CRIC – Festival of critical culture | 18.11 – 03.12.2016 Chifte Hammam, National Gallery of Macedonia, Skopje

Keynote lectures 23.11.2016 7.30 pm "Stratigos Tito - Karate: enjambement poetics, or „mixing memory and desire“...

Keynote lectures


7.30 pm “Stratigos Tito – Karate: enjambement poetics, or „mixing memory and desire“

Keynote lecture by Svetlana Slapšak

​8.15 pm Ana Vujanovic in dialogue with Svetlana Slapšak


The title consists of two quotations: the first, in modern Greek („Marshal Tito-Karate“) is an announcement of the film program from 1974 at the cinema Ideal in Athens, which had a 24 hours running sequence of porn and karate films, almost exclusively for the working class male public, who also had a possibility to dine at a low price at the restaurant with the same name and in the same building complex. The aforementioned film was in fact the famous Yugoslav film, awarded at many film festivals abroad, The Battle of Neretva. How it ended in such a context could be reflected in the poetics of enjambment, the delayed making of sense, as it is illustrated by the second quotation from The Waste Land by T.S Eliot:

… mixing (the end of a verse)

memory and desire… (the beginning of the next verse)

The Ideal cinema program (as its name would indicate) was/is made of memory and desire (karate+porn). Violence, embedded in memory, is the basic narrative of any power determining social relations, which are then reconstructed and sometimes subverted in prescribed and proscribed sexualities. I am referring to socially approved violence with guaranteed memory in the example of Athenian democracy: polemos (defense war), apoikismos (colonization) and stasis (civil war) relate to three forms of patriarchally defined sexuality – hierarchical homosexuality, rape, and bi-sexual tension. Under the „reign of phallus“, as Eva Keuls defined it, criticism and resistance are deeply connected to gender and sexualities (Aristophanes, Euripides, even Plato). How the three ancient forms of sexuality can make us re-think and re-form critique/criticism of violence? How to construct new mnemotechnics which do not serve violence and patriarchy? How to re-determine archiving by introducing sexuality, eroticism and love? Is this the way of impregnating memory with narratives of sexerlove instead of narratives of violence? Is enjambment the appropriate semantic technique to do this?

25.11.2016 |

20:30 „ 8.30 pm “Violence of Information and Application: “Contemporary art” at the Closure”

Keynote lecture by Branislav Dimitrijevic

9.15 pm Branka Ćurčić and Slavco Dimitrov in conversation with Branislav Dimitrijevic

One of the noted characteristics of our current condition is that the forms of information have replaced the forms of thinking in the process leading to a particular form of hyper-knowledge. The obsession with information is a pre-condition of the fetishisation of the nowness that is structuring the canon of contemporary art. Through the constant flow of providing and sharing information we have structured a very densely woven mask hiding our main inability, our main trigger of frustration: the inability to know the totality of the present. Contemporary art is the mode of exercising this inability, and, at its worst, it merely repeats the gesture of the information flow, but, at its best, it practices this inability to know the present (to know our “thing”) by opening the fractures in the present, so that our inability to know the present represents the indicator of this very present, and could open the mode of thinking it.

If we try to counter the dominant view on art as a “form of production” (if not material production then the production of events of information and of information on events) and rather consider art as “a form of thinking” we may also become able to configure its social role beyond the immediacy of its commodification or/and an application for the purposes of already structured political discourses. In the words of Luis Camnitzer: “Art thinking is a meta-discipline that is there to help expand the limits of other forms of thinking.” So it is not only about “acting” against and “imagining” alternatives to the dominant political order (like in the canons of “artivism”) but about relating to and expanding any form or structure of thinking that is narrowed by this order. The social role of art in contemporary capitalism is usually narrowed down to a few functions/applications, and in the peripheral world this closure is rampant: vulgar cultural glorifications of national identities and institutional atavism of modernist forms of artistic autonomy, are countered with art that is either reduced to incubating creative ideas for the direct service to the Capital, or reduced to play a part in the ideology of “repressive tolerance” that is the other side of the same coin of the normalisation of violence. The question is not how to try to rethink the notion of artistic autonomy, as its forms are already lost, but how to complete the closure of the art-process which is subsumed under the capital’s valorisation process.

