http://www.internationaleonline.org/

Kaja Kraner, Tjaša Pogačar, Izidor Barši in Andrej Škufca pišejo blog na spletni platformi L’Internationale. L’Internationale je projekt večih evropskih muzejev (več o tem tu: http://internacionala.mg-lj.si/ ), pri katerem sodeluje tudi MG+MSUM. Njihov blog najdete pod rubriko OPINIONS: http://internationaleonline.tumblr.com/

To je njihov četrti blog (za besedilo v slovenščini se prosim pomaknite navzdol):

 


 

Dear Izidor,

Your last post for the blog L’Internationale has been very well received. In addition, I expressed my opinion that it seems to me as if it needed a sequel and that it is somewhat too abstract and general for »my taste«. In the light of the wider context that I intend to – from a specific position and by no means not disinterestedly – ponder and reconstruct a bit, I cannot help myself not to draw a premature conclusion, or in more »presencious« terms, a working thesis. That is, when a critical response – what your post undoubtedly is, as will be perhaps more evident later on – succeeds in masking its »intentional aspect« in the direction of »depersonalisation«, it functions as relatively tolerable for all those »included/interested«. I would find it interesting to consider why this is so. Particularly because I wanted to touch upon the strategies of critique, even though at the same time, I think that I will (also because I have limited space) more or less only express my interest of what I would actually like to discuss.

First off, let me touch upon the beginning of your contribution, namely that »speaking or writing is not neutral, not just in the sense of meaning, but especially in the sense of the act itself, that we always speak/write from a certain position and that which is told produces two sequences of effects«. Of course I agree with what you said, although I feel that focusing on the two mentioned sequences – for instance, in a hypothetical analysis of a speech/writing act – is a bit too narrow. Let me explain: to analyse a segment of »what is told« and to highlight the performative moment of a speech/writing act foremost represents an analysis of the semantic level, in connection with which a modification of its reduction towards an analysis of a wider, semiotic level has appeared in the context of communication and related studies. The semiotic level highlights the wider context of speech, so that it would actually be possible to indicate what was said and why it was said. Such a focus could have something to do with the other sequence that you mention, but in a different way; not so much with »what was brought about with something that was said«, but »what was intended to be brought about with something that was said (as it was)«. A reconstruction – conditionally speaking – of intentions of a speech/writing act represents a further complication of the listed levels. By all means, it presupposes a reconstruction of the wider production, ideological, intimate etc. context (or by using your terminology: an attempt to reconstruct a multitude of apparatuses with which a certain speech is connected). But also a reconstruction of, shall we say, a pre-context that determines (in advance) the way we (can even) speak/allow ourselves to speak/find it reasonable, appropriate to speak in accordance to what and how we wish our speech to be understood, or rather: what we would like to bring about, spark off with our speech.

This focus on your writing act is, of course, not a coincidence. Nor is it – for instance – my intention to actually analyse it, criticise it or anything of the like. At this point, I am merely »taking advantage« of the (quasi)analysis of your post to try to say something in the direction, in connection to which I have labeled it as »too abstract and general«. In short, to try to (tactically) concretise it at least a bit. That is why in connection to this, still in the manner of the (quasi)analysis, I can wrap the claim I just wrote down in the initial conclusion that your response in the form of an analysis of the ideology (conditioned by the sources of financing) and the intentions of the L’Internationale confederation is not an exclusively »objective« discoursive analysis of the promotional and presentation (what’s the difference anyway?) materials available online. It is a response of a »cultural agent« – i.e. a precarious worker in the field of culture – embedded in the same structure. In a bit more clumsy terms: someone who is looking inside and through the practice, someone whose practice of observation is actually deeply merged and conditioned by activity/work.

