Property Offenses. A Workshop seeking out Art’s Illiberalities
With Rosalind C. Morris, Kerstin Stakemeier and Anselm Franke
Underwriting “Illiberal Arts” is a shift in perspective concerning the place and role of art in colonial modernity – an attempt to cease to take as point of departure its late ideological forms in order to then transgress or de-border them, and instead to undercut them, materially as it were. The modernized arts, consequently, come into view not as historical achievements in a history of progress, but as forms of restrictions. Such inversion turns the protagonists of modernity – the self- and property-owning citizen-subjects of imperial modern nation-states, and the exemplary and idealized expression of their legalized freedoms in the arts – into marginal figures. This workshop discusses the conceptual statement initially written by Anselm Franke and Kerstin Stakemeier for the project, intended less as a conceptual outline and more as a mapping out of the antagonisms, ruptures, and (im)possibilities of positioning artistic “life-work” (Märten) within the illiberal present. Rosalind Morris took that statement of her contributions to the publication, twisting its underlying concepts, opening them up towards a much vaster scope. In this workshop Franke, Morris and Stakemeier want to discuss this statement, Morris’ expansions of it as well as the conversation that Franke and Stakemeier produced for the catalogue shortly before the show’s opening, to see how they see Illiberal Arts now that the exhibition has materialized.