SOMA Summer 2015

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July 6 – August 28, 2015

The excessive elasticity of the international monetary and financial system (and its role in the recent financial crisis), coupled with the excessive emission of carbon dioxide (leading, inevitably, to global warming) might provoke an urge to slow down, to contain. Excess seems to be the malaise of our time.

During SOMA Summer 2015, we will focus on the idea of excess and its relationship with contemporary art. We will depart from the proposal of the French writer Georges Bataille, who considers excess in the form of waste or “expenditure” not as a malaise, but as an outlet of energy that needs to be spent. It is here that he locates art. Along these lines, we will analyze the libidinal forces that connect the economic and aesthetic spheres. We will also revise the overwhelming Baroque style (specifically the Mexican Baroque), which developed in XVII century as a manifestation of the power of the Church and the State, as well as its influence in today’s art production and consumption. Our notion of excess will, itself, expand as we explore the concept during seminars, lectures, and workshops with participating artists, curators, and academics in the field.

Monday July 6 // 10 am – 5 pm
Introduction: Participants will give 5-minute presentations about their work. Group discussion will address the social, political and aesthetic implications raised by each piece.
Tuesday July 7 – Friday July 10, // 4 – 7 pm
Off sideDF: 9-hour site-specific workshop with Eduardo Abaroa
This workshop will take place in non-academic locations around Mexico City. By getting to know our surroundings and their history, we will reflect and discuss the concepts related to site-specificity and the possibilities of art to comment on cultural, political, social and geographical situations.
Wednesday July 8 
7 – 8 pm // Special lecture with Valerie Tevere and Angel Nevarez
8 - 11 pm // Miércoles de SOMA: lecture by Colectivo Nerivela 

Thursday July 9 // 1 – 7 pm
Individual Critiques with: Eduardo Abaroa, Raúl Ortega Ayala, Nate Harrison, Carla Herrera-Prats, Yoshua Okón, Joaquín Segura, Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere

Monday July 13 – Wednesday July 15 // 4 – 7 pm
How to obstruct light from art to better see the object of study: 9-hour seminar with Jorge Luis Marzo

  • We Are Blind Because We See Images. How the politics of the image and its effects have supplanted the politics that manage conflict
  • How Well the Baroque Burns. On the urgency of exploring iconoclastic aesthetics
  • Creativity and Fundamentalism. The displacement of art towards creative industries and their role in the pursuit of audiovisual dictatorship

This seminar traces, through three thematic sections, the use of images as primary instruments of Baroque policy. The "Baroque" does not refer to a historical style, but to a form of domination and self-exploitation that has led to the replacement of dissidence by consensus, of politics by spectacle, and which formed through myths of integration and/or productivity to benefit certain elites. The function of art, defined as the cultivation of the imagination, the power to reveal hidden relationships among things—as opposed to the subordination of the present to the future—may propose new ways of analyzing the real, directly related to the present.

Wednesday July 15 // 8 – 11 pm
Miércoles de SOMA: lecture by Jorge Luis Marzo

Thursday July 16 // 10 am – 7 pm
Visit to the Studio of: Miguel Ventura
Individual Critiques with: Iñaki Bonillas, Tatiana Cuevas, Nate Harrison, Graciela E. Kasep Ibáñez, Enrique Ježik, Willy Kautz and Jorge Luis Marzo

Monday July 20 – Wednesday July 22, // 4 – 7 pm
Seminar with Cuauhtémoc Medina 
Cuauhtemoc Medina (Mexico City, December 5 1965). Art critic, curator and historian, holds a Ph.D. in History and Theory of Art from the University of Essex in Britain. Since 1993, he has been a full time researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and between 2002 and 2008 was the first Associate Curator of Art Latin American Collections at the Tate Modern. He is currently Chief Curator at the MUAC Museum in Mexico city. In 2012, Medina was Head Curator of the Manifesta 9 Biennial in Genk, Belgium, titled The Deep of the Modern, in association with Katerina Gregos and Dawn Ades. He is currently the Chief Curator of the MUAC, University Contemporary Art Museum, in Mexico City. In 2012, he became the sixth recipient of the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement of the Menil Foundation. 

  • Georges Bataille, “The Pineal Eye", "The Notion of Expenditure" from Visions of Excess, Selected Writings, 1927-1929. University of Minessota Press. Minneapolis, 1985. 
  • The Red Specter

Wednesday July 22, // 8 – 11 pm
Miércoles de SOMA: lecture by Virginia Colwell

Thursday July 23, // 10 am – 7 pm
Visit to the Studio of: Rocío Boliver, aka La Congelada de Uva
Individual Critiques with: Rocío Boliver, Amy Sarah Carroll, Ricardo Dominguez, Graciela Kassep, Bárbara Perea, Carla Herrera-Prats, Catalina Lozano, Miguel Ventura and Ilán Lieberman

Monday July 27 – Friday July 31, // 11 am – 5 pm
Guided Visits to:
- Ex-Teresa Arte Actual with curators Pedro Ortíz Ontaráz and Sofía Carrillo

- Palacio de Iturbide with art historian Francisco Reyes-Palma

- Museo El Eco with curators Paola Santoscoy, Muaricio Marcín and David Miranda

- Lulú with curator Chris Sharp

- Bikini Wax with artists Cristóbal Gracia and Daniel Ruvalcaba

- Museo de Arte Moderno with artist Carlos Aguirre

- Museo Tamayo with curator Manuela Moscoso

- Museo Jumex with curator Fernando Mesta

- MUAC with curator Cecilia Delgado Masse

- Museo Carrillo Gil with curator Mauricio Marcín and assistant Macarena Hernández

