[-empyre-] sex death love - on AGEING

Miha Colner miha.colner at gmail.com
Fri Sep 27 19:21:56 AEST 2019

Dear all,

as Shu Lea Cheang already announced the next topic is addressing the issues
of "sex death love and ageing";

Hereby I am sharing a textual proposal for an exhibition and a year-long
project about different aspects of ageing; the history of that idea dates
back to 2014 when I proposed it for the first time to an international
group of colleagues who were brainstorming to find a topic for a group
show; the proposal for an exhibition about ageing was dismissed with an
argument that it is too depressing issue to be dealt with in an exhibition;
I tried once more two years later and I got similar response; however,
finally I will be able to implement the idea within the programme of MGLC -
International Centre of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana, Slovenia;

Below is the outline of a project and exhibition (in the making) with a
working title *On Ageing*; it shall address the phenomenon of ageing
primarily in visual arts as well as turning towards human sciences.

*The outline:*

The* On Ageing* project tends to reflect on one of the most challenging and
sensitive issues of contemporary world – the ageing of its population and
related socio-political, economic and scientific concerns. It shall address
diverse cultural aspects of ageing as well as expose certain ethical
questions that are in stark contrast to nowadays omnipresent imperative of
rationality and productivity.

Through available theory and practical examples from the field of visual
arts, the exhibition will address and analyse issues related to ageing in
modern societies focusing on biological, socio-political, intimate and
statistical aspects of ageing. There are three main entries to the
exhibition that will address subjects such as ageing body (biological and
sociological aspect), ageing population (political and economic aspect),
and representation of ageing in history of art (cultural aspect).
Furthermore, the issues such as euthanasia, demography, biological ageing
and longevity, ageing in visual culture, dementia, and architecture and
design for ageing population will be tackled. The exhibition will look at
the phenomena of ageing primarily from the point of view of contemporary
visual arts where the subject is still predominantly marginal.

The phenomenon of ageing population of the world is usually raised on the
level of alarming economic forecasts, cuts in welfare system and discourses
on the necessity of retirement reforms shall be approached from many
different perspectives. However, issue of ageing is largely marginalised in
mainstream contemporary (popular) culture, including fine art. Some decades
ago the western society had entered post-industrial and consumerist era
where everything is about (visual) appearances. Therefore, popular culture
and mass media of today are determined by the concept of health and
youthfulness which are often expressed in the imagery of perfect and vital
bodies. Conversely the images of old, imperfect or sick bodies are
undesirable. How does then the fact of ageing body, ageing population and
longevity correspond with today's reality? The issue which is not part of
mainstream imagery and public discourse can be much more easily found in
theory, academia and arts (mainly in cinema and literature).

At the moment so called developed world is facing ideological contradiction
when on the one hand new discoveries in science, technology, and medicine
enable ever longer life expectancy and better quality of life but on the
other hand one is constantly bombarded by the Darwinist indicators of
unsustainability caused by decrease of active population; despite the fact
that so called “classic” workplaces are ever more endangered with the
development of robotisation and smart machines. The questions raised by the
project shall be approached from different and highly interdisciplinary
angles, as the answers are undoubtedly complex and ambiguous. The* On
Ageing* project shall therefore touch upon some crucial and diverse aspects
of ageing population in the world and shall include artists, creators and
experts of diverse backgrounds whose work reaches beyond the field of
visual art such as writers, filmmakers, inventors, scientists, designers,
architects, sociologists, anthropologists, demographers and activists.

*About Švicarija / MGLC – International Centre of Graphic Arts:*

Švicarija is a residency and creative centre located in the central park of
Ljubljana, Slovenia. It is part of MGLC – International Centre of Graphic
Arts, however, it develops very distinctive and interdisciplinary programme
based on the slogan “community, art, and nature” which stretches beyond
fine art into the socio-political realm. With its specific infrastructure
Švicarija runs community projects, live art events, various discursive and
learning programmes, residency programmes as well as exhibitions.

*MGLC – International Centre of Graphic Arts*

*Pod turnom 3*

*1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia*

*http://www.mglc-lj.si/ <http://www.mglc-lj.si/>*

On Fri, 27 Sep 2019 at 07:52, Shu Lea Cheang <shulea at earthlink.net> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> dear empyre-ers
> The September month on -empyre-  doesnt seem to be ending, so many threads
> to follow up...
> Let me recall some moments -
> McKenzie Wark ever so inncocently – 11/09/2019 post
> *So Sandy: can you tell me a it about ageing? I just turned 58 and am
> already a middle aged woman...*
> Allucquere Rosanne Stone ever so cheerfully – 12/09/2019 post
> *I can only tell you about aging from a personal perspective.  So ok, I’m,
> what, 82, 83, something?  I write, code, make stuff, and raise hell, active
> in several professional fields, sex is terrific…if anything, it gets better
> with time.  This isn’t a tell-all, so I’ll leave it at that.  I don’t hike,
> climb, or snowboard as much as I did, but I’m beginning to think that’s
> psychological.  Anyway, if it’s words of encouragement you want, you can
> have all I’ve got, and I’ve got plenty.  I’m fully aware that my view is
> not a universal one, and I can’t speak for trans* folk who find aging
> hard.  But from this admittedly limited perspective, in this particular
> embodiment, I intend to keep on adventuring, theorizing, and making love
> with the throttle pushed up to 110% until my body simply explodes.  I
> invite you to join me.*
> Annie Abrahams asked to bring back  these topics - sex death love and
> ageing
> ·  *"**Annie Abrahams: The belief that, after menopause, sexual
> intercourse goes on as before is mistaken. At least it didn’t for me. This
> made me really angry for some time, as nobody had warned me! It felt very
> lonely. I think that the sexual life of post-menopausal women is still very
> much a taboo subject that people shun away from.*"
> http://digicult.it/digimag/issue-058/annie-abrahams-allergic-to-utopias/
> (2010)
> For these last few days of September as leaves yet to fall off  the
> branches, I like to introduce Annie Abrahams, also bring in Miha Colner,
> the curator who’s been preparing an exhibition *On Ageing at *MGLC –
> International Centre of Graphic Arts (Ljublijan, Slovania).
> Annie Abrahams is a Dutch artist living in France. She has a M2 in biology
> from the University of Utrecht and a MA2 from the Academy of Fine Arts of
> Arnhem. In her work she questions the possibilities and limits of
> communication, specifically investigating its modes under networked
> conditions. Using video and performance as well as the internet, she
> develops what she calls an aesthetics of attention and trust, in which
> human behaviour is the main material. She is known worldwide for her netart
> and is an internationally regarded pioneer of networked performance art and
> collective writing.
> Full cv bio (336 Ko) https://www.bram.org/info/aabrahams_cvbio_eng.pdf
> 2.3 Mo 20 pages with images - book
> https://www.bram.org/info/aabrahams_images.pdf
> Miha Colner(1978) is an art historian who works as a curator at MGLC -
> International Centre of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana. He is also active as a
> publicist, specialised in photography, printmaking, artists’ moving image
> and various forms of (new) media art. Since 2005 he has been a contributor
> of newspapers, magazines, specialist publications, and his personal blog,
> as well as part-time lecturer. He lives and works in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
> http://mihacolner.com
> Let's see how this run, maybe try to smoke Sandy out of cave and get warkk
> to bring in some techno beats!
> sl
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu

Miha Colner
M: +38631354843
E: miha.colner at gmail.com
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