Your contribution tries to – let me emphasise that – avoid particularisms in a very elegant manner. Don’t get me wrong, I do not think that is ultimately a bad thing, since it in any case emphasises the key point: »What is important is not only what we say, what we bring about by speaking, not only the status of the speaker (so that he can do something by speaking), but also where the speech itself is situated, in particular which machine it is a part of.« I would therefore label my humble intention as an attempt to intensify your speech/text without being patronising in any way – I hope. You skillfully delineate the contours of the space in which you situate yourself by writing for L’Internationale. You sense the anticapitalistic ideology that bets on solidarity, the nonhierarchical and the common behind the culturalpolitical discourse (i.e. liberal rhetoric) of EU tenders. You write that »it is the pretension of neutrality that places the carrier of this predicate – the (exclusive) ‘cultural agent’ instead of the former proletarian – on the antirevolutionary side of the class conflict. You express yourself in a pleasant way through spatial metaphors, that are dear to me: »horizontal of equality based on a vertical of inequality and exploitation«. You mention »internal exploitation«, but you do not stop at the hierarchy between »cultural agents« that participate in a tradeoff (for instance, the relation of the employed and the precariously employed »cultural agents«) – you also point out the fact that the field of cultural/art production is by itself already exclusive and excluding. I hope that I would not draw a premature conclusion if I say that your words are some kind of an »appeal« that in order to realise the high-flying goals, it will be necessary to expand the focus (and the practice) of »difference and antagonism, solidarity and common« into the very interior of individual institutions – as well as beyond, of course.

If I make my point: I completely understand your elimination of particularity, but because I was greatly influenced by studies of feministic theory, in particular by methodology (for instance autoetnography), I have great difficulty avoiding not to think through particularities, above all through situations that I am directly involved in. And since I also understand texts as documents of thinking, I inevitably (and intentionally) write them down.

I remember some time ago, when we were talking about the possibility of writing for L’Internationale for the first time, you said that the texts were supposed to be thematically focused on the context of the 1980s in the Yugoslavian cultural and political space (although I do not know where did you get that information from). I also remember my answer at that time, it went somewhere along these lines: what a paradox that a central institution for modern art in a country, or rather its agents, accepts »the young« into its environment, its circle or under its wing so that they would reflect the situation of their youth (i.e. the era when »the young« were only born) – this is probably where some content milieu of the beginning of our writing together comes from.

Our first two contributions were – judging by recent reactions of some of our employers – placed in the proximity of somewhat infantile criticalistic playing around. As if to make use of a determined and granted public space to express personal frustrations – which undoubtedly holds true to some extent. I would like to emphasise that – as you probably remember – at the very beginning, when we were discussing with Andrej and Tjaša how to do the whole thing, we were thinking about doing a similar research (»where are we actually situated«), that »by the necessity of occasion« you did by yourself only in the third contribution. Because for several reasons – you mention one of them yourself – we did not do what we planned earlier, we placed ourselves to a considerable degree into the (more) wellknown, if not local cultural-artistic context (i.e. we were talking about the local hegemonic narrative of the modern art and the agents that establish it, an exhibition that can be placed into this frame etc.)…

At this point, it could be that I am once again manifesting a somewhat premature conclusion: is a critical response tolerable because it is abstract and general, so that it can, in a way, bounce back from where it is headed without anything seeping through, in short, because nobody can really identify with it while at the same time, we can (nearly) all agree with it? Don’t get me wrong, I do not follow the idea that critique should »hold a mirror«, since that – I have to confess – makes me feel uncomfortable, which probably has something to do with the mentioned exclusiveness of »cultural agents«, which they inevitably represent (»Who am I, the one in this supposed position of knowledge, the one to which some public space is granted where he intentionally or unintentionally speaks for someone else etc.?«). I think I will conclude at this point, especially because I have a feeling that we will continue in this direction and that we have had enough of particular conquest of space. Nevertheless, I am only going to add a couple of lines on solidarity, which I simply cannot pass by. In an indirect manner, with Nancy from the book Being Singular Plural, although I know that you do not like him very much: »That which exists, whatever this might be, coexists because it exists. The coimplication of existence [l’exister] is the sharing of the world. A world is not something external to existence; it is not an extrinsic addition to other existences; the world is the coexistence that puts these existences together.«[1] I would however add, maybe in a bit overmelodramaticpicturesque way: can I exclude the excluding solidarity without choosing between the alternatives of building a fortress from my position (I am horizontal, arising from a vertical base) or abandoning myself to my own decay and be carried by the set of reciprocal thunderstorms (for instance, battles for hegemony inside the global art system)? I can hear your answer already: there is no state without battle, there is no complete nonexclusionism …

I hope we’ll see each other soon!

