Page 1

Index Introduction 4

Melanie Bonajo 15

Alexander Kluge 6

Nathaniel Mellors 16

Gabriel Lester 7

Plastique Fantastique 17

Helga Wretman 8

Rachel Maclean 18

Jan Verwoert 9

Robertas Narkus 19

Justin Bennett 10

Ryan Trecartin 20

Katie Paterson 11

Simon O’Sullivan 22

Katja Novitskova 12

Performance & Lecture Program 24

Koen Vermeir 14


WeberWoche is Stroom Den Haag’s prologue to a longer program titled The Enchanted World. The starting point of WeberWoche, an exhibition, performance and lecture program, is the disenchantment of the world, a notion articulated by the German sociologist Max Weber (1864–1920). ‘The fate of our times is characterized by rationalization and intellectualization and, above all, by the 'disenchantment of the world.' Precisely the ultimate and most sublime values have retreated from public life either into the transcendental realm of mystic life or into the brotherliness of direct and personal human relations.’ Max Weber, Science as a Vocation, 1919 In short, Weber's concept of disenchantment describes the character of the Western modernized bureaucratic society, where scientific understanding is more highly valued than belief and where decision-making is founded on purely rationally calculated deliberations. In Weber's perspective, mankind has initiated developments that have come to have an existence of their own and subsequently have turned against their own creators. He uses the metaphor of a 'stahlhartes Gehäuse', an iron cage. The most notorious example is bureaucracy, which evolved from an independent means into an end in itself, forming a threat to the autonomy of individuals. Although envisioned to be a response to such coercion, WeberWoche was not conceived out of melancholia for vanished beliefs and a lost autonomy. It also was not intended at establishing a straight-through program to counteract the pervasive rational-legal narrative of our time. Instead,


informed by distinct voices, territories, temporalities and materials, WeberWoche was thought to be a prism of dis-enchantment via the hesitant and the multiple. One capable of questioning what this notion is, through and beyond dualism after today. This dispositive touches far-ranging distinct fields that are able to circulate into each other, forming tangents, interlacing, or creating refrains that reignite new thematic paths. WeberWoche ranges from attempts of reviewing the present through Upper Paleolithic lenses, to mytho-scientific evocations to emergent cultures; from rethinking the world through the history of the marvelous to the rise of institutionalization of ‘Pataphysics, the science of imaginary solutions and the laws governing exceptions; from intensification through subtracted forms of illusion to hands-on versions of the brightest explosions of the universe; from attempts at connecting with the spectral to responding to today’s demands through artistic fitness; from attending discursive plants that narrate a reversed perspective of ecology to acknowledging that the Internet is part of nature itself; from the display of simulations of personality and community to hyperbolic glowing premonitions signaling the unintelligible times yet to come. All in all, artists, performers, filmmakers and theoreticians, resourcing from multiple areas of knowledge and operating through diverse artistic and discursive strategies, contribute with propositions that help us map territories that appear disassociated. All these perspectives assembled together create an affirmative cacophony of discontinued voices that in disconcert sound both familiar and foreign. Like a hydra with numerous talking heads, WeberWoche will attempt to find new wisdom. Welcome, enjoy the untamed WeberWoche Bruno Listopad


Alexander Kluge Vom Bohren harter Bretter


What would Max Weber think in our present time? Max Weber was a passionate thinker about whom one can speak in a passionate way. He was like a Hydra, a many-headed serpent, perpetually caught in an intense internal debate. Passion and insight made him a pioneer in sociology in Germany. He constantly pointed at the consequences of (political) actions and called for greater understanding and responsibility. In this day and age Weber’s influential publications are both microscope and binocular. This video shows a conversation between Alexander Kluge and Weber’s biographer Dirk Kaesler on Weber’s social theory and the modernity of his thinking. Toughness, tenacity and curiosity also characterize Kluge. He was part of the generation of filmmakers who challenged the existing German cinema in the sixties. Over the past few years Kluge, together with a group of cultural producers, presented a daily program on commercial German television, forming a powerful opposition to the regular programming.


