Disjointed Territories

Public Program
Jul 6, 2017
First manuscript page. From Moscow Diary (October, Vol. 35, 1985). Courtesy of Slought.

Disjointed Territories
отключенные территории

Thursday, July 6, 2017, 7–9pm
Art in General’s Ground Floor Gallery
145 Plymouth Street, Brooklyn

Disjointed Territories is a public program exploring the politics of adaptation in a disruptive era. The conversation brings together Moscow-based visiting scholars Ksenia Golubovich and Oleg Nikiforov in dialogue with scholar and designer Evangelos Kotsioris and curators Xenia Vytuleva and Aaron Levy. Organized by Slought the event continues Art in General’s season-long inquiry into the politics of land.

The starting point for Disjointed Territories is Walter Benjamin’s Moscow Diary from 1926 which explores “straying” as a mode of survival for life lived on the margins. Benjamin’s travels through the streets of Moscow reveal the complex interplay between territory and national identity. His diary documents a sense of increasing alienation from self and society and struggle to adapt to a complex socio-political moment.

Benjamin’s experience of solitude, exhaustion, and inequality mirrors our current time of crisis and raises relevant questions: How does the concept of motherland and a sense of belonging operate? What does it mean to be an outsider in society and reduced to stereotypical narratives of national identity? How can we contest the demonization of individuals from the United States or Russia?

Since 2015 Slought has organized the itinerant project Straying exploring urban errors, discrepancies, and territories in Walter Benjamin’s Moscow Diary. Consisting of exhibitions, events and symposia across the United States and Russia, the project retraces Benjamin’s experiences in December 1926 and his movements through an unfamiliar language, culture, and territory in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution and the transition to Stalinism.

Disjointed Territories is part of a series of conversations “Straying: Surviving On The Margins” organized by Slought in Philadelphia and hosted in New York City by Art in General as part of What Now? 2017: The Politics of Land. The event at AiG is presented in conjunction with the talk Disjointed Times on Friday, July 7 at Slought, full details are here.

Ksenia Golubovich is a writer, essayist and translator, and teaches the philosophy of literature at the Moscow School of New Cinema. She is the head of jury for the Piatigorslky prize for intellectual prose.

Evangelos Kotsioris is an architect and architectural historian whose research interests center on the intersections of architecture with science, technology and media. His current work explores an architectural history of computerization during the Cold War.

Aaron Levy is Executive Director Senior Curator of Slought and works with artists, communities, and institutions worldwide to develop cultural projects that encourage inclusiveness, advocacy, and the sharing of knowledge.

Oleg Nikiforov is the Editor-in-Chief of LOGOS Publishers, a Moscow-based publishing house focusing on the humanities since 1997, and the coordinator of LETTERRA, an intellectual platform and cultural program.

Xenia Vytuleva is an architectural historian, theorist, and curator. Her works focus on cold-war phenomenon, immateriality in architecture, and questions of architectural representation.

Special thanks to key funders, Institute of Museum and Library Services (MA-10-14-0304-14) and the Trust for Mutual Understanding for their generous support. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Art in General was founded in 1981 and supports the production of new work by local and international artists primarily through its New Commissions Program and its International Collaborations program. Art in General also produces an annual symposium What Now? on critical and timely issues in artistic and curatorial practice.

General Support of Art in General is provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services; the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Toby D. Lewis Donor Advised Fund of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland; and by individuals. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.