Kaja


[1]    Nancy, Jean-Luc. 2000. Beeing Singular Plural. Stanford University Press, str. 29.

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Dragi Izidor,

tvoj zadnji prispevek za blog L’Internationale je požel veliko hvale. Jaz sem zraven tega izrazila mnenje, da mi deluje, kakor da potrebuje nadaljevanje, ter da je za »moj okus« nekoliko preveč abstrakten in obči. Ne morem se premamiti, da v luči širšega konteksta, ki ga imam – specifično pozicionirano in v nobenem primeru ne-nezainteresirano – namen nekoliko rekonstruirati in premisliti, ne bi že predčasno povlekla nekega sklepa, recimo temu nekoliko prezenciozno: delovne teze. In sicer da je kritični odziv – kar tvoj prispevek nedvomno je, kot bo morebiti bolj razvidno v nadaljevanju –, kadar svoj »intencionalni aspekt« uspe zamaskirati v smeri »razosebljenja«, funkcionira relativno toleratibilno s strani vseh »vključenih/zainteresiranih«. Zdelo bi se mi zanimivo premisliti, zakaj je temu tako. Sploh zato, ker sem se želela dotakniti strategij kritike, četudi hkrati sklepam, da bom na tem mestu (tudi zaradi znakovne omejitve) ostala bolj ali manj zgolj pri izrazu interesa, o čem bi pravzaprav rada govorila.

Naj se v samem začetku dotaknem tega, s čimer ti pričenjaš svoj prispevek, namreč da »govorjenje ali pisanje ni nič nevtralnega, ne le v smislu pomena, ampak predvsem v smislu samega akta, da skratka vedno govorimo/pišemo z določenega mesta, povedano pa tvori dva niza učinkov«. Z napisanim se seveda strinjam, četudi se mi zdi, da osredotočanje na omenjena dva niza – recimo v kakšni hipotetični analizi nekega govornega/pisnega dejanja – predstavlja nekoliko preozek fokus. Da pojasnim: analiza segmenta »tega, kar je povedano« in osvetlitev performativnega momenta nekega govornega/pisnega dejanja predstavlja predvsem analizo semantične ravni, v zvezi s katero se je v okviru komunikacijskih in sorodnih študij pojavila modifikacija nje redukcije v smeri analize širše, semiotične ravni. Slednja predstavlja osvetlitev širšega konteksta govora, da bi se dejansko lahko nakazalo, kaj je bilo pravzaprav povedano in zakaj je bilo to isto povedano. Tovrstni fokus bi lahko imel kaj opraviti s tem drugim nizom, ki ga omenjaš, vendar na nekoliko drugačen način; ne toliko s »kaj je bilo storjeno s tem, ko je bilo nekaj povedano«, ampak »kaj se je želelo storiti s tem, ko je bilo nekaj povedano (tako, kot je bilo)«. Rekonstrukcija – pogojno rečeno – intenc govornega/pisnega dejanja predpostavlja dodatno komplikacijo naštetih ravni. Vsekakor predpostavlja rekonstrukcijo širšega produkcijskega, ideološkega, intimnega itn. konteksta (ali rečeno s tvojo terminologijo: poskus rekonstrukcije mnoštva aparatov, na katere je nek govor priključen). Vendar tudi rekonstrukcijo, recimo temu, pred-konteksta, ki (vnaprej) določa načine, kako (sploh lahko) govorimo/si dovolimo govoriti/se zdi smiselno, primerno govoriti v skladu s tem, kaj in kako bi želeli, da je naš govor razumljen, oziroma: kaj bi želeli z našim govorom doseči, sprožiti.

