On Thursday, November 12th at 6PM, internationally renowned art theorist and professor of Oslo Art Academy Jan Verwoert will hold a public lecture Whipped Cream for the Walking Dead at the hall of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, 6 Kohtu St.
The material world each day gives us more stuff to buy and fear, while at night our faces at night are bathed in the glow of LED-screens as we look for true life on the net. Did the war stop in the ’50s? Or did the pills just get better in taking the edge off? What to do when everywhere we go, online or IRL, we still can’t help but bring our body?
One way to deal with the situation, it would seem, is to turn life into a shimmer as sublimely dull as that on your screen. Call it the bliss of Zombies who no longer feel that they don’t feel, because they have lost their metabolism and can eat what they want and never put on a gram of weight. Who could fail to be convinced by the deep drowsiness in Lana del Rey’s voice when she sings that all she wanted to do was get high by the beach?
Yet what if the soul keeps kicking and yearning for some food and hurls us back in among a world of things, people, promises and online horoscopes? What if we confronted the question Bifo Berardi raised, asking: “Where shall we take our round bodies?”
Jan Verwoert is a writer, a contributing editor of frieze magazine, a professor for theory at the Oslo Academy of the Arts and teaches at the Piet Zwart Institute Rotterdam. He is the author of Bas Jan Ader: In Search of the Miraculous (MIT Press/Afterall Books 2006), Tell Me What You Want What You Really Really Want (Sternberg Press/Piet Zwart Institute 2010), and, with Michael Stevenson, Animal Spirits — Fables in the Parlance of Our Time (JRP, Zurich 2013) and Cookie! (Sternberg Press/Piet Zwart Inst. 2014).
Estonian Academy of Arts, Institute of Art History in co-operation with the Centre for Contemporary Art Estonia are organizing a public lecture series concentrated on the questions of contemporary curatorship, criticism and theory. All lectures will be preceded by reading groups analyzing the previuos texts of the visiting lecturer at the office of Centre for Contemporary Art Estonia, Vabaduse väljak 6. The reading groups are free and open for all. The writing of Jan Verwoert will be discussed this Friday, November 6th at 2PM, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for registration.