26.11.2016 |

7.30 pm“Economic violence – unaware of it, though we face it every day”

Keynote lecture by Branimir Jovanovic

8.15 pm Branimir Jovanovic in conversation with Petar Goshev and Kristina Ampeva

We face it when we see homeless people on our way to work. We face it when we see small children begging, instead of going to school. We experience it when someone close to us dies, because of not having money to go to the doctor. We experience it when we get robbed by someone, who has been living in poverty and has become a criminal in order to survive. We see it when our friend’s parents died in floods, because we have no money for canals, though we have money for monuments. We see it in the seamstresses who are forced to work day in, day out, in inhumane conditions, for 150 euros per month, in factories owned by guys who drive cars worth 100.000 euros. In this talk, Branimir Jovanovic will tell several such stories of economic violence, will elaborate how they are related to existing economic structures and will discuss how these structures need to be changed.

03.12.2016 |

6 pm“The policy of choice as policy of violence”

Keynote lecture by Renata Salecl

7 pm Katerina Kolozova in dialog with Renata Salecl

Malaise of civilization and malaise of the individual go hand in hand. Social changes thus affect the symptoms of malaise people suffer from and the new symptoms people develop, of course, affect society as a whole. In the last decade, there have been many debates in psychoanalytic circles about how social changes that we experience in postindustrial capitalism affect individuals. The ideology of postindustrial capitalism has heavily relied on the idea of choice, freedom, self-determination, and endless progress. The underside of this ideology, however, has been an increase in anxiety and in the individual’s feelings of inadequacy, and guilt for not making it in today’s world. Until very recently, the ideology of choice has actually functioned very well to prevent any questioning about possible social change. The individual was rather engaged in constant self-change—often to the point of self- destruction.

Identification with the ideology of choice has, on the one hand, contributed to the formation of new psychological symptoms where people impose particular new forms of aggression toward themselves, while on the other hand, it has also encouraged various forms of social violence. The lecture will look at new cases of aggression that people are imposing onto themselves and others. It will also look at the way judicial system increasingly identifies with fictional accounts of violence as presented in films and TV dramas – especially when it searches for the truth about subjectivity in his or her genes or brain. In conclusion, the lecture will look at the power of ignorance and denial which play an important role in the way violence becomes the underside of the ideology of choice.


“What it could look like – Approaches to political and historical matters through video”

Lecture and Screening by Silke Wittig

Based upon concrete examples, the lecture focuses on the possibilities and methods of the medium video to approach political, historical and societal matters. In comparison to film or the classical fine art genres, the nature of the medium video, its contribution to the autonomization of the producers and the variety of image processing methods predestine video art for a critical reflection of historical phenomena and related claims of truth. The lecture includes the screening of works by Maria Thereza Alves, Yael Bartana, Filipa César, Rabih Mroué, and Oliver Ressler. The selected works draft alternative narratives to establish history and reflect past and present by including both historical and recent political events, as well as personal experiences. Furthermore, they aim to construct spaces of remembrance and forms of personal appropriation of history and to make its associated subjectivization understandable. Founded in 1971 as an artists and cultural producers initiative, the Video-Forum of Neuer Berliner Kunstverein with over 1,600 works of video art is the oldest and one of the biggest collection of video art in Germany. The focal points of the collection are Fluxus, feminist video, historical and contemporary video art of Berlin, as well as approaches reflecting on the media. Key works dating back to the early phase of video art are represented on an equal footing with contemporary productions. In addition, over the last few years, a particular emphasis on art from Eastern Europe has developed.

