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Haus der Kulturen der Welt announces FORMER WEST. Documents, Constellations, Prospects

Haus der Kulturen der Welt announces FORMER WEST. Documents, Constellations, Prospects, on view 18–24 March 2013.

Design: Mevis & Van Deursen

The Berlin part of the long-term research, education, exhibition, and publication project FORMER WEST (2008–2014) engages in a critical reinterpretation of post-1989, post-Cold War histories by proposing a number of tentative constellations of various documents and prospects from the fields of art and theory, uncovering the fault lines of the West’s “formerness.”

FORMER WEST: Documents, Constellations, Prospects is guided by five currents, each of which involves artists, theorists, and the public in a variety of presentations and deliberations. Art Production, conceptualized by philosopher and art critic Boris Groys, looks at artistic labor as representative of the contemporary functioning of society as a whole, raising acute questions concerning the political dimensions of art under our current condition. Infrastructure, brought together by theorist Irit Rogoff, explores how when we in the West, or in the industrialized, technologized societies, congratulate ourselves on having a well-functioning infrastructure, we forget the degree to which these have become protocols that bind and confine us in their demand to be conserved and resisted. Thus, how can we envision new paths to understanding infrastructure otherwise? Curated by poet and curator Ranjit Hoskote, Insurgent Cosmopolitanism explores how the polity—and thus the public—has been changing through recent insurgent upheavals, and proposes that we might retrieve the ideal of cosmopolitanism as an active and critical strategy from within these political hotbeds.

A week-long educational performance engages some 150 students from institutions around the world in Learning Place, conceived by writer and cultural critic Boris Buden, which engages in collective research on topics such as the commodification of knowledge, critique of creativity, and functioning of edu-industries in today’s cognitive capitalism. Dissident Knowledges, conceptualized by curators Maria Hlavajova and Kathrin Rhomberg, propose both temporal and spatial dynamic interventions in this gathering of artworks, performances, film screenings, and brief improvised statements. As part of this current, the overall project concludes with a Berlin Public Editorial Meeting hosted by curator and writer Simon Sheikh, inaugurating a two-year trajectory of such meetings leading to the realization of the FORMER WEST publication.

With contributions by Bini Adamczak, Maria Thereza Alves and Jimmie Durham, Daniel Baker, Ute Meta Bauer, Neil Beloufa, James Benning, Franco Berardi Bifo, Homi Bhabha, Beatrice von Bismarck, Arianna Bove, Ethel Brooks, Tania Bruguera, Boris Buden, Chen Chieh-jen, Chto Delat?/What is to be done?, Keti Chukhrov, Josef Dabernig, Ekaterina Degot, Manthia Diawara, Katja Diefenbach, Helmut Draxler, Marlene Dumas, Köken Ergun, Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani, Marcus Geiger, Nida Ghouse, Boris Groys, Stefano Harney, Adrian Heathfield, Tom Holert, Ranjit Hoskote, IRWIN, Hassan Khan, Július Koller, Nicolas Kozakis and Raoul Vaneigem, Brigitta Kuster, Maurizio Lazzarato, Dieter Lesage, Maria Lind, Thomas Locher, Isabell Lorey, Teresa Margolles, Radhouane El Meddeb, Angela Melitopoulos, Aernout Mik, Andrea Milat, Louis Moreno, Nástio Mosquito, Rabih Mroué, Marina Naprushkina, Stefan Nowotny, Boris Ondreička, Marion von Osten, Ahmet Ögüt, Stefan Panhans, Nikos Papastergiadis, Alexei Penzin, Piotr Piotrowski, Tihana Pupovac, Li Ran, Gerald Raunig, David Riff, Irit Rogoff, Rasha Salti, Katya Sander, Christoph Schlingensief with Nina Wetzel and Matthias Lilienthal, Keiko Sei, Simon Sheikh, Judith Siegmund, Société Réaliste: Ferenc Gróf and Jean-Baptiste Naudy, Praneet Soi, Jon Solomon, Allan deSouza, Felix Stalder, Hito Steyerl, Mladen Stilinović, Zoran Terzić, Christopher Thomas and Tom Trevatt, Füsun Türetken and Burak Arikan, Ultra-red, Anton Vidokle in collaboration with Liza Babenko and Tisha Mukarji, Ina Wudtke, Qiu Zhijie, Dolores Zinny and Juan Maidagan, and others.

Conceptualized by Maria Hlavajova and Kathrin Rhomberg in collaboration with Boris Buden, Boris Groys, Ranjit Hoskote, Katrin Klingan, and Irit Rogoff.

For the full program, complete list of contributors, and live streaming, as well as full project archive, please visit the FORMER WEST Digital Platform at

Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
10557 Berlin, Germany

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