Events Lecture of Saul Newman on Postanarchism

Lecture of Saul Newman on Postanarchism

Friday, 29. October, 2021


Today one of the major questions that artists confront is how to retain a critical distance from the system of social and economic relations they are at the same time compelled to be part of. How are they to maintain an autonomous position about institutions they depend on for recognition or funding? How are they to resist the commodification of their work and the recuperation of their ideas and practice by the capitalist market whose hegemony they oppose and yet whose circulation they are necessarily involved in and often perpetuate?

At the same time, many contemporary artists see themselves as creating a new kind of political space in which major issues such as war and state violence, surveillance, consumerism, the exclusion of migrants, bordering practices, and ecological devastation are explored. In this talk, Newman seeks to explore the potential for critical art to open up a new kind of public political space. In doing so he will address some of the philosophical ideas that underpin this new nexus emerging between art and politics. And here he is focusing on anarchism – or what Ihe calls postanarchism – as an anti-authoritarian politics and ethics. Newman argues that postanarchism, with its interrogation of power, domination and violence, and its emphasis on autonomous action and modes of subjectivity, is the most appropriate way of understanding the critical potential of art practices today.

Saul Newman is Professor of Political Theory at Goldsmiths, University of London. His work is in the area of continental political theory as applied to a study of contemporary forms of radical politics. He coined the term ‘postanarchism’ to describe new post-statist forms of political activism. His research has also led him to an exploration of sovereignty, political theology, democracy and post-secularism, autonomy and freedom, human rights and statelessness.

The lecture is a part of the project ‘DIS/ORDERING THE ART WORLD’. The author of this project is Tihomir Topuzovski

Watch the video record from the lecture


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