Selected videos:

Filipa César: The Embassy, 2011, 37:00 min (excerpt of ca. 5 min); Rabih Mroué: Face A / Face B, 2002, 9:58 min; Maria Thereza Alves: Tchám Krai Kytõm Pandã Grét – Male Display Among European Population, 2008, 2:21 min; Oliver Ressler: This is what democracy looks like!, 2002, 38:00 min (excerpt of ca. 5 min); Yael Bartana: The Recorder Player from Sheikh Jarrah, 2010, 7:20 min

Прикажаните видеа се дел од колекцијата на n.b.k. Видео форумот


Svetlana Slapšak has been trained in Classical Studies/Linguistics at the University in Beograd, with the MA on the translations/loans of the Greek word SHEMA and the PhD on translations, adaptations and loans from Greek in Vuk Karadzic’ Serbian Dictionary, she moved towards Balkanology and Women’s Studies in the 1980s. As a dissident student and later author and activist, often harassed by the secret police, her passport was denied for several times or more than 7 years 1968-1988. Fired from her post at the Institute for Arts and Literature in Beograd in 1988, following a bogus trial by the Milosevic regime, for her public opposition to the Serbian nationalism and the decomposition of Yugoslavia and her action in favor of the longest detained consciousness prisoner in Yugoslavia, ethnic Albanian Adem Demaqi (29 years in 1987). Moved to Ljubljana in 1991. Coordinator of Anthropology of Ancient Worlds and Anthropology of Gender at ISH (Institutum Studiorum Humanitatis), Ljubljana Graduate School of Humanities. Dean of ISH since 2005. Editor-in-Chief of ProFemina, a quarterly for Women’s studies and culture in Beograd, since 1994. Laurie Chair in Women’s Studies at Rutgers, USA, 1994-1995; Invited at EHESS Paris, 1998; Fellow at NIAS, Wassenaar, 1999-2000; Fellow at Max Planck Institute, Berlin, 2000; Fellow at Collegium Budapest, 2005. Recipient of Milosh Crnjanski Award for essays, 1990; American PEN Freedom of Expression Award 1993; Helsinki Watch Award, 2000; Helen Award, Montreal, 2001.

​Ana Vujanović is a freelance cultural worker in the fields of contemporary performing arts and culture. She holds a Ph.D. in Theatre Studies. She is a member of the editorial collective of TkH [Walking Theory], a Belgrade-based theoretical-artistic platform, and editor-in-chief of the TkH Journal for Performing Arts Theory. and editor-in-chief of the TkH Journal for Performing Arts Theory. She participates in art projects in the fields of performance, theatre, dance, and video/film, as a dramaturg and co-author. he has published a number of articles in journals and collections and authored four books, most recently Public Sphere by Performance, with B. Cvejić (Berlin: b_books, 2012 / 2015). Currently she is working on an independent research project Performing the Self in the 21st Century, with B. Cvejic and M. Popivoda of TkH.

Silke Wittigis a curator and editor. She studied Photography and Digital Media with Stan Douglas and Hito Steyerl at the University of the Arts in Berlin and at École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts at Paris. From 2010 to 2012 she worked as cultural manager at the NGO LOJA in Tetovo / Macedonia as a fellow of the Robert Bosch Foundation. Since 2008 she has been working at the art institution Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) in Berlin, both at the video art collection Video-Forum (2008–2010), as Head of Communication and Public Program (2012–2016) and currently as curator and editor. She has curated several international exhibitions and video art screenings.

Branislav Dimitrijević holds the position of Professor of History of Art and Visual Culture at the School for Art and Design (“Visoka škola likovnih i primenjenih umetnosti”) in Belgrade, and also teaches Art History at Academia Nova in Belgrade. Dimitrijevic studied Art History at the University of Belgrade (BA) and obtained MA degree in History and Theory of Art at the University of Kent (UK), with a thesis supervised by Professor Stephen Bann. Main fields of his theoretical and curatorial interests are: visual theory and visual culture, art in public space and relations of common culture, politics and ideology. For his text essays he was awarded the “Lazar Trifunović Award” for art criticism and “Dušan Stojanović Award” for film theory. Dimitrijevic edited books; publications and exhibition catalogues that are listed amongst the other selected published texts in the attached bibliography. His books include On Normality: Art in Serbia 1989-2001 (MOCA Belgrade, 2005), Against Art – Goran Djordjević, 1979-1985 (MOCA, Belgrade, 2014) and more recently, Potrošeni socijalizam: Kultura, konzumerizam i društvena imaginacija u Jugoslaviji 1950-1974 (Fabrika knjiga, Belgrade, 2016) and Slatki film Dušana Makavejeva (MOCA, Belgrade, 2017). For the selected texts and the CV see:

