress the emancipatory potential of performance, as it relates to issues as varied as familial piety, animal welfare, and Czech cinema. Students, if they so desire, will have an opportunity to work with Clark’s nonprofit group, Unsichtbar Birnbaum Exploratory. Sound artist Robert Hansen will offer weekly workshops to appreciate the visual arts, through the lens of sound, music, or voice. I will offer bi-monthly ‘Reading’ Slavoj Zizek group seminars to provide theoretical supplement for those emerging artists who desire it. To the degree that art schools can play a “revolutionary” role today, I will attempt to open up a space in which isolated Japanese youths and North Korean defectors can be heard.

As the art teacher John Baldessari put it “[I]f you’re lecturing in a class and there’s a car crash outside, you better bring that car crash into what you’re saying or you’ve lost them.” It is from this perspective that the crucial first step, for us, is to foster an informal classroom environment that treats art as both a past-time and a means for exploration. To the degree that students may indeed require a postpostmodern vocabulary, Beaubourg 268 firmly believes that what students need most is the unconditional permission to use everything in the world, including their own naivete, fears, and desires.

Beaubourg 268 will be comprised with approximately fifteen students from the surrounding area who are diverse in terms of their backgrounds, ages, and aspirations. We invite every one – no matter what your age or artistic background – to participate in the fun. Ideally, we here at the beaubourg want to learn from you as much as you might learn from us. An informal meeting is set for Tuesday, 19 January 2010. The official opening is set for mid-February.