LA CIUDAD FRÁGIL

Art Research Project in residency at La Virreina Centre de la Imatge

María García, Luis Guerra, Andrea Soto

“Topographies of Urban Discrepancy” opens up a space to approach the depths of the edges of the city, those spatial and social fabrics that fall outside the place of political representation, in other words, outside of the polis; following the tracks of certain ways of life that transit and configure them, without overlooking the complexity inherent to them. In the words of Fernand Deligny, “threading the lines of a human way of being banished from history but persistent”. And, for this, weaving and getting carried away by the weft of certain urban dissidences, thus configuring a topography that is necessarily transient, necessarily immanent. Sketching a cartography of what does not take form, a cartography of the impossible. This project will articulate a continuous research task with an open programme in collaboration with local networks and external agents, and will be developed through three lines of action (or errancy): a first called Third Landscape, from landscape architecture; a second called Praise of Conflict, which will be based on work in collaboration with various collectives and artists working in the peripheries of Barcelona; and a third. The Fragile City, which will open up an itinerant space for research.

The fragile city inhabits the flip side of the planned city; it is inherent in it, although it represents its contradiction. It is an invisible, amorphous, fragmented city, the only thing in common among its fragments being their disaggregation from the great image-city.

From the resident research platform at La Virreina LAB “Topographies of Urban Discrepancy”, we propose a series of activities open to the public to share a variety of approaches that are sensitive to this fragile city.

One of the first activities of our project was THE NIGHT BIRDS by artist Brandon Labelle. 

LaBelle invited us to participate in a performance-gathering in which to explore the possible logic of the nocturnal. Through readings, objects, sounds, lights, movements, the aim is to create a space where listening and gathering, exchange, company and solidarity, conversation, constitute this autonomous place of spectral and evanescent rationality.

For three hours, La Virreina Lab will become a zone for discussion, analysis and perception of this possible policy of the night, which exists in the performative unfurling of what happens at those hours.

The night is a zone of fragile bodies, fragile identities. In the dark we can either vanish or take refuge, finding solidarity through shared passions – unheard-of communities and collectives that emerge from the interior of the gloomy territories of the night. The tremulous condition of nocturnal action becomes a primary scene of the imagination: shapes created in the dreamlike light of the moon, inverted behaviors that lead us to the erotic, the criminal, towards monstrous sensitivities and sensations.

Activity developed in collaboration with the artistic research project Synsmaskin, Bergen Academy: http://synsmaskinen.net

Another project we have developed is the Seminar

 ‘COMPOSSIBILITIES: ON ACTING IN COMPLEXITY’ 

with Miguel Benasayag

Topographies of Urban Discrepancy

05.05.2017 – 13.05.2017

Sessions presented by: María García, Luis Guerra and Andrea Soto.
Friday 5, Saturday 6, Friday 12 and Saturday 13 May. Friday 7.30 pm, Saturday 11.30 am. Virreina LAB

After what has come to be called “the crisis of the subject”, when it seems that we can no longer speak firmly of “creation”, at least not one based on a world-organizing intentionality, and when our action seems to be governed only by the laws of contingency, then what can acting mean? If the alternative to neoliberalism cannot be considered globally because every time we have done so, capitalism has taken it over; if it is the “situation” that determines what needs to be done, then how can we put ourselves in the place of the situation? How can we get it to speak to us?

From The Fragile City, a group that is articulated within the resident research platform at La Virreina LAB Topographies of Urban Discrepancy,  we propose this seminar with Miguel Benasayag to share and work on his reflections regarding the complexity arising from the new materialities of the present world. In his case, these reflections cut across established political thinking, scientific research and psychoanalytic practice.

 

Session 1 | 5 May 2017
How can we act today in complexity?

Faced with the disenchantment of a humanity that thought that it could unravel and conquer the real world, complexity presents itself with a series of dead angles and uncertainties that cannot be eliminated. A complex system cannot be seen by its inhabitants as a whole. Then how can one act within complexity? Where is the power of action located? How can one cohabit with irrationality? Compossibility is a way of doing with the other, among others, in which there are different positions and contradictions.

 

Session 2 | 6 May 2017
Fragility

The notion of the individual is an expression of globality: it is not about individuals that make up a common world, but about individualities, hence the interesting question is, What am I made up of? Because, in fact, we are made up of links, bonds that allow us to appear. Praise of conflict as a principle of coexistence; resistance to that sort of disgust towards life, fragility, the hybrid, the indeterminate. Based on concern about where the uniqueness of living things lies, and the realization that we do not know what life is, we can reflect on life forms that express singularities that cannot be reduced to a representation.

 

Session 3 | 12 May 2017
Territoriality, challenges of the world’s new materiality.

At no level of life does any being exist at an autonomous level. The separation of individuals and media—dislocation—is a deadly illusion. We are all in processes of territorialization, which is related to the forces that cross us. These are anchoring processes accompanied by dynamics of conflict. Current science is in a savage process against the denseness of life. The project of the digital world is to break all anchors in order to create a kind of free electron, so that each person can free themselves from their history, their memory, etc. In what practical nuclei is life being re-territorialized?

 

Session 4 | 13 May 2017
Rites/rhythms, possible new imaginaries

If Modernity tried by all means to get rid of rites as something that kept humanity in ignorance, postmodernity now tries to understand, dislocate, programme and re-programme the rhythms. In this place of exchange between rhythms and rites, form is composed permanently from “formlessness”, and one can produce new imaginaries, new possibilities. What then is the role of artistic practices and social movements in the exploration of these new possibilities?

 

Miguel Benasayag

A Franco-Argentine writer, philosopher and psychoanalyst. He participates in various associative movements, such as “No-Vox”, “Laboratoires Sociaux” and “ACT UP” and coordinates the group “Malgré tout” (Despite All). He has written many books, including La Fragilité and Éloge du conflict (with Angélique del Rey).