“Political messianism from the interbellum until today”


Talk: Kostis Stafilakis in conversation with Thanos Lipovac, “Political messianism from the interbellum until today”
Friday 25 November, 18:00-19:30
Diplareios School Auditorium

A phantom haunts the 3rd Athens Biennale – it is the figure of Walter Benjamin. Following a metaphor proposed by the curators of the Biennale, Benjamin is the messianic thinker who calls us to think on «what is there to be saved» from the new regime period (Metapolitefsi) in Greece. This question is asked at a time when both a violent deconstruction and a refusal of the recent past prevail, along with some last attempt to hold on to reassuring social norms and ideologies that up until now sustained social stability. Our time is not particularly related with the golden era of messianism in the Weimar Republic – the time of Benjamin, Ernst Bloch, Ernst Jünger and Carl Schmitt. Nevertheless, we witness the revival of the darkest structures of messianism: ideologies of the «third position», nationalistic anarchism, communitism, political gnosticism, manichaeistic conspiracies, right and left -wing antisemitism etc . How can radical speech move through the Symplegades of these grim ideological formulations? What is the position of psychoanalytic speech within the constellation of contemporary political thought?

Kostis Stafylakis is an art theorist and artist. He graduated from the Athens School of Fine Arts. He holds an MA in Modern Art and Theory from the Department of Art History and Theory at the University of Essex and an MA in Continental Philosophy from the Department of Philosophy at the same University. He received his Phd from the Department of Political Science and History of the Panteion University of Athens. His doctoral thesis focused on the political discourse articulated by 21st century global art shows and especially Documenta 11. He has published articles and essays in art journals, political science journals and collective volumes. He is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Thanos Lipovac was born in Athens in 1943. He studied sociology, psychology and philosophy and he undertook a Phd at the Free University in Berlin where he also taught as a lecturer. Subsequently he taught at the University of Paris VIII, the University of Oldenburg and the University of Freiburg. He was lecturer of Political Psychology at the Panteion University of Athens from 1987 until 2010 when he became Emeritus Professor.
His writings include amongst others: The Denial of the Political (1988), The Psychopathology of the Political (1990), Issues of Political Psychology (1991), Essay on Ideology (with Nikos Demertzis, 1994), Psychoanalysis-Philosophy-Political Culture: Intertwined Texts (1996), Democratic Speech-Psychoanalysis-Monotheism (2001), Envy and Resentment (with Nikos Demertzis, 2006), Essay on Knowledge and Gnosticism (2006), The Name of the father and discomfort in culture (2007), Diskurs und Macht. J. Lacans Begriff des Diskurses (1982), Die Verleugnung des Politischen (1986), Politik der Psyche (1998), Der Fortschritt in der Geistigkeit und der Tod Gottes (2005).

Talk: Thomas Elsaesser, “Walter Benjamin, Global Cities and Living with Asymmetries”
Saturday 26 November, 18:00
Diplareios School Auditorium

Thomas Elsaesser challenges in his lecture the image of the city as the key concept of modernity, as we have come to understand it thanks to the work of Walter Benjamin, Georg Simmel and Siegfried Kracauer. He will look especially at “the street” as the site of sociopolitical confrontations during the 20th century, and ask if it is still a viable space of social disruption and political dissidence, now that most major inner cities in Europe are devoted to shopping, tourism and the festival economy, and most of the networks of power are sustained by electronic flows. Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s film «The Third Generation» and Jacques Derrida’s concept of «auto-immunity» will be points of reference when examining the different regimes of surveillance and the ‘politics of fear’ that always emerge when social injustices, asymmetries of agency and the imbalances of debt threaten the status quo.& nbsp;

Thomas Elsaesser is a film historian and professor of Media and Culture at the University of Amsterdam.  Born in Berlin, he was educated in Britain and has been teaching in European and American Universities since 1972. His essays on film theory, media history, avant-garde cinema and installation art have appeared in over two hundred collections, anthologies and journals.

 His books include: New German Cinema: A History (London: Macmillan, 1989), Fassbinder’s Germany: History Identity Subject (Amsterdam: AUP, 1996 – translated into German and French), Metropolis (London: BFI, 2000 – translated into German and Czech), Studying Contemporary American Film (w. W. Buckland, New York: Oxford UP, 2002 – translated into Italian and Japanese), European Cinema: Face to Face with Hollywood (Amsterdam: AUP, 2005), Terror und Trauma (Berlin: Kadmos, 2007), Film Theory: An Introduction through the Senses (w. M. Hagener, New York: Routledge, 2010 – translated into German, French, Italian and Korean) and The Persistence of Hollywood (New York: Routledge, 2011)

The talk will be held in English.

Talk: Marie Sanida, “Body MARvellous” 
Sunday 27 November, 17:30-19:00
Diplareios School Auditorium

The divided self has lost sense of her body as links to the world are disrupted. «The living being outgrows the vertigo of annihilation only in the ecstasy of procreation» concludes Benjamin in his «One-Way Street», 1928. The New can only be born when the veil of the phantasmagoria created by the commercialised world dissolves. The talk is an approach to dialectical images, to the notion of Enantiodromia, to Eros and his political dimension within the works of art.

Marie Sanida teaches and learns from children since 2002. She studied English Literature and arts in Athens and the University of London, specialising in the period 1890-1940. She curated [E]SC[H]ATOLOGY in Napoli in 2010. She is currently researching Walter Pater and Nietzsche.


Makis Malafekas, “Notes on a contemporary novel” 
Wednesday 23 & Thursday 24 November, 17:30-18:00, 18:30-19:00
Diplareios School Auditorium

Slideshow & recitation of the «Notes on A Contemporary Novel». For the heroic dive of the text into the mire of reality and its return to the bay of Art.



The Public School in Athens @ MONODROME

Alternative exchange systems and social economy initiatives: a practical introduction
Co-ordination: Giorgos Papadopoulos
Wednesday 23 November, 19:00-21:00

4th Talk: Need and Utopia: The potentialities and the limits of social economy initiatives

Α cycle of four talks moderated by Giorgos Papadopoulos, examining the subject of social economy and alternative exchange systems (Local Exchange Trading Systems – LETS) both as viable alternatives of goods and services distribution and as political actions of resistance to the logic of the «free» market and monetary relationships.

The Public School in Athens @ MONODROME hosts The Mobile Art School Residency of the Liverpool School of Art and Design: Counter-Public Spheres
Residency Workshop: Tuesday 22- Thursday 24 November 
Public presentation & discussionThursday 24 Νovember, 19:00-21:00
Diplareios School Ground Floor

The Mobile Art School is part of Liverpool School of Art and Design’s Fine Art Public Platform ‘The Future of the Art School in Society’. Through a series of discussions, debates, films, photographs, writings, drawings and online/offline Psychogeographical drifts, the Mobile Art School will be formulating and asking questions about the possibility of political and artistic Autonomy today.

The Mobile Art School Athens will be taking place at MONODROME within the context of «The Public School in Athens» (part of the project «Word of Mouth», curated by KERNEL). It consists of a critical collaboration between Staff and Students from the Fine Art BA (Hons) Programme at Liverpool School of Art and Design, the Athens Biennale, AllArtNow (Damascus) and Grizedale Arts (Coniston).

Please visit http://www.mobileartschoolathens.org/ for more info.

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