Saturday 13th of September at 16:30

Gabriel Lester A Man of Action 1997 – 2012 Four Doves 2007 Gabriel Lester (NL) began his artistic endeavor as a street musician, stumbled into prose, studied audiovisual arts, and finally became a cineaste, visual artist, inventor, and entertainer. Lester’s many interests and proficiencies illustrate his appetite for re-invention, adventure, and creation. Known as a highly prolific artist with a focus on narrative abstractions, magical thought, and language in the broadest sense of the word, Lester has created a vast body of work and accompanying international career over the past 20 years. Gabriel Lester’s projects included in WeberWoche both depart from the improbable blending of two forms of illusion — stage magic and pantomime. Through integrating both suggestive delusional forms, performed at once, the paradox of minus times minus equals plus is literally visualized, as neither the magic nor the mime seem to suffer from their dubious and unlikely merge. A Man of Action series depicts Gabriel Lester himself, acting out a series of sleight of hand magic tricks in mime, against the backdrop of a savage landscape in various locations on this earth. Four Doves, the live performance as part of WeberWoche, consists of an actual stage magician performing an act with animals and props, but without actual animals or props, thus only physically suggesting their presence.


Friday 12th of September at 15:30

Helga Wretman Fitness for Artists


Helga Wretman (SE) is an artist and a stunt double who explores the world of consumption, the body image as a commodity, and the simulated and authentic possibilities of the body and technology. With her practice, Wretman thrives on pushing her limits and improving the condition of her surroundings. She has shown work at Based in Berlin, Bergen Kunsthall, Lyon Biennale, Schirn Kunsthalle and Palais de Tokyo and appeared in numerous movies as a stunt double. She is also the creator and host of the Internet television show Fitness for Artists TV on Arte Creative. In WeberWoche Wretman will lead a session of Fitness For Artists. With Fitness For Artists Wretman aspires to fill the bodies of the participants with endorphins in order to improve their creativity and self-consciousness and also to provide an opportunity to face the world of competition on another level. At end of the class Wretman will compile the exercises in a sequence forming a short choreography. Everybody is invited to participate.


Saturday 13th of September at 16:45

Jan Verwoert Ways to exit the dialectics of dis- and re-enchantment 2014 Jan Verwoert (G) is a critic and writer on contemporary art and cultural theory, based in Berlin. He is a contributing editor of Frieze Magazine, his writings have appeared in different journals, anthologies and monographs. He teaches at the Piet Zwart Institute Rotterdam, the Oslo National Academy of the Arts and the de Appel curatorial programme. He is the author of Bas Jan Ader: In Search of the Miraculous, the essay collection Tell Me What You Want What You Really, Really Want, together with Michael Stevenson, Animal Spirits — Fables in the Parlance of Our Times and a second collection of his essays, Cookie!. In his talk, Jan Verwoert will address the following questions: Are dis- and re-enchantment the only options the history of modernity and its discounts offer us? If this was a false alternative, how do we exit the given set of choices? Weber advocates scientific self-discipline and reserve. But he also speaks of ‘hazard’, the moment of chance, intuition, the unknowable at the heart of knowledge production. And he acknowledges that the modern scientific method was born out practices of torture, when he writes that giving primacy to concept and method is to ‘put screws on’ the world of experience. What can be gained from studying the (self-)critical reflections of a modern man of science on the modern world? And when do we need to flank this type of reflection with a reconstruction of the knowledge deemed unknowable, enchanted and magical, in order to be eradicated through torture and genocide, at the outset of scientific modernity?


Justin Bennett Spectral Analysis


The widely ranging work of the artist Justin Bennett (UK) is as rooted in the audiovisual and visual arts as it is in music. Central to his thinking and his work is a process-orientated approach and an interest in the elasticity of the concept of ‘space’. Bennett produces (reworked) field recordings, drawings, performances, installations, photographs, videos and essays. He brings the characteristic potentials and capacities of each medium into every new work, paying no heed to the divisions between these media. The piece that Bennett presents is part of the ongoing project Spectral Analysis which manifests itself in soundwalks, audio-visual installations, drawings and multiples. Spectral Analysis attempts the analysis of both spectra and spectres and is concerned with the history of the use of technology as a tool for exploring and revealing the invisible.



Katie Paterson 100 Billion Suns


Katie Paterson’s (UK) conceptual projects make use of sophisticated technologies and specialist expertise to stage intimate, poetic and philosophical engagements between people and their natural environment. Since graduating from the Slade School of Fine Art she has gone on to exhibit internationally, from London to New York, Berlin to Seoul, and her works have been included in major shows including Tate in London, Vienna’s Kunsthalle and Sydney’s MCA. Her artworks are represented in collections such as the Guggenheim New York and SNGMA Edinburgh. 100 Billion Suns consists of a regular burst of a confetti cannon in which each piece of paper matches the colours of the Gamma Ray Bursts, the brightest explosions in the universe which burn with a luminosity 100 billion times that of our sun. The confetti cannons created for 100 Billion Suns each contain 3,216 pieces of paper whose colours correspond to each of these cosmic events. Every burst of confetti creates a miniature explosion of all of these vast explosions, in just under a second.


