ONE-DAY SYMPOSIUM CANDICE BREITZ MELISSA GIRA GRANT extending an ongoing conversation between Breitz

ONE-DAY SYMPOSIUM CANDICE BREITZ MELISSA GIRA GRANT extending an ongoing conversation between Breitz

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Text of ONE-DAY SYMPOSIUM CANDICE BREITZ MELISSA GIRA GRANT extending an ongoing conversation between Breitz

  • This symposium is conceived by Candice Breitz parallel to the exhibition

    CANDICE BREITZ: SEX WORK IN DIALOGUE WITH WORKS BY WILLIAM N. COPLEY FROM THE FRIEDER BURDA COLLECTION

    21 September 2018 – 5 January 2019

    Museum Frieder Burda | Salon Berlin Auguststrasse 11 – 13

    10117 Berlin

    26 SEPTEMBER 2018

    SYMPOSIUM: WE ARE NOT YOUR DEMOISELLES

    Candice Breitz Candice Breitz (born in Johannesburg, 1972) is a Berlin-based artist. Breitz has been a tenured professor at the HBK Braunschweig since 2007. Most recently, her work has focused on the conditions under which empathy is produced, reflecting on a media- saturated global culture in which strong identification with fictional characters and celebrity figures runs parallel to widespread indifference to the plight of those facing real world adversity. Following the completion of her works Love Story (2016) and TLDR (2017), she is currently working on the third part of a video trilogy that critically probes the attention economy.

    Änne Söll Änne Söll is Professor of Modern Art History with a focus on gender history at the Ruhr University Bochum and a particular interest in masculinity research. Her last book deals with male portraits of New Objectivity by Otto Dix, Anton Räderscheidt and Christian Schad. In addition, she has published on the subject of artist magazines, fashion, video art and photography.

    Nosipho Vidima Nosipho Vidima is a Human Rights Activist, Black Conscious Feminist, HIV Rights Activist and Women Rights Activist. She currently works at SWEAT (Sex Workers Education & Advocacy Taskforce) as a Human Rights and Lobbying Officer. She believes in a holistic approach for women to accessing basic and fundamental rights while accessing justice and legal recourse in the legal system that marginalises most women. “My dream is that one day we live in a society that has equality for all, where women and girls can be seen as equals in all aspects of life.” She lives and works in Cape Town.

    Melissa Gira Grant Melissa Gira Grant is a senior staff reporter covering criminal justice at The Appeal and the author of Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work (Verso; German edition by Edition Nautilus). She has been a contributing writer at the Village Voice and Pacific Standard, and her work has also appeared in The Guardian, the New York Times, BuzzFeed News, the New York Review of Books, and The Nation, among others. Her essays are collected in Best Sex Writing, The Feminist Utopia Project, and Where Freedom Starts: Sex Power Violence #MeToo.

    She was a visiting scholar at The Center for Place, Culture and Politics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and she has been invited to speak on sex work, media, technology, and politics at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung in Berlin, and the Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, among other institutions. She lives in New York.

    Elke Buhr Elke Buhr, born 1971 in Bochum, is a journalist and art critic. She directed the art department of the Frankfurter Rundschau’s feuilleton and worked as a freelancer for various ARD stations as well as the art magazine ART. In 2008, she became deputy editor-in-chief of Monopol Magazin, and since May 2016, she has been editor-in-chief of the art magazine. She lives in Berlin.

    KW Institute for Contemporary Art Studio, front building, 1st floor KUNST-WERKE BERLIN e. V., Auguststraße 69, 10117 Berlin

    LOCATION

    10h00 – 10h30

    CHECK-IN

    10h30 – 11h00

    WELCOME & INTRODUCTION

    11h00 – 12h00

    Looking, Selling, Buying, Profiting: Art Work and Sex Work since 1863 ÄNNE SÖLL

    The motif of the sex worker appears again and again across the art historical canon. Several of modernism’s most definitive and widely celebrated masterpieces—including Édouard Manet’s Olympia (1863) and Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907)—feature sex workers prominently, effectively casting the viewer as the buyer of sexual services. This presentation will consider the heated debates that representations of sex work have prompted, surveying the recurring appearance of the sex worker as subject within modern art, but also within the practice of contemporary figures such as Andrea Fraser and Tobias Zielony.

