Performing Recalcitrance

Performing Recalcitrance

Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm

March 5, 2012
Performing Recalcitrance

24–30 March 2012

Welcome to Performing Recalcitrance, a week-long public programme taking place at Kungl. Konsthögskolan | Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm between March 24 and March 30, 2012.

Performing Recalcitrance comprises performances, lectures and workshops. It serves as the public culmination of a thematic cluster of courses and academic events around recalcitrance, which are being held throughout the academic year at Kungl. Konsthögskolan | Royal Institute of Art. But it is also its own symposium, festival and meeting point for discussion.

While “resistance” and “revolt” are commonly employed as positive terms, “recalcitrance” has overwhelmingly negative connotations. The current definition of the word “recalcitrance” dates back to the 17th century (Fr. récalcitrant, lit. “kicking back,” 17c.-18c.). It defines a stubborn, obstinate, at times even passive-aggressive or lazy attitude. Nevertheless, it seems to be an appropriate description of the nature of certain current social and political confrontations. This programme explores the role of obstinate refusal in contemporary art and society, including the academic setting. It asks whether, under certain circumstances, recalcitrance could be a meaningful attitude and whether the performance of recalcitrance can be a useful artistic and social tool.

Performing Recalcitrance highlights a range of artistic practices through works produced for the programme as well as in talks and workshops. The members of the Berlin-based artist’s group Maiden Monsters decide to withdraw from any protest movement and stay in bed. They invite us to a private encounter with art history and the women’s rights movements, but only after having undergone an initiation ritual. Israeli artist Omer Krieger of Public Movement stages a collective performance, scrutinizing codes of conduct, legislative texts and the aesthetics of protest movements in the Swedish context. Klas Eriksson sets up a temporary, unauthorized McDonald’s branch on the museum island Skeppsholmen in Central Stockholm, turning the logic of the standardized and optimized production line inside out. Michael Smith will speak about his role as an American recalcitrant within mainstream popular culture, such as sit-coms and commercial films over the last three decades. Filmmaker Eyal Sivan will show a selection of his films and comment on his work, a critique of nationalism and the politics of memory. Khaled Hourani, artist and founder of the art academy in Ramallah, will speak about his project “Picasso in Palestine”, which brought a “Modernist masterpiece” to Palestine for the first time. Valeria Graziano discusses the role of procrastination in a culture of entrepreneurship, constantly inducing us to produce value. Geert Lovink will focus on the role of recalcitrance in online media and speak about debate and anonymity on the net. Donatella Bernardi’s students will run TV Mejan, a continuous, fully operational web TV studio, while Mårten Spångberg and Olav Westphalen will organize “Non Talk Radio,” an intense, 24 hours-a-day, sleepover workshop producing live-radio programs, which cannot be talk radio; no journalism, no documentary, no filling time with knowledge (real or presumed).  A number of further workshops, performances, lectures, a book launch, film screenings and a final panel discussion will round off the programme.

Performing Recalcitrance has been conceptualized and programmed by Olav Westphalen and Stefanie Hessler. The public programme has been organized by Kungl. Konsthögskolan | Royal Institute of Art in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Stockholm, Iaspis, Index – The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Konst-ig, Kulturhuset, Moderna Museet and DOCH, the University of Dance and Circus in Stockholm.

We look forward to an intensive week and invite you to participate in Performing Recalcitrance.

The programme is available here:

Visiting address: Flaggmansvägen 1, Skeppsholmen, Stockholm
Postal address: Box 163 15, SE-103 26 Stockholm, Sweden

T +46-(0)8-614 40 00
F +46-(0)8-679 86 26
Curator Stefanie Hessler,[email protected]
Public Relations Manager Anne Joki Jakobsson,[email protected] ph.+46-(0)8-614 40 31

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Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm
March 5, 2012

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