- Museo Universitario del Chopo with curators Esteban King, Caroline Montenat and artist Sebastián Romo

- Lodos with artist Francisco Cordero-Oceguera

- Casa Maauad with artists Anuar Maauad and Nancy Brown

Wednesday July 29
Miércoles de SOMA: lecture by Daniel Peltz

Monday August 3 – Wednesday August 5, // 4 – 7 pm
Libidinal Economies: 9 hour Seminar with Juli Carson
Libidinal Economies Seminar takes as its economic mise-en-scène the bull run market of 1982 (which crashed in 1987) and the recent redux of this bull run from 2009 to the present. The New York Stock Exchange (where the buying and selling of securities, currency, and commodities takes place) and the art world (where the critique of Wall Street culture is derived and scripted) presumably constitute two distinct psychic and fiscal economies located in two different, physical locations. The former is supposed to be rational, mathematical and regulated; the latter libidinal, creative and subversive. However, that isn’t true. The art world, in fact, has proven to be the bohemian substrate of the real deal, the bottom line of the financial market. From the 80's onward, the art exhibition has become the physical location – the center of mass – where these two celestial bodies effortlessly orbit each other with near mathematical precision. In this way, the economic and aesthetic spheres share a gravitational pull, because they are – libidinally and economically – inextricably connected.Structurally, the Libidinal Economies Seminar will meet in three sessions, 3 hours each. Session One covers the fundamentals of “informe” and “excess” (Bataille), “schizo-analysis” (Deleuze and Guatarri) and the “acritical” (Lyotard). Session Two covers the four fundamentals of psychoanalysis – the unconscious, repetition, transference, and the drive – as put forth by Lacan in his Seminar XI. Session Three covers the fundamentals of the current day virtual stock market – Wall Street, high frequency trading, arbitrage – as explicated by Michael Lewis in Flash Boys, in the context of the secondary art market. Each session will address these subjects vis-à-vis a case study work of art, TBD.

Tuesday August 3
Special session with Mariana Botey
Georges Bataille’s Aesthetics of Excess: Knowledge of Death Cannot Do Without a Subterfuge—Spectacle! with Mariana Botey.
The figure of sacrifice is central to Bataille’s theoretical system and originates as an in-extremis reading of Hegel. Bataille interprets Hegel’s notion of sacrifice at the origins of the human as such: that which actualizes death as the trace of the truth in man, that which opens the virtual (non-corporeal) field where the truth unfolds. This 3-day seminar will present a discussion of the elaboration of the figure of sacrifice at the core of Bataille’s theorization or program of aesthetics.

Wednesday August 5 // 8 – 11 pm
Miércoles de SOMA: lecture by Juli Carson

Thursday August 6, // 10 am – 7 pm
Visit to the studio of: Vicente Razo
Individual Critiques with: Eduardo Abaroa, Iñaki Bonillas, Juli Carson, Tyler Coburn, Mariana David, Irving Dominguez, Magnolia de la Garza, Nate Harrison, Carla Herrera-Prats, Raul Ortega Ayala, Yoshua Okón, Gabriel de la Mora and Vicente Razo

Monday August 10 – Wednesday August 12, // 4 – 7 pm
9-hour Drawing Workshop with José Luis Sánchez Rull 
This workshop-seminar will address issues that can be recognized in my work such as an interest in figurative forms that have been transformed by impurities like geometry or text. We will go over several stories and texts covering a re-consideration of Clement Greenberg’s theory departing from the XIII century and into the fifties, an analyze of a series of Kama Sutra prints depicting positions that imply mourning mixed with representations of a Death Dance, the proliferation of a formal interest in silence contrasting Add Reinhardt’s joke with the obsession  of Adolf Wölfi, Henry Darger and Steve Ditko. This frame work will allow to re-consider both my practice and SOMA Summer participants’ work. 

Wednesday August 12, // 8 – 11 pm
Miércoles de SOMA: lecture by José Luis Sánchez Rull

Thursday August 13, // 10 am – 7 pm
Visit to the Studio of: Jota Izquierdo
Individual Critiques with:  Tyler Coburn, Helena Chávez, Carla Herrera-Prats, Jota Izquierdo, Alejandra Labastida, José Luis Sánchez Rull, Paola Santoscoy, and Joaquín Segura

Preparation for Closing Event

Monday August 17 // 5 – 7 pm
Special Session: Tyler Coburn
"A Wide Blank" questions the relevance of Bataille's theory of general economy to late capitalism, focusing on recen theories of interpassivity and parasitism in and outside of the art world.

Tuesday August 18 // 5 - 7 pm
Special Session: Diedrich Diedrichsen and Juliane Rebentisch. 
The economy of the excess and the supoerfluous in relation to recordings (phonographic and photographic).

Wednesday August 19, // 8 – 11 pm
Special Session: Camel Collective (Anthony Graves and Carla Herrera-Prats)
Discussion about “Something Other Than What You Are.”

Miércoles de SOMA: lecture by Diedrich Diedrichsen 

Individual critics with: Diedrich Diederichsen, Anthony Graves and Carla Herrera-Prats.

Tuesday August 25 // 1 – 7 pm
Individual Critiques: Eduardo Abaroa, Iñaki Bonillas, Raúl Ortega Ayala, Nate Harrison, Carla Herrera-Prats, Yoshua Okón and Joaquín Segura

Wednesday August 26, // 5 – 11 pm
Closing Event

Thursday August 27 // 4 – 7 pm
Group Walkthrough with Carla Herrera-Prats

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Calle 13 #25, Col. San Pedro de los Pinos, 03800 Ciudad de México