    12h00 – 13h00

    LUNCH

    13h00 – 14h00

    SAVE YOUR WHITE TEARS, GIVE ME FREEDOM CANDICE BREITZ

    A visit to the Salon Berlin with Candice Breitz, who will introduce her works TLDR (2017) and Sweat (2018). TLDR is a portrait of a community of sex workers who live and work in Cape Town. The work grew out of a series of interviews and an intensive workshop with the featured participants, extending an ongoing conversation between Breitz and SWEAT (Sex Workers Education & Advocacy Taskforce), the non-profit organisation with which the sex workers are affiliated. Very much a sequel to Breitz’s Love Story (2016), TLDR invites reflection on the relationship between whiteness, privilege and visibility; and on the shrinkage of attention spans within an information economy that fetishizes celebrity and thrives on entertainment. The work points a finger at itself to bluntly ask whether and how artists living privileged lives can succeed in amplifying calls for social justice and meaning- fully representing marginalised communities.

    14h00 – 15h00

    SEX WORKERS ARE NOT YOUR ART NOSIPHO ’PROVOCATIVE‘ VIDIMA, WITH CANDICE BREITZ

    Cape Town-based sex work activist Nosipho ‘Provocative’ Vidima (who appears in TLDR and Sweat), will speak about the challenges facing sex work communities as they fight towards the decriminali- sation and de-stigmatisation of sex work in South Africa and beyond, offering insight into the strategies and goals of SWEAT (the Sex Worker’s Education and Advocacy Taskforce).

    During this session, Vidima and Breitz will discuss the making of TLDR, revisiting some of the critical conversations that shaped the work. They will consider the often-fraught relationship between art and activism, the blindness of privilege and the severe limitations of white feminism. They will also remember Nokuphila Kumalo, a young woman who was violently murdered by one of her clients in a suburb of Cape Town in 2013. Kumalo’s senseless death remains emblematic of the extreme and relentless violence faced by sex workers globally. It was against the backdrop of the vehement protests that SWEAT staged each time her killer — a celebrated South African artist —appeared in court (over the course of an absurdly prolonged trial), that TLDR evolved. The work is dedicated to the memory of Nokuphila Kumalo.

    15h00 – 16h00

    SEX WORKERS ARE NOT YOUR RESCUE PROJECT MELISSA GIRA GRANT

    Melissa Gira Grant, journalist and author of Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work, will address “the celebrity media industrial complex” (a phenomenon that is also explored in TLDR), casting light on the mutually beneficial relationship that exists between political positions that are anti-sex worker rights and a mainstream news economy that is driven by celebrity and clicks. She will also discuss the saviour complex that is integral to much reporting on sex work; the tendency of journalists to cast themselves as heroes and human rights defenders, as they consistently exclude the voices of those they seek to rescue, ignoring the power and agency of sex workers.

    16h00 – 17h00

    NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US SYMPOSIUM PARTICIPANTS

    An open conversation between Candice Breitz, Elke Buhr, Melissa Gira Grant and Nosipho ‘Provocative’ Vidima, during which questions and contributions from the audience will be welcomed.

    REGISTRATION FEE: 10 Euros / 5 euros Students To be paid at the venue in cash.

    Please register early for this event: salon@museum-frieder-burda.de The number of participants is limited!

    Check-in is at 10h00 on 26 September 2018 at the venue: KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Studio, front building, 1st floor

    Please note that the symposium will be held in English.

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    ONE-DAY SYMPOSIUM

    CANDICE BREITZ MELISSA GIRA GRANT ÄNNE SÖLL NOSIPHO VIDIMA

    MODERATOR

    ELKE BUHR