Osredotočenje pričujočega na tvoje pisno dejanje seveda ni naključno. Niti ni – recimo – moj namen njegova dejanska analiza, kritika, ali kaj podobnega. (Kvazi)analizo tvojega pisanja na tem mestu »izkoriščam«, da poskušam povedati nekaj v smeri, v navezavi, na katero sem ga označila za »preveč abstraktnega in občega«. Skratka, da ga poskušam (taktično) vsaj nekoliko konkretizirati. Zato v tej navezavi, še vedno v maniri (kvazi)analize, lahko svojo pravkar zapisano trditev zavijem v začetni sklep, da tvoj odziv v obliki analize (z viri financiranja pogojene) ideologije in intenc konfederacije L’Internacionale seveda ni izključno »objektivna« diskurzivna analiza preko spletnih virov dostopnega promocijskega in predstavitvenega (kakšna je sploh razlika?) gradiva. Je odziv v to isto strukturo vpetega »kulturnega akterja«, tj. prekernega delavca v kulturi. Nekoliko nerodno rečeno: nekoga, ki opazuje v in skozi prakso, katerega praksa opazovanja je pravzaprav globoko spojena in pogojevana z aktivnostjo/opravljanjem dela.

Tvoj prispevek se poskuša – naj poudarim – zelo elegantno izogniti partikularizmom. Ne razumi me narobe; menim, da to ni nič ultimativno slabega, saj v vsakem primeru poudari ključno: »Ni pomembno zgolj to, kar govorimo, kaj s tem, ko govorimo, storimo, ni važen zgolj status govorca (da lahko preko govora tudi nekaj stori), pomembno je tudi to, kam se govor umešča, sploh pa: del katerega stroja je.« Moj skromen namen bi zato lahko označila kot poskus intenziviranja tvojega govora/zapisa onstran vsakršnega pokroviteljstva – upam. Vešče zarisuješ konture prostora, v katerega se umeščaš, ko pišeš za L’Internationale. Za EU razpisnimi kulturno-političnimi parolami (tj. liberalno retoriko) zaznavaš anti-kapitalistilno ideologijo, ki stavi na solidarnost, nehierarhičnost in skupno. Zapišeš, da je »pretenzija po nevtralnosti tista, ki nosilca tega predikata – (ekskluzivnega) ‘kulturnega agenta’ namesto nekdanjega proletarca – postavlja na proti-revolucionarno stran razrednega boja«. Všečno se izražaš skozi meni ljube prostorske metafore: »horizontala enakosti, ki temelji na vertikali neenakosti oziroma izkoriščanja«. Omeniš »notranje izkoriščanje«, vendar se ne zaustaviš pri hierarhiji med v neko izmenjavo vpetimi »kulturnimi agenti« (recimo razmerje zaposlenih in prekerno zaposlenih »kulturnih agentov«), temveč izpostaviš tudi dejstvo, da je polje kulturne/umetniške produkcije že samo zase ekskluzivno in izključujoče. Upam, da ne povlečem prehitrega sklepa, če rečem, da je tvoj zapisek nekakšen »poziv«, da bo za uresničevanje visokoletečih ciljev nujno potrebno razširiti fokus (in prakso) »razlike in antagonizma, solidarnosti in skupnega« v samo notranjost posameznih institucij – kot tudi onstran, seveda.

Če pointiram: povsem razumem tvojo eliminacijo partikularnosti, vendar si jaz, ki me je v dobršni meri izoblikoval študij feministične teorije, predvsem pa metodologije (recimo: avtoetnografije), težko izognem temu, da ne bi razmišljala skozi partikularnosti, še najraje pa skozi situacije, v katere sem neposredno vpeta. In ker razumem besedilo tudi kot dokument razmišljanja, te neizbežno (in namerno) zapišem.

