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Kongens Nytorv 1, 1. sal. tv. i porten, 1050 København K

Mourning Money — Operative Powers of Art Practice / Macro

17.01.2019 -

UKK is very pleased to invite you to two back-to-back symposiums on arts financialization, operative powers of art practice and art at macro scales / collective levels of organisation.


Operative Powers of Art Practice
17 January
Speakers: João Enxuto & Erica Love, Alexandra Pirici, Tirdad Zolghadr
Moderator: Gro Sarauw

The symposium considers the implications of control in relation to the operative powers of the practice of art. The aim is to discuss (post-)contemporary art practice as it increasingly becomes subjected to arts financialization. With the awareness of the financialization of art, we hope to address how art practices may become more visibly and actively ‘in control’ of current financial dynamics. Through the contributions of the invited speakers, we hope to strengthen the notions around ‘arts systemic agency’ - whether this means to allow it to be understood as more abstract or through a more complex and operational understanding of this agency.
- Perhaps also, and through this understanding, it would be a way to address useful operative powers to program/further the cultural field. Lastly, in order to sustain and allow for a common and less exclusive language around this topic, we believe it is necessary to share key practices and research. 

In the current context of competing global crisis’, we will ask what transitional role art may face considering its systemic agency. Reassessing the term ‘artistic agency’ would be important to this task. We will ask what are the scales and implications necessary, to allow art to bend the means of control rather than causing it to block future potential development.

The three speakers are the artist duo, João Enxuto & Erica Love, artist Alexandra Pirici, writer and associate curator at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, Tirdad Zolghadr. 

The symposium will be moderated by artist and chair of UKK, Gro Sarauw.

18 Januar
Speakers: Victoria Ivanova, Kei Kreutler, Helen Hester
Moderator: Aslak Aamot Kjærulff

Our interest with this symposium is to explore how, where and in what ways we care for and organize the field of art at macro scale / collective levels. What organisational forms operate at the macro scale and what visions of art do they further? Why do we have the set of macro-scale institutions we have? What might be missing at these scales? If we argue that the organisational models operating in the field of art are central in negotiating the parameters and qualities of artistic practices, and how the latter are in turn disseminated and brought to a variety of publics, then the question is what is currently being omitted but may be of urgent necessity?

Some examples of existing macro-scale organizational models in the art field outside the nexus of organizations and institutions aiding in production and presentation of art include different types of unions, interest organizations (BKF, UKK, UKS), mission-driven organizations (W.A.G.E.), global and niche financial actors (Deloitte, Athena Art Finance, Artist Pension Trust,), financial technology and other market-oriented startups (Maecenas, Codex Protocol, Artsy), galleries (Gagosian, Hauser and Wirth, David Zwirner), private foundations and national art foundations. We will explore the different functions and purposes such initiatives serve in rendering and articulating the reality of the art field, and what can the criteria be by which their capabilities and limitations are to be assessed in order to further the art field’s development.

The three speakers are curator, writer and consultant Victoria Ivanova, Director of Strategy at Gnosis Kei Kreutler, and Associate Professor of Media and Communication at the University of West London Helen Hester. The symposium will be moderated by researcher Aslak Aamot Kjærulff.

MOURNING MONEY is three symposiums organised by UKK – Organisation for Artists, Curators and Art Mediators. 

The aim is to investigate questions around art and finance, as they relate to the role of the artist, the circulation of work and novel organisational forms in the field of art. 

Each symposium addresses specific questions in relation to the value of art and the labour of artists as it is configured between disparate, yet mutually dependent, systems. UKK has invited international artists, writers, and theorists to address, firstly, the role of the artist as subject to technology and feminisms; secondly, the operative powers of a (post-)contemporary art practice; and thirdly diverging functions of macro organisations in art.

In strengthening the development of critical consciousness around systemic agencies in art and relationships between art and finance, UKK wishes to show how artists and curators are key constituents of these relationships, and have the capacity to directly affect them.

The programme is generously supported by Bikubenfonden and Beckett Fonden.

The symposiums, January 17-18th, are generously hosted by The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Visual Arts in Copenhagen.

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