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Boris Groys

A POST-COMMUNIST MANIFESTO

Boris Groys talks at the ICA

Wednesday 21st July, 6.45pm

Institute of Contemporary Art
12 Carlton House Terrace
London
SW1Y 5AH

Tickets £12

With the collapse of neoliberalism, the idea of communism has made a surprise return to the table.  Thinkers such as Slavoj Zizek, Toni Negri and Alain Badiou, have argued that communism, a society based on equality, is now proved to be the only alternative to the chaos of capitalism. Building on this discussion, the renowned art critic and thinker Boris Groys argues that the strength of the communist vision comes from the fact that it represents the subordination of the economy to politics.

For more information on the event or to buy tickets go to:
http://ica.org.uk/24948/Talks/Boris-Groys-A-PostCommunist-Manifesto.html

Or call the ICA box office on +44 (0)20 7930 3647

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COMRADES OF TIME

Boris Groys’s lecture at the TATE MODERN

Thursday 22nd July, 6.30-8pm
Tate Modern
Starr Auditorium
53 Bankside
London
SE1 9TG

Tickets £10

In this special lecture Boris Groys, will respond to the FRANCIS ALYS’ exhibition at Tate Modern with the provocative and counter-intuitive insight that has made him one of the most important thinkers and art critics today.

For more information on the event or to buy tickets go to:
http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/eventseducation/talksdiscussions/22015.htm

Or call the TATE box office on +44 (0)20 7887 8888

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Boris Groys is Professor of Aesthetics, Art History, and Media Theory at the Center for Art and Media Technology in Karlsruhe, and since 2005, the Global Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Science, NYU. He has published numerous books including Art Power and The Total Art of Stalinism.

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Since Plato, philosophers have dreamed of establishing a rational state rules through the power of language. In this radical and disturbing account of Soviet philosophy, Boris Groys argues that communism shares that dream and is best understood as an attempt to replace financial with linguistic bonds as the cement uniting society. The transformative power of language, the medium of equality, is the key to any new communist revolution.

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For more information visit: http://www.versobooks.com/books/ghij/g-titles/groys_boris_the_communist_postscript.shtml

To buy this book in the UK: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9781844674305/The-Communist-Postscript

or: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Communist-Postscript-Boris-Groys/dp/1844674304/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265807841&sr=8-1-spell

To buy the book in the US: http://www.amazon.com/Communist-Postscript-Boris-Groys/dp/1844674304/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265807799&sr=1-1-spell

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Visit Verso’s new blog for information on our upcoming events, new reviews and publications and special offers: http://versouk.wordpress.com/

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Fanaticism

FANATICISM

On the Uses of an Idea

By ALBERTO TOSCANO

Published 7h June 2010

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EVENTS:

Thursday 3 June, 1pm at the RSA, London: A special introduction to Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea. For more information and book your free place: http://www.thersa.org/events/our-events/fanaticism-on-the-uses-of-an-idea

Friday 2 July, 2-3.30pm at the Marxism 2010 Festival in London, Room 3E at ULU, 2-3.30. For more information and to book:  https://www.marxismfestival.org.uk/2010/bookonline.html

Thursday 8 July, 6.45pm: Launch talk at the ICA. Further details to be announced here: http://www.ica.org.uk/7945/Talks/Talks-listings.html

Monday 11 October, 6.30 -8.00pm at the LSE, Wolfson theatre as part of the Forum for European Philosophy talks. Further details to be announced here:http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/forumForEuropeanPhilosophy/events/Default.htm

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“A tour de force in every sense – Toscano wipes the smug smiles off the self-righteous faces of the New Philosophers.” Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums

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Fanaticism is usually seen as a deviant or extreme variant of an already irrational set of religious beliefs. Drawing a straight line from the Peasant Wars to Bolshevism, this view of fanaticism is today invoked by the West in order to demonize and psychologize any non-liberal politics. Alberto Toscano’s compelling counter-history explores the critical role fanaticism played in forming modern politics and the liberal state, and undermines the idea that liberalism and fanaticism are irrevocably opposed. 

Tracing its development from the traumatic Peasants’ War of early sixteenth-century Germany, to contemporary Islamism, Toscano tears apart the sterile opposition of “reasonableness” and fanaticism. Instead, in a radical new interpretation, he places the fanatic at the very heart of politics, arguing that historical and revolutionary transformations require a new understanding of its role. Showing how fanaticism results from the failure to formulate an adequate emancipatory politics, this illuminating history sheds new light on an idea that continues to dominate debates about faith and secularism.

The ‘fanatic’ is the figure that we are all scared of – whether it’s the Islamic fundamentalist primed for a suicide bombing or the Christian anti-abortionist planning to murder a doctor. The fanatic is a whirl of contradictions: at once cold-blooded and insanely passionate, opportunistic but principled, backward and yet technologically sophisticated, murderous and prepared to risk everything to human rights. He or she is driven by abstract principles, whether religious or secular, that threaten the very basis of a pragmatic liberal democracy. But are these oppositions really the way to understand the conflict between religion and state, terror and democracy?