Friday 12th of September at 19:00

Katja Novitskova Neverending Story 2013 – ongoing Patterns of Survival 2014 Katja Novitskova (EE) is an artist who investigates the correlations between nature and culture as derived out of a single evolutionary process, and the Internet as a territory in which this can be questioned and renegotiated. By forming intensive assemblages out of technology, commerce and nature, Novitskova explores the notion that art making does not only pertain to the realm of humans but that this process is as natural as nature itself. Novitskova’s Neverending Story is an installation composed of a cutout display sculpture and an e-book on a stand. The notion of survival/natural selection in relation to technology, human expansion and art is Novitskova’s ongoing topic. According to her, macro trends and future potentialities are strangely rooted in deep time processes, like biological evolution and early human cultures. The only mode to approximate these realities is by performing a sort of intuitive pattern that processes our current condition. The e-book itself is a draft of the Neverending Story artist book. This assembles a large amount of vernacular online images, art documentation and quotes, rendering these approximations into visually intense narratives. The sculptural elements surrounding it, including the tablet and the stand, together create a pattern that activates a sense of the transformative nature of things.


Patterns of Survival is a lecture by Novitskova in which she will briefly introduce her e-book. She will elaborate on the devastating ecological impact of human obstinacy with consumer goods and attention products. But also how calamities as such, are perpetually followed by the expansion of new forms (from species to businesses and art). She will be intuiting what new forms will emerge and how nature will locate its main sources of growth.


Saturday 13th of September at 14:30

Koen Vermeir ‘Old gods ascending from their graves’. Science, magic, and the arts in dis/enchanted times.2014 Koen Vermeir (BE) is a historian and philosopher, passionate about studying science, magic and the arts in their cultural settings. He is an academic, non-fiction writer, essayist and public speaker, currently holding a Research Professorship at France’s main research institution, the CNRS. He has written on a broad range of topics, including secrecy in the sciences, the science of sensibility, aesthetics, the power of imagination, disenchantment and the converging histories of magic and science (and even on the history of vampires). In his performance, Vermeir will take Max Weber’s texts as the starting point for a historical and philosophical discussion about modernity, disenchantment and the marvelous. He will reflect on dis/enchantment’s significance today, including its implications for the psychology of happiness and the ‘meaning of life’.


Melanie Bonajo Conversations with a potted plant, part one 2014 Melanie Bonajo (NL) investigates the paradoxes inherent in our future driven notions of commodity. Through photographs, performances, videos and installations Bonajo examines topics related to progress that alienate the individual from a sense of belonging, and inspects how technological advances, and commodity gratifications escalate the sense of alienation. Captivated by the notion of the divine, she explores the spiritual vacuity of her generation, investigates the changing relationship of mankind with nature and attempts to understand existential questions by examining our domestic affairs, our ideas constructed around gender, and our attitudes towards value. The installation Conversations with a potted plant, part one, includes a recorded narrative in which a potted plant reflects on mankind’s widespread view on itself in relation to the universe. Mankind’s conjectures, such as being at the top of the food chain, are challenged by the reexamination of its domestic behavior. The plant speaks about the long history between human and plant life, their intimate moments, their challenges and their mutual feelings. In a humorous way this work touches upon the significance of equality between plant life and humans. Mankind’s perspective on its environment and its so-called cerebral approach towards plants and their habitat will be defied. Bruno Coviello and Julia Crockett gave voice to the sound design.


Nathaniel Mellors Neanderthal Venus


Nathaniel Mellors (UK) has developed an experimental practice that combines film, sculpture, performance, theatre and critical writing. Humor, irreverence, the absurd but also the poetic are the means Mellors uses to address different themes. His work touches upon topics such as language, ownership, power, morality and history. For this exhibition, Mellors made a new unique photogrammic print from a series called Neanderthal Venus. The work depicts a ‘Venus’, a figurine that he sculpted, based on the Venus of Hohle Fels, which is the oldest example of human figurative prehistoric art so far uncovered. Mellors has been interested in the Upper Paleolithic as a site in which mythology, poetry, narrative, imagination and objectivity can collide. He feels this works as a kind of scrying-lens for the present. The Italian film director, Pier Paolo Pasolini, who was obsessed by the idea that what he termed ‘bourgeois-entropy’ was driving mystical and magical experience out of everyday life; used a re-introduction of mythology as a way to frame the present. This liberated use of temporality as a form of criticism is something Mellors has cited as important in the creation of his own scripts, films, sculptures and these photogrammic works.