Slavčo Dimitrov graduated at the Department for General and Comparative Literature at the Faculty of Philology at the Ss.Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje. He got his first Master’s degree in Gender Studies and Philosophy at the Evro-Balkan Institute, and his second Master’s degree from the Department of Multidisciplinary gender studies at Cambridge University. He is one of the founders of the Research Center for Cultures, Politics and Identities (IPAK.Center) in Belgrade. He has been working at the Coalition ‘Sexual and Health Rights of Marginalized Communities’ since its beginnings, as a member, coordinator and executive director. His activist interest is directed towards the politics of queerness (queer politics), sexual and gender citizenship and equality, rights of marginalized communities and their transaction with questions concerning social justice.

Branka Ćurčićgraduated in art and theory of art and media. She is a program editor at the New Media, Novi Sad, and co-editor of its publishing project She is also an activist and member of the Group for Conceptual Politics (GCP), where she works on two major projects realized in cooperation with – an expanding publishing series focusing on French theory and philosophy and a project that reflects on politics of self-organization and civil society starting from housing politics. She is interested in researching new positions in relation to politics and in relation to art, interests she has written about in contributions to readers and publications by and GCP, as well as on their respective websites.

Branimir Jovanovic is an economic researcher, doing research on various macroeconomic issues. He also does economic research, focusing on questions like poverty, income inequality, poverty, unemployment, workers’ rights and the like. He holds a PhD from the University of Rome Tor Vergata and master degree from Staffordshire, UK. He worked as a Visiting Researcher at the University of Turin, but he came back to Macedonia after six months Currently, he is at the Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities, Skopje, where he teaches several economic courses.At the moment his interests are mainly concentrated on inequality and poverty.

Petar Gosev is a Macedonian politician and former Governor of the National Bank of the Republic Macedonia. He graduated at the Faculty of Economics in 1971 and gained an MA of Economics in 1983. Gosev started his career as adviser at the Union. In 1993 he had established the Democratic Party, which merged with the Liberal Party in 1997. He became Governor of the National Bank in 2004. При тоа е избран за нејзин претседател. Од 1997, со обединувањето на Демократската и Либералната партија, станува претседател на Либерално демократската партија. На функцијата гувернер на Народната банка на Македонија бил избран во 2004 година.

Kristina Ampeva is a spouse, mother of three and has been a textile industry employee for seven years. She is a civil rights activist and an advocate for human and labor rights. Ampeva is president of the Civic Association of Textile and Leather Workers, Silent majority, which is already recognized by the name Glasno (Aloud).

Renata Saleclis a Slovenian philosopher, sociologist and legal theorist. She is a senior researcher at the Institute of Criminology, Faculty of Law at the University of Ljubljana, and holds a professorship at Birkbeck College, University of London. She has been a visiting professor at London School of Economics, lecturing on the topic of emotions and law. Every year she lectures at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (New York), on Psychoanalysis and Law, and she has also been teaching courses on neuroscience and law. From 2012, furthermore, she is visiting professor at the Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine at King’s College London. Her books have been translated into thirteen languages.

Katerina KolozovaPhD, is the director of the Institute in Social Sciences and Humanities-Skopje, Macedonia and a professor of gender studies at the University American College-Skopje. She is also a visiting professor at several universities in Former Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. In 2009, Kolozova was a visiting scholar in the Department of Rhetoric (Program of Critical Theory) at the University of California-Berkeley. She is the author of Cut of the Real: Subjectivity in Poststructuralist Philosophy (Columbia University Press, 2014) and Toward a Radical Metaphysics of Socialism: Marx and Laruelle (punctum books, 2015)

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