Hatje Cantz publication: The Pleasure of Research

Hatje Cantz publication: The Pleasure of Research

MaHKU, Utrecht Graduate School of Visual Art and Design

Graphic design: Hanna Kaikula.

April 23, 2015

Release of The Pleasure of Research


In the lives of theorists and philosophers the question of “What is it I have been doing?” pops up time and again carving traces in work and thought. For years and years, an ultimate response to that question can be avoided and delayed. But suddenly the necessity will come up—looking back at a series of projects and figures of thought for instance—to give a reply to that question, albeit a temporary one in many cases.

Henk Slager’s renewed publication The Pleasure of Research is based on such a line of events and motivations. After an eight-year period, including posts such as Dean of MaHKU/Research Professor at HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, Visiting Professor of Artistic Research at Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki, and an incessant involvement in diverse activities focusing on the debate on the current role and position of research in visual art, the moment has arrived for him now to expand that focus and delve further into the question of  “what is research?” in the form of a situating publication. 

Starting point for the publication is a flashback of a series of curatorial projects by the author in various parts of the world: Flash Cube (Leeum, Seoul 2007), Shelter 07 (The Freedom of Public Art in the Cover of Urban Space, Harderwijk 2007), Translocalmotion (7th Shanghai Biennale 2008), Nameless Science (Apexart, New York 2009), Becoming Bologna (Venice 2009), Critique of Archival Reason (RHA, Dublin 2010), As the Academy Turns (Manifesta, Murcia 2010), Artistic Anthropology (NJP Center, Seoul 2010), Any-Medium-Whatever (Georgian Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2011), Temporary Autonomous Research (Amsterdam Pavilion, Shanghai Biennale 2012), Offside Effect (1st Tbilisi Triennial 2012),The Judgment is the Mirror (Living Art Museum, Reykjavik 2013), Joyful Wisdom (Parallel Project Istanbul Biennial 2013), Modernity 3.0 (80 WSE NYU, New York 2014), and Aesthetic Jam (Project Taipei Biennial 2014). 

In addition, activities come to the fore which are developed in the context of the European Artistic Research Network: a network investigating the consequences of artistic research for current art education in symposia, expert meetings, and presentations such as A Certain Ma-ness (Amsterdam 2008), Epistemic Encounters (Utrecht 2009), Tables of Thought (Helsinki 2010), Agonistic Academies (Brussels 2010), Art as a Thinking Process (Venice 2011), Staging Knowledge (Istanbul 2012), Doing Research (Documenta 2012), A Counter Order of Things (Venice 2013), and What is Monumental Today (St. Petersburg 2014).

In The Pleasure of Research, Henk Slager treats the above-mentioned activities and projects as traces of inspiration and shows how the discussion on research implying issues such as knowledge production, artistic thinking, medium-specificity, context-responsiveness, and counter-archival display, has affected the current state of visual art and art education.

The Pleasure of Research is published by Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern. More information here.

In the context of the 1st Research Pavilion (Sala del Camino, Venice, May 6–June 28), a presentation of The Pleasure of Research will take place.

The Pleasure of Research was also made possible by the financial support of HKU University of the Arts Utrecht and Finnish Academy of Fine Arts/University of the Arts Helsinki. 

April 2015, English
17 x 24 cm, 96 pages, 20 b/w ill., softcover
ISBN 978-3-7757-3976-4

MaHKU announces Hatje Cantz publication: The Pleasure of Research
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April 23, 2015

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