Courtesy the artist; Matt’s Gallery, London; MONITOR, Rome & Stigter van Doesburg, Amsterdam.


Friday 12th & Saturday 13th of September

Plastique Fantastique Myth Science Sound: Evolution of Time Stretcher Tool Neuropath 3.0 2014 — Friday 12th at 21:00 Monarch Drone Communiqué 2014 — Saturday 13th at 15:30 Plastique Fantastique (UK) is a collaboration by David Burrows, Simon O’Sullivan and others, investigating the relationship between aesthetics, politics and sacred and popular culture through fictions delivered by means of objects, installations, performances, texts and comics. For WeberWoche, Alex Marzeta and Harriet Skully will join Burrows and O’Sullivan to present Myth Science Sound: Evolution of Time Stretcher Tool Neuropath 3.0: a communiqué addressing emergent and residual cultures and ideas, delivered through performance, sound and film. The communiqué presents the evolution of avatars: BlackHare (runner); Foxowl (parasite-scavenger); Ribbon-Head (the spinning drug); Redundant-Rave-Remnant, King John (the last human) and Neuropatheme-Drone 3.0 (cyborgfeedback-loop). Alex Marzeta and Harriet Skully will also join Burrows and O’Sullivan to present Monarch Drone Communique, a performance originally produced for As Above, So Below: A Colloquium on Drone Culture, EMMTEC Lincoln University 2014 and features a collaboartive film/collage made by Burrows, O'Sullivan, Marzeta and Stuart Tait, Ana Benlloch, Venessa Page and Mark Jackson.


Saturday 13th of September at 18:45

Rachel Maclean Over The Rainbow 2013

Rachel Maclean (UK) is an artist that makes work that slips inside and outside of history and into imagined futures, creating hyper-glowing, artificially saturated visions that are both nauseatingly positive and cheerfully grotesque. She largely works in green-screen composite video and digital print, often installing this alongside props, costumes and related sculpture. Maclean is the only actor or model in her work and invents a variety of characters that mime to appropriated audio and toy with age and gender. These clones embody unstable identities: conversing, interacting and shifting between cartoonish archetypes, ghostly apparitions and hollow inhuman playthings. Over The Rainbow is a movie inspired by the Technicolor utopias of children's television. This invites the viewer into a shape-shifting world inhabited by cuddly monsters, faceless clones and gruesome pop divas. Shot entirely using green-screen the film presents a synthetic, computer generated landscape and explores a dark, comedic parody of the Faustian tale, fairy story and horror movie genres.


Saturday 13th of September at 18:15

Robertas Narkus Turbulance 3, Where are my flip-flops? 2014 Robertas Narkus (LT) describes his practice as the ‘management of chance in an economy of circumstance’. He brings together the ordinary and the absurd to explore notions of uncertainty, chance and symbolic capital through unexpected collaborations. Narkus is pursuing a MFA degree at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam and he is the founder the Institute of ‘Pataphysics in Vilnius. Turbulance 3 is an installation with a cooking pot and squid ink. Squid ink is the dark fluid released into water by most species of cephalopod. This is frequently utilized as an escape mechanism, creating a smokescreen that can obscure the predator’s view. In WeberWoche this substance is dispersed in order to render the exhibition space indiscernible, transmuting it into a site of contact with the spectral. Where are my flip-flops? is a lecture in which Narkus will elaborate on topics such as the management of circumstances, uncertainty, cacti classification and the foundation of the Vilnius institute of ‘Pataphysics.