In this tour de force examination of political and philosophical rhetoric through the ages, Alberto Toscano examines the use of the term ‘fanatic’. Following its use by Martin Luther in the Reformation, the rationalists in the Enlightenment, and liberals in the Cold War and the present day, he finds our understanding of it dictated by the prejudices of the day.

Toscano argues that there is an unsettling intimacy between political behaviour regarded as fanatical, and rational, emancipatory politics: supposedly liberal political projects are also marked by fanaticism. Moreover, while a liberal would claim that passion and abstract principles (such as universal rights) are the jurisdiction of the fanatic and have no place in rational politics, we should seek to reclaim a place for these supposedly negative terms at the heart of contemporary politics. For example, finding that nineteenth century slavers called abolitionists fanatics for their ‘mad’ adherence to the Rights of Man, he asks us to reconsider who we regard as a fanatic.

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ALBERTO TOSCANO is a lecturer in sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of The Theatre of Production, translator of Alain Badiou’s The Century and Logics of Worlds and co-editor of, among others, Alain Badiou’s Theoretical Writings and Antonio Negri’s Political Descartes. He has published numerous articles on contemporary philosophy, politics and social theory, and is an editor of Historical Materialism.

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ISBN: 978 1 84467 424 4 / $26.95 / £16.99 / CAN$33.50 / 304 pages

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For more information visit: http://www.versobooks.com/books/tuvwxyz/tuv-titles/toscano_alberto_fanaticism.shtml

To buy the book in the UK:

http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9781844674244/Fanaticism

or

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fanaticism-Uses-Idea-Alberto-Toscano/dp/184467424X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1273744261&sr=8-1

To buy the book in the US:

http://www.amazon.com/Fanaticism-Uses-Idea-Alberto-Toscano/dp/184467424X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1273744586&sr=1-1

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Visit Verso’s new blog for information on our upcoming events, new reviews and publications and special offers. http://versouk.wordpress.com/

And get updates on Twitter too! http://twitter.com/VersoBooksUK

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

THE CRISIS OF CAPITALISM: DAVID HARVEY AT THE ICA

Professor David Harvey speaks on:

The Crisis of Capitalism
28 April 2010

The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH

Details: http://www.ica.org.uk/24253/Talks/The-Crisis-of-Capitalism.html

£12 / £11 Concessions / £10 ICA Members

David Harvey, distinguished professor of anthropology at the City University of New York and author of The Enigma of Capital, considers how financial crises can best be contained within the constraints of capitalism, and makes the case for a social order that would allow us to live within a system that really is responsible, just and humane. Harvey argues that the essence of capitalism is its amorality and lawlessness and to talk of a regulated, ethical capitalism is to make a fundamental error.

David Harvey

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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Jacques Ranciere

THE EMANCIPATED SPECTATOR – JACQUES RANCIERE

NEW TITLE: THE EMANCIPATED SPECTATOR

JACQUES RANCIÈRE

Published 25 January 2010

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“Ranciere’s writings offer one of the few conceptualizations of how we are to continue to resist.”  Slavoj Zizek

“Ranciere is an heir to Foucault.”  Alain Badiou

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AUTHOR EVENTS IN LONDON:

3rd February 2010: ICA / Jacques Ranciere in conversation with Kodwo Eshun, Otolith Group / For more details and to book click here:: http://www.ica.org.uk/The%20Image%20in%20Question+23536.twl

4th February 2010: Whitechapel Gallery / Big Ideas: Jacques Ranciere in conversation with Adrian Rifkin and Andrea Phillips / For more details and to book click here: http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/shop/product/category_id/22/product_id/437?session_id=126278107878a96fc6fd05d128adaed940ce9e71eb1

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“Every spectator is already an actor in her story; every actor, every man of action, is the spectator of the same story.”

A ‘68er whose radical ardour remains undimmed, Jacques Ranciere is one of the most influential and compelling thinkers of our age in France since Foucault and Deleuze, lauded by both art theorists and artists.

Now this leading theorist of the art world returns with the follow-up to his acclaimed manifesto for contemporary art and film, THE FUTURE OF THE IMAGE which located art firmly in relation to politics.

Theorists of art and film commonly depict the modern audience as passive consumers. In response, both artists and thinkers have sought to transform the viewer of art or the spectator into someone involved in the drama before them – seeking to ‘emancipate’ the spectator and make them politically active.

For example, the influential curator of the Tate Britain’s recent exhibition ‘Altermodern’, Nicholas Bourriaud, has championed the notion of a more socially engaged art, where the public are encouraged to participate in an event or artwork. We have seen the influence of such ideas in such projects as Antony Gormley’s ‘One & Other’ that took place on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square.

Ranciere turns these ideas over and argues that “Being a spectator is not some passive condition that we should transform into activity. It is our normal situation.” For Ranciere, there is no privileged starting point in art but we should reassess the relations between seeing, doing, speaking: emancipation means blurring these boundaries.

