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Populism and Genre

Date:14 October 2006, 10:00am to
14 October 2006, 5:30pm
Location:The Auditorium, Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG

The question of populism has been at the heart of debates about both the political and the formal aspects of contemporary art in Britain since the mid 1990s. This conference examines the concept of populism via the issue of genre: specifically, the changed status and functioning of genres within contemporary art, after the decline in the independent significance of traditional media (painting and sculpture), and in the context of the increasing individualism of contemporary art. Particular attention will be paid to: the status of genres as social forms; art’s relations to mass media genres; the strategic use of genre within post-conceptual practice; and the political functioning of genres as carriers of populism.


  • 10.00 Registration and Coffee
  • 10.30 Introductions: Tate/Peter Osborne
  • 10.45 Victor Burgin: Populism, Genre and the Blank Canvas
  • 12.00 John Kraniauskas: Eva Peron as the Image of Peronism
  • 1.00 Lunch
  • 2.00 Marta Kuzma: The Role of Sex in Representations of Scandinavia in the 1970s
  • 3.00 Eric Alliez: Capitalism, Schizophrenia, and Consensus: Of Relational Aesthetics
  • 4.00 Tea and Coffee
  • 4.30 Jutta Koether: Metalists Moments: A Performative Presentation
  • 5.30 Reception


Eric Alliez is a French philosopher. He is Senior Research Fellow in Modern European Philosophy in the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy. His books include Capital Times (1991; trans.1996), The Signature of the World: What is Deleuze and Guatarri's Philosophy? (1993; trans. 2004), De l'impossibilité de la phénoménologie (1995; 2006), La Pensée-Matisse (with Jean-Claude Bonne, 2005).

Victor Burgin is an artist and writer, and is Professor Emeritus of History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The most recent monograph of his visual work is Voyage to Italy (Ostfildern, Cantz, 2006), and his most recent book of essays is The Remembered Film ( London, Reaktion, 2004). Other books include the retrospective monograph Victor Burgin (Barcelona, Fundació Antoni Tàpies, 2001), In/Different Spaces (1996), Some Cities (1996), The End of Art Theory (1986), Between (1986) and Thinking Photography (1982).

John Kraniauskas teaches Latin American Literary and Cultural Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London and is co-editor of the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies. He is currently completing two books: The Work of Transculturation and Eva-Peronism: Literature and State Form.

Jutta Koether is an artist, writer and musician. Throughout the 1980s she was a regular contributor to the Cologne music and art journal Spex, in which she experimented with numerous genres of art writing. Her artist's books include: f (1987), 20 Minuten (1989), massen (1991), The Inside Job (1992) and Desire is War (2003). Her recent show I Is Had Gone (Thomas Erben Gallery, 2005) was a survey of installations and paintings from the last fifteen years.

'Metalist Moments' will be a performative presentation in which one might find moments of the "cruel cure" (as in Artaudian theater). Some forced participations through the elements of Sound, Paintings, Nerves might occur; a string of evidence of a post-and-beyond conceptual practice (Electrophilia, Club in Shadow, Renegade Painting, I Is Had Gone, Fantasia Colonia...), of its light and logic. Touch and Disintegrate! Objects and words of unknown form and purpose might emerge. The Crush is On!

Marta Kuzma is Director of the Office for Contemporary Art Norway. A postgraduate on the MA in Aesthetics and Art Theory at Middlesex, she was formerly Director of the Soros Centre for Contemporary Art in Kyiv and theWashington Project for the Arts. She has curated numerous exhibitions including Manifesta 5 ( San Sebastian, 2004) and Draft Deceit (Oslo, 2006).

About this event

This event is in collaboration with The Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP), in cooperation with Office for Contemporary Art (OCA), Norway. It will be chaired by Peter Osborne, Director, CRMEP.

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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
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