Friday 12th of September at 19:45

Ryan Trecartin CENTER JENNY


Ryan Trecartin (USA) is an exceptionally influential artist whose movies and sculptures have challenged the status quo of the art world and pioneered a new formalism for his generation. In a 2011 essay, Kevin McGarry writes: ‘His worlds amalgamate existing realities into utterly new structures — alien, but accessible through piercingly human assemblies of language, image, and drama, and beneath those edifices, the pains and joys of aspiration.’ For this movie Trecartin, together with longtime collaborative partner Lizzie Fitch, designed an intricate and modular set using Google’s 3D modeling program, SketchUp, which was subsequently built by commercial set builders. The resulting soundstage informs the narrative in a manner similar to the function of Trecartin’s scripts, creating a platform for further improvisation. The movie depicts several groups of girls, most of whom share a uniform and the name ‘Jenny’, seemingly held captive in a post-human limbo. Others identify themselves as nameless proto-Jennys, awaiting their enrollment into ‘The University’. The characters operate as if under some sort of entertainment simulation that steers a plot that changes abruptly from one scene to the next. The Jennys act disconcertedly while subjected to a rigid stratified cast system that reproduces the basic archetype of the girl. Although being ‘basic’ is rejected as humiliating, each of them struggles to resemble the other by impersonating a common model named, ‘The Source’, a challenge in which the most competitive actor earns the privilege of acquiring sameness with the authority that shapes the continuum that they perpetuate; an influence feared by some that compare this to an Icarus drive. Other


dominating characters such as teachers, televisions hosts and non-Jennys aggravate this competitive ecosystem; one girl, and then another declares herself as descendent of ‘humanity’. It is uncertain if this is truly Sara Source, or if any of the characters depicted are human at all, or mere constructed simulations of personality and community behaviour.

Courtesy of the artist; Regen Projects Los Angeles; Andrea Rosen Gallery New York


Friday 12th of September at 17:30

Simon O’Sullivan Myth-Science: Art Practice as Fictioning


Simon O’Sullivan (UK) is Reader in Art Theory and Practice in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College, University of London. His most recent book is On the Production of Subjectivity: Five Diagrams of the Finite-Infinite Relation (2012). His talk for WeberWoche will outline a theory of art practice as myth-science, involving the production of alternative narratives and untimely images that might ‘speak back’ to their progenitors as if they came from an elsewhere, but also speak to that part of their audience/participants not subsumed by dominant regimes of subjectivity — or the what-already-is.



Performance & Lecture Program Friday 12th of September 2014 Daily

Katie Paterson

15:30 class/performance

Helga Wretman

17:30 lecture

Simon O'Sullivan

100 Billion Suns Fitness for Artists Myth-Science, Art Practice as Fictioning

Break 19:00 lecture

Katja Novitskova

19:45 screening

Ryan Trecartin

Patterns of Survival CENTER JENNY

Break 21:00 performance

Plastique Fantastique

Myth Science Sound: Evolution of Time Stretcher Tool Neuropath 3.0

Please note that all times are approximate.


Saturday 13th of September 2014 Daily

Katie Paterson

14:30 lecture

Koen Vermeir

15:30 performance

Platsique Fantastique

100 Billion Suns ‘Old gods ascending from their graves’. Science, magic, and the arts in dis/enchanted times. Monarch Drone Communiqué

Break 16:30 performance

Gabriel Lester

16:45 lecture

Jan Verwoert

Four Doves

Ways to exit the dialects of disand re-enchantment

Break 18:15 lecture

Robertas Narkus

18:45 screening

Rachel Maclean

Where are my flip-flops? Over The Rainbow



WeberWoche Stroom Den Haag 10 — 14 Sep 2014 curator: Bruno Listopad in collaboration with Stroom Den Haag project manager: Simone Kleinhout design: The Rodina, www.therodina.com typeface: Agipo, www.radimpesko.com Š 2014 edition: 500 published by Stroom Den Haag Hogewal 1-9, 2514 HA The Hague The Netherlands weberwoche.tumblr.com www.stroom.nl facebook/stroomdenhaag twitter/stroom_denhaag WeberWoche is made possible in part by the City of The Hague, the Creative Industries Fund NL, the Mondriaan Fund and Stichting Doen.

Alexander Kluge Gabriel Lester Helga Wretman Jan Verwoert Justin Bennett Katie Paterson Katja Novitskova Koen Vermeir Melanie Bonajo Nathaniel Mellors Plastique Fantastique Rachel Maclean Robertas Narkus Ryan Trecartin Simon O'Sullivan

Stroom Den Haag weberwoche.tumblr.com www.stroom.nl

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WeberWoche catalog  

WeberWoche at Stroom Den Haag (10-14 September 2014) is a week celebrating the re-enchantment of our world and ideas with an exhibition and...

WeberWoche catalog  

WeberWoche at Stroom Den Haag (10-14 September 2014) is a week celebrating the re-enchantment of our world and ideas with an exhibition and...