Looking over the tradition of critical art and what the desire to insert art into life has achieved, Ranciere asks, ‘has the militant critique of the consumption of images and commodities has become, ironically, a sad confirmation of its omnipotence?’

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Praise for Jacques Ranciere

“His art lies in the rigor of his argument – its careful, precise unfolding – and at the same time not treating his reader, whether university professor or unemployed actress, as an imbecile.” Kristin Ross

“It’s clear that Jacques Ranciere is relighting the flame that was extinguished for many—that is why he serves as such a signal reference today.” Thomas Hirschhorn

“In the face of impossible attempts to proceed with progressive ideas within the terms of postmodernist discourse, Ranciere shows a way out of the malaise.” Liam Gillick

Praise for HATRED OF DEMOCRACY

“A piercing essay on the definitions and redefinitions of the term “democracy” … the present catastrophe in Iraq provides more than ample proof of Ranciere’s bold assertion that we need to rethink the relationship between democracy and power before setting in motion any more wars in the name of “freedom”.” Times Higher Educational Supplement

“This tastily sardonic essay is partly a scholarly sprint through the history of political philosophy, and partly a very enjoyable stream of insults directed at rival penseurs.” The Guardian

“Ranciere critiques the political stance in the west that pours scorn on mass protests and popular culture at home, yet promotes the spread of democracy by force throughout the world. … But Ranciere eschews polemic in order to show the confusion in our political discourse. He challenges what he sees as the widely held view that democratic life is synonymous with “the apolitical life of the indifferent consumer”.” New Statesman

Praise for THE FUTURE OF THE IMAGE

“A series of gratifyingly knotty and close discussions of 19th- and 20th-century literature, film and painting” The Guardian

“French philosopher Jacques Ranciere is a refreshing read for anyone concerned with what art has to do with politics and society.” J.J. Charlesworth, Art Review

“What we see here is Ranciere developing a unique voice as a political theorist.” Bookforum

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Jacques Ranciere is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris-VIII.  His books include THE FUTURE OF THE IMAGE, HATRED OF DEMOCRACY, and ON THE SHORES OF POLITICS (all from Verso), THE POLITICS OF AESTHETICS, DISAGREEMENT, THE PHILOSOPHER AND HIS POOR, THE IGNORANT SCHOOLMASTER,SHORT VOYWAGES TO THE LAND OF THE PEOPLE and NIGHTS OF LABOR.

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The Emancipated Spectator Author: Jacques Ranciere / 25 January 2010 / 
Hardback /
978 1 84467 343 8 /£12.99 / $23.95/144 pages / Hardback

For more information visit http://www.versobooks.com/books/nopqrs/r-titles/ranciere_j_emancipated_spectator.shtml

To buy the book in the U.K:
http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9781844673438/The-Emancipated-Spectator
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Emancipated-Spectator-Jacques-Ranci%C3%A8re/dp/184467343X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264006364&sr=8-1

To buy the book in the U.S:
http://www.amazon.com/Emancipated-Spectator-Jacques-Ranci%C3%A8re/dp/184467343X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264000587&sr=8-

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ALSO OUT NOW:

New in Paperback

HATRED OF DEMOCRACY

Published 7 December 2009

978-1-84467-386-5 / Paperback /$16.95 /£8.99 / 112 pages

In his new book, Jacques Ranciere examines how the West can no longer simply extol the virtues of democracy by contrasting it with the horrors of totalitarianism. As certain governments are exporting democracy by brute force, and a reactionary strand in mainstream political opinion is willing to abandon civil liberties and destroy collective values of equality, Ranciere explains how democracy—government by all—is the principle that de-legitimates any form of power based on the superiority of those who govern. Hence the fear, and consequently the hatred, of democracy amongst the new powers that be.  HATRED OF DEMOCRACY rediscovers the ever-new and subversive power of the democratic idea.

To buy the book in the U.K:
http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9781844673865/Hatred-of-Democracy
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hatred-Democracy-Jacques-Ranci%C3%A8re/dp/1844673863/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264006391&sr=1-2

To buy the book in the U.S:
http://www.amazon.com/Hatred-Democracy-Jacques-Ranci%C3%A8re/dp/1844673863/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264000236&sr=8-1

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THE FUTURE OF THE IMAGE

Published 23 February 2009

978-1-84467-297-4 / Paperback /$16.95 /£9.99 /152 pages

The leading theorist of the art-world – the adjective ‘Rancierian’ is already in use –returns with his bestselling manifesto on the relationship between art and politics, now in paperback.

To buy the book in the U.K.:
http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9781844672974/The-Future-of-the-Image  
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Future-Image-Jacques-Ranciere/dp/1844672972/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264006443&sr=1-1

To buy the book in the U.S:
http://www.amazon.com/Future-Image-2009-paperback/dp/1844672972/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264000279&sr=1-1

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com