Prof. John C. Welchman

lecture & discussion

October 25 2006, 10 a.m.
University of Fine Arts (Magyar Kepzomuveszeti Egyetem), 1063 Andrassy ut 69-70
Vetitoterem / Lecture Room

Actions Against the State: Paul McCarthy’s Pirate Project
Departing from a close reading of McCarthy’s recent Pirate Project, part of his major 2005 exhibition LaLa Land and Parody Paradise (Haus der Kunst, Munich and Whitechapel, London), Welchman discusses some of the wider social, political and esthetic questions raised by his work in performance, mega-installation, drawing and video. McCarthy engages with multiple declensions of the piratic including the inheritance of Anglo-European pirate lore, a densely associative redistribution of the pirate persona and the slapstick reconstitution of sea-bandit Americana. Pirate Project, Welchman will argue, dwells in the distressed social algorhythms lodged between events, historical records, representation, and reinvention. The pirate regime represents a continuous destabilization and revectoring of the violence and desires of the body: it participates in unique forms of community formation and group action; it is subject to special kinds of economic organization; and it engenders important forms of extra-legal, counter-statist dissidence. With video clips from Pirate Project.

October 25, 2006, 6 p.m.
Center for Arts and Culture, Central European University
1051 Nador u 9.
Popper Room

Orshi Drozdik: Passion After Appropriation
The lecture traces the development of Drozdik’s career as an artist from the mid-1970s to today, examining her work in drawing and painting, sculpture, photography and installation. Beginning with her reaction against the traditions of academic and Socialist realism in which she was schooled in Budapest, Drozdik emerged in the later 1970s as one of the first women artists from Eastern Europe to embark on a practice in which photography, performance, and the body converge in a reexamination of social and sexual identities. Following her move to Amsterdam in 1978 and then to Canada and New York City, Drozdik made a signal contribution to a roster of issues associated with the development of the critical postmodernism of the New York art world of the 80s and 90s. Her longstanding interest in the construction and performance of gender continued with the Adventure in Technos Dystopium project (begun in 1984), especially in the allegorical figure of the Medical Venus, where it found a new place in dialogue with the histories and mythologies of science. Her work from the later 1990s established an intriguing dialogue with the fashion and beauty industries by attending to the ritual power of cosmetics.

October 26, 2006, 6 p.m.
Eötvös Lorand University, Institue for Art Theory and Media Research
1088 Budapest, Múzeum krt. 6-8
Ground floor, Room 34.

Art in Southern California Now AND Institutional Critique and After
Join us for a tour of one of the most lively art scenes in the world, as Los Angeles based art historian and critic John C. Welchman discusses the SoCCAS [Southern California Consortium of Art Schools] book series, introducing the first two volumes, Recent Pasts: Art in California from the 90s to Now (JRP|Ringier, 2005) and, hot off the press, Institutional Critique and After (JRP|Ringier, 2006), which offers the first history and reassessment of the Institutional Critique movement, inaugurated by artists including Michael Asher and Hans Haacke in the late 1960s (though named only in the 1980s). This discussion commences with a consideration of some of the larger social and philosophical ideas about the nature of institutions, focusing on recent work by John Searle, and will survey many aspects of current thinking about institutions, exhibitions and galleries: historical reassessments by Renée Green, Isabelle Graw, Mike Kelley, Andrea Fraser, Alex Alberro and Welchman himself; the curatorial revisionism of Jens Hoffmann, Lauri Firstenberg and others; project-based interventions by Monica Bonvicini, Javier Telez, Martin Sastre and the Guerilla Girls; discussions of net art and activism by Christiane Paul and Ricardo Dominguez; and the dissident pranksterism of the Yes Men.