Research Pavilion: Contemporary Research Intensive

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 00:00 to Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - 23:59
Sala del Camino, Venice
Research Pavilion

Contemporary Research Intensive is a two-part event - an international workshop involving 14 researchers from around Europe and a Research Intensive Faculty, held at the Research Pavilion during 3-4 October 2017, and a public talk by Simon Sheikh held at IUAV University of Venice on 2 October.

Research Intensive Faculty include: Jacob Lund (The Contemporary Condition, Aarhus University); Geoff Cox (The Contemporary Condition, Aarhus University / Plymouth University); Joasia Krysa (Professor of Exhibition Research, Director Exhibition Research Lab, LJMU, in partnership with Liverpool Biennial); Michael Birchall (LJMU, in partnership with Tate Liverpool). 

The workshop addresses the topic of contemporary research. We are interested in the concept of ‘contemporaneity’, the temporal complexity that follows from the coming together of different temporalities in the same present. We ask how these temporal qualities can be made known in the context of contemporary art research and particularly through practices that involve exhibitionary forms. The temporal structure of current large scale exhibitions such as Documenta or Venice Biennale make excellent case studies for how contemporaneity can be seen to be produced through such events and the ways we might reflect on the various forms of knowledge production in operation. We are also interested to explore how researching the contemporary and contemporary forms of research might come together to generate new ways of thinking. Participants in the workshop share and discuss their ideas, write texts and work together to produce a publication. 

The public talk by Simon Sheikh, entitled Lost in the Former West, defines contemporary in terms of formerness and formerizing: the long-term research project Former West grappled with the repercussions of the political, cultural, and economic events of 1989 for the understanding of contemporary conditions. It did so in the search for ways of formerizing the persistently hegemonic conjuncture that is “the West”; to be able instead to simply refer to “the west,” and with it, suggest the possibility of producing new constellations, another world: other worldings. If the “former East” emerged in the aftermath of the Cold War in 1989, its western geo-political counterpart—blinded by the (seemingly default) victory of neoliberal capitalism—has widely failed to recognize the impact of these massive changes upon itself. The so-called West has continued to think and act, symbolically and realistically, as “first” among what were supposed to have become equal if heterogeneous provinces of one world. One wonders precisely why then, when there is a “former East,” there is no “former West”?

Dr. Simon Sheikh is a curator and theorist. He is Reader in Art and Programme Director of MFA Curating at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is a correspondent for Springerin, Vienna, and a columnist for e-flux Journal, New York. With Maria Hlavajova, he has recently published the anthology Former West: Art and the Contemporary after 1989, and working on a book about art and apocalypse entitled Its After the End of the World.

Contemporary Research Intensive is organized by

The Contemporary Condition/Aarhus University & Exhibition Research Lab/Liverpool John Moores University, in partnership with Venice Faculty for Arts and Design/University of Architecture IUAV, Uniarts Helsinki and the Research Pavilion, in the context of the 57th Venice Biennale.

Workshop: 03 & 04 October 2017
Research Pavilion
Sala del Camino
Campo S. Cosmo
621 Venice

Public Talk: Simon Sheikh, Lost in the Former West
02 October 2017, 6pm
Aula Magna, Tolentini
IUAV University of Venice
MA in Visual Arts
Santa Croce, 191
Nearest Vaporetto: Piazzale Roma (Directions)
Vaporetto Lines: 1, 2, N
twitter #contemporaneity

Event details are subject to change. See also Facebook event.


This event is part of the Research Pavilion’s Camino Events series, a cross-artistic program which consists of screenings, concerts, seminars, artist talks, performances and interventions from over 100 artists and artistic-researchers from art universities of Northern Europe.

The Research Pavilion is created and hosted by Uniarts Helsinki, and realized together with the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme and the Swedish Art Universities’ collaboration Konstex in co-operation with the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Zurich University of the Arts.

Additional information