Spomnim se, da si, ko sva se prvič, kar nekaj časa nazaj, pogovarjala o možnosti pisanja za L’Internationale, rekel, da naj bi bilo pisanje tematsko osredotočeno na kontekst 80. let v jugoslovanskem kulturno-političnem prostoru (ne vem sicer, od kod ti ta podatek). Ravno tako se spomnim svojega takratnega odgovora, šel je nekako v smeri: kakšen paradoks, da osrednja institucija za sodobno umetnost v državi, oziroma nje akterji, »mlade« spušča v svoje okolje, krog ali pod svoje okrilje, da bi reflektirali situacijo iz njihove mladosti (tj. obdobja, ko so bili ti »zdajšnji mladi« šele rojeni) – od tod najbrž nekaj vsebinskega miljeja začetka našega skupnega pisanja.

Naša prva dva prispevka sta bila – če sklepam iz nedavnih reakcij nekaterih naših delodajalcev – postavljena v bližino nekoliko inflantilnega kriticističnega igračkanja. Kakor da bi izkoristili nek odmerjen, podeljen javni prostor za izražanje lastnih frustracij – kar v neki meri nedvomno drži. Naj izpostavim, da smo se – kot se najbrž spomniš – ob samem pričetku, ko smo skupaj z Andrejem in Tjašo razmišljali, kako bi se celotne zadeve sploh lotili, razmišljali o podobnem researchu (»kam se pravzaprav umeščamo«), ki si ga »v sili prilike« naredil sam šele v tretjem prispevku. Ker zaradi več razlogov – enega od njih omeniš tudi sam – načrtovanega nismo naredili prej, smo se v dobršni meri umestili v (bolj) poznani, da ne rečem domači, lokalni kulturno-umetniški kontekst (tj. govorili smo o lokalnem hegemonem narativu sodobne umetnosti in akterjih, ki ga vzpostavljajo, razstavi, ki jo je mogoče umestiti v ta okvir itn.) …

Morda na tem mestu znova manifestiram nekoliko prehiter sklep: je kritični odziv toleratibilen zato, ker je tako abstrakten in obči, da se lahko nekako odbije od tam, kamor je namenjen, brez da bi karkoli pronicnilo, skratka zato, ker se z njim ne more nihče zares identificirati, hkrati pa se z njim lahko (skoraj) vsi strinjamo? Ne razumi me narobe, ne vodi me toliko ideja, da naj bi kritika »nastavljala zrcalo«, saj me ob njej – moram priznati – popade nekakšno nelagodje, ki ima najbrž nekaj opraviti z omenjeno ekskluzivnostjo »kulturnih agentov«, ki jo neizbežno manifestirajo (»Kdo sem ta na domnevni poziciji vednosti, ta, ki mu je podeljen nek javni prostor, v katerem hote ali nehote govori v imenu drugega/drugih itn.?«). Mislim, da bom tukaj počasi zaključila, sploh zato, ker imam občutek, da bomo v tej smeri še nadaljevali in da je dovolj partikularnega zavojevanja prostora. Kljub temu še nekaj o solidarnosti, mimo katere res ne morem. Tako posredno, z Nancyjem iz knjige Being Singular Plural, čeprav vem, da ga ne maraš preveč: “Kar koli eksistira, kar eksistira, tudi že ko-eksistira. So-vključenost eksistiranja pomeni, da si delimo neki svet. Svet ni nekaj eksistenci zunanjega, ni zunanji dodatek drugih eksistenc: je ko-eksistenca, ki jih skupno razpostavlja.[1] Jaz bi vendarle dodala, morda nekoliko pretirano melodramatično-slikovito: lahko izključim izključevalno solidarnost, brez da izberem med alternativama tega, da iz svoje pozicije vzpostavim utrdbo (sem horizontalna, izhajajoč iz vertikalne baze) ali se prepustim lastnemu razkroju ter me kot listje zaganja splet medsebojnih viharjev (recimo: bojev za hegemonijo znotraj globalnega umetniškega sistema)? Kar slišim tvoj odgovor: ni stanja brez bojev, ni popolne ne-izključujočnosti …

Upam, da se kmalu vidimo,

Kaja


[1]    Nancy, Jean-Luc. 2012. Singularna pluralna bit. Lepota. Ljubljana: Apokalipsa, str. 51-2.