Panel held as part of the third annual Platypus International Convention, on Saturday, April 30th, 2011, at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
After its apparent exhaustion as a project of social transformation, Marxism seems to remain alive as a cultural and hermeneutic endeavor. Self-avowedly Marxist theorists -- Zizek, Badiou, Ranciere -- exert a heavy, if opaque, influence on the self-understanding and practice of contemporary art and inspire research programs in the humanities. Despite its radical appeal, "Marxist" theory may ultimately flatter the political and aesthetic claims of the present. Could investigation of of the now obscure historical Marxist cultural critique of Leon Trotsky, Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin bring to recognition, and therein challenge the inadaquecies of the present? What opaque historical transformations does the difficulty of such work indicate? How might the long-abused concepts of autonomy, medium specificity, kitsch, avant garde -- form part of what Marx called the "ruthless critique of the present." What might the problems of aesthetics and culture have to do with the political project of the self-education of the Left?
Saturday, October 3 - 7:30pm @ Union Docs [ 322 Union Ave, Brooklyn NY ]
Platypus NY Chapter head, Chris Mansour, will be introducing the film. Discussion with Filmmaker and Stephen Duncombe to follow the screening.
In EXAMINED LIFE (2008, 87 minutes, Canada, DVD), filmmaker Astra Taylor accompanies some of today’s most influential thinkers on a series of unique excursions through places and spaces that hold particular resonance for them and their ideas.
This event is presented in association with the Platypus Affiliated Society, New York chapter. Platypus organizes reading groups, public fora, research and journalism focused on problems and tasks inherited from the “Old” (1920s-30s), “New” (1960s-70s) and post-political (1980s-90s) Left for the possibilities of emancipatory politics today.