The Artist as Quarry, Creep, or Best Case Scenario

A brief and selective genealogy, beginning with the Louvre.

Artists are forever falling prey to censorship, institutions, bad lighting, jet lag, curators, Americans, and The Market. Never are they complicit when it comes to any of these many travails. Using a small number of case studies, ranging from the docufictional maverick to the artist-as-curator, this lecture will discuss subtle narratives that allow the artist to disidentify with power. Narratives of the kind do serve some artists well individually, even if they serve to marginalize the profession-at-large in the longer term. Ultimately, the lecture aims for possibilities of a more meaningful professional identity, one which offers a more tangible and sustainable sense of political traction.

The public lecture is part of HWP 2016-17 Head Above Water, Course Module II: Histories of the artist.

Tirdad Zolghadr is a curator and writer. His most recent book is Traction, Sternberg Press 2016. Zolghadr is artistic director of the Summer Academy Paul Klee in Bern and associate curator at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin. He teaches at the Dutch Art Institute in Arnhem.