After Antonin Artaud: Art in Time of War and Nationalism / Après Antonin Artaud : l’art en temps de guerre et de nationalisme
Paris+ par Art Basel 2023, October 21
Antonin Artaud was involved in every war of his time. An actor from a generation of artists marked by WWI, he lived through exile, hunger, and imprisonment during WWII, before creating To Have Done With the Judgment of God (1947), a radio play in the age of Hiroshima. Through Artaud and some of his key aesthetic concepts, this panel looks at how art reacts to the rise of nationalism and the dawn of a new age of war.
‣ AntiGonna, artist and filmmaker, Kiev, Paris
‣ Stephen Barber, Professor, Kingston School of Art, Kingston University, London
‣ Blackhaine, artist, Salford
‣ Moderator: Agnes Gryczkowska, curator and musician, Berlin
‣ AntiGonna (production AntiGonStaff) was born in Vinnytsia, Ukraine. She is an independent filmmaker, artist, and trash model, working in the genres of experimental video art, photography, and VR. Under a pseudonym, she explores taboo topics like fear in the form of altered sexuality, aggression, and perversions, which later can manifest in brutal violence. Her main goal in the art is to show the rituals that neutralize all horror of existence, turning it into a funny and simple way to overcome traumatic experience. She uses autobiographical features to accurately express metaphors and the truthfulness of the image. Her work has been included in exhibitions and film festivals globally including at Cité Internationale Des Arts, Paris; Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy; 56th Tampere film festival, Finland; and Berlin Porn Film Festival, Germany.
‣ Stephen Barber is a UK-based writer and the author of Antonin Artaud: Blows and Bombs (1993) and two translations of the work of Artaud, A Sinister Assassin: Last Writings, Ivry-sur-Seine, September 1947 to March 1948 (2022) and Artaud 1937 Apocalypse (2018). He has researched Artaud’s work extensively and interviewed figures pivotal to the French writer’s life such as Paule Thévenin and Gaston Ferdière. Barber is also the author of many other books, such as White Noise Ballrooms (2018) and The Vanishing Map – A Journey from LA to Tokyo to the Heart of Europe (2006). He is a Professor of Art History at Kingston University, London and a Research Fellow of the Free University, Berlin.
‣ Blackhaine, stage name of Tom Heyes, is a British artist from Preston, Lancashire working on the edge of dance and music. His practice is rooted in the nagging anxiety of Europe in the 2020s. Between fear of civilizational decline, ideological disenchantment and the convulsions from a bad trip on a late winter’s morning, his performances seem to embrace all the violence that runs through the margins of the ‘English darkness’ evoked by writer Stephen Barber. Musically, his influences lie somewhere between noise, drill and ambient, punk and hardcore. Both confrontational and intimate, Heyes explores the limits of macho rap, street poetry, experimental dance and what it means to be a working-class artist. With his convulsive movements, metal liturgy-inspired stage installation and guttural cries, his work aims to rest the mind through sensory saturation.
‣ Agnes Gryczkowska is an independent curator, writer, and musician. Most recently, she curated Au-delà (2023) at Lafayette Anticipations, Paris. She was formerly at the Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin where she curated H.R. Giger & Mire Lee (2021); Sun Rise | Sun Set (2021); and Claude Mirrors: Victor Man, Jill Mulleady, Issy Wood (2019), amongst other exhibitions. Prior to that, Gryczkowska was a part of the curatorial team at the Serpentine Galleries, London and has written texts and essays for exhibitions, catalogues, and contemporary art publications, including BLAU International, Spike, and KALEIDOSCOPE. Gryczkowska has been releasing music as half of the duo NAKED, and has performed internationally, and collaborated with musicians including Yves Tumor and Mykki Blanco.
The Conversations program for Paris+ par Art Basel 2023 is curated by Pierre-Alexandre Mateos and Charles Teyssou.
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