January 18, 2019 - e-flux journal - “Exile”
January 18, 2019

e-flux journal / Kunstinstituut Melly

Firelei Báez, May 19, 2017, 6:05 p.m. (an idiom playing out its history), 2018. Courtesy of the artist. Part of the winter exhibitions opening at Witte de With on Sunday, January 27.

Art after Culture? A second decade of e-flux journal
January 26, 2019, 10am–6pm

Kunstinstituut Melly
Witte de Withstraat 50
3012 BR Rotterdam
The Netherlands
Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 1:30–6pm,
Friday 6–9pm

T +31 10 411 0144
F +31 10 411 7924


In 1862, Lord Acton warned: Exile is the nursery of nationality. Nationhood and belonging are born from estrangement. A new nation is nourished by identifying lost entitlements, by cultivating a true belonging that was violated or interrupted, somehow denied or deferred.

Today, one might ask oneself: What have I been estranged from? What have I been denied? But also: What is encouraging me to sense these debts, to settle scores? It is not only a question of what was ripped from one’s grasp or who was torn from one’s home, but of who benefits from that sense of loss. It is a question of what is being built from the sense that all losses should in some way be reversed and restored to their rightful owners.

Now, we must be a bit careful here. Because much has been lost and much has been stolen. There are valid claims to be made. Yet alongside a growing awareness of losses to colonialism, in Europe there are many who lament the loss of empire itself. Moving even further to the right, the loss of empires that never existed are sensed as a daily tragedy.

In this climate, artists and art practitioners are suddenly faced with a politics that goes far beyond social engagement to become an affectively and historically charged, ideologically flammable material. Other questions arise: Are we, like many others, estranged from the modern promises of art tied to revolutionary transformation? Do we want to search backward to restore those promises? Or press forward with few guarantees?

Join us on Saturday, January 26 from 10am–6pm for “Exile,” the first in the conference series Art After Cuture? organized in Rotterdam, Paris, Berlin, and New York launching off the next ten years of e-flux journal.

With lectures, responses, and workshops by Julieta Aranda, Kaye Cain-Nielsen, Binna Choi, Sofia Hernandez Chong Cuy, iLiana Fokianaki, Coco Fusco, Jeanne van Heeswijk, Charl Landvreugd, Chus Martinez, Metahaven, Christian Nyampeta, Anton Vidokle, Mary Wang, and Brian Kuan Wood. 

For updates to the program, please visit Witte de With’s website.

“Exile” is co-organized by Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art and e-flux journal, in collaboration with Erasmus University College and the Rotterdam Arts & Sciences Lab.

Tickets: 15 EUR (7.50 EUR for students), available here. Registration and coffee at 9:30am.

“Exile” will be livestreamed on www.wdw.nl/livestream.

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