Sara Elisassen, Performance-lecture and conversation, Department of Fine Art.
Mid-way assessment – Sara Eliassen, PhD research fellow at the Academy of Fine Art. The artist will do a presentation of her project-in-progress Mediating Uncertianties, followed by a conversation with artist/ filmmaker/ educator Didem Pekün. The conversation will be moderated by Jan Verwoert, writer and research leader at the Academy of Fine Art.
Mediating Uncertainties is an ongoing artistic research project, thinking around how ideology is normalized through contemporary images, technologies and moving image culture. The project aims to explore how image- and screen materials can be used to question and counter dominant versions of recent histories. If following on from Marshall McLuhan’s observations that form became content in the twentieth century, what modes of aesthetic resistance could be mobilised today, bearing in mind the many different contexts and urgencies we now face? How might we subvert documents of the past and archival materials with the explicit aim of undoing certain subjectivities, to build new political imaginaries? The project suggests this might require strategies that operate beyond a conception of simply producing an alternate narrative or making a counter move. How might we rather multiply narratives, connections, methods and techniques in order to rethink how knowledges and histories are being produced? In attempting this, the project also seeks to explore the apparatuses of circulation we use, and the possibilities of developing new channels of distribution.
Didem Pekün (1978, Istanbul) combines research and practice. Previously in her films, she addressed how violence and displacement define and destroy life. Currently she researches on a roaming art education platform titled “Elemental Lab”. Her documentaries and video installations have been shown internationally and received different awards. She is a founding member of Center for Spatial Justice (MAD). She holds a BA in Music from SOAS, an MA in Documentary from Goldsmiths, and a practice-based PhD in Visual Cultures from Goldsmiths, University of London. She is currently a visiting lecturer at Kadir Has University, Istanbul. (on leave 2022-23) and the recipient of Berlin Artistic Research Grant Programme (2022-3). She loves cats, very dark chocolate, and Istanbul.
Jan Verwoert teaches at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, the Piet Zwart Institute Rotterdam, and the de Appel curatorial programme, Amsterdam. Jan Verwoert is a critic and writer on contemporary art and cultural theory. He is a contributing editor of frieze magazine and his writing has appeared in different journals, anthologies and monographs. He is the author of «Bas Jan Ader: In Search of the Miraculous» (MIT Press/Afterall Books, 2006), the essay collection «Tell Me What You Want What You Really Really Want» (Sternberg Press/Piet Zwart Institute, 2010), «Animal Spirits—Fables in the Parlance of Our Time» together with Michael Stevenson, (Christoph Keller Editions, JRP, Zurich, 2013) and a second collection of his essays «Cookie!» published by Sternberg Press/Piet Zwart Institute (2014). His work is focussed around the desire to develop concepts that redescribe the role of emotion, motion, action, intuition and sentience in the practice of art and thinking. His criticism is directed against a new system of control in which the pressure to perform (imposed by ourselves on ourselves, at all times) goes hand in hand with the demand to produce events, deliver results, represent identities and surrender to evaluation.
Sara Eliassen is an artist/ filmmaker and currently a PhD candidate in artistic research KHiO – the Academy of Fine Art. Current projects explores propaganda histories, and how ideology has been normalized through contemporary images, technologies and moving image culture, and further-how images and screen technologies can work to undo certain subjectivities in order to build new political imaginaries. Eliassen’s films have played extensively at international film festivals, such as Venice Film Festival, Int. Film Festival Rotterdam and Sundance, and her practice also involves projects in public space; the artist initiated Not Worth It (2007) and Under The Park (2021), and The Feedback Loop (2018) with The Munch Museum in Oslo. Eliassen also programs films, lectures and conversations, and often invites other artists´work and practices into/ in relation to her projects. Eliassen was a studio fellow at The Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program in 2010/ 2011.