The Turn from the Turns: ‘Culture in Action’ reading group with Helmut Draxler

We are pleased to announce a free public seminar with Helmut Draxler at The Showroom, London, to coincide with the publication of Exhibition as Social Intervention: ‘Culture in Action’ 1993, the latest book in Afterall’s Exhibition Histories series.

‘For contemporary art practices … there is an imperative not to embody the most advanced state of art history (in a Hegelian and Adornian tradition), and instead to explore the space in between art and history, between the intrinsic and the extrinsic. This is precisely a call to work on their difference and to create situations and historical references, and thus to link what I will identify as the main categories of the time: the discursive and the exhibitionary. The history that can be extracted from this will be a history not of heroic achievements, but one concerning a series of intense investigations around ruptures and discrepancies, which will engage the ethos of the avant-garde, even as a post-modern or post-mortem avant-garde.’

– H. Draxler, ‘The Turn from the Turns: An Avant-Garde Moving Out of the Centre (1986–93)’ in Exhibition as Social Intervention: ‘Culture in Action’ 1993, London: Afterall Books, p.46.

Please join us for discussion based on the following two essays:

  • Helmut’s contribution to Exhibition as Social Intervention: ‘The Turn from the Turns: An Avant-Garde Moving Out of the Centre (1986–93)’, exploring how the discursive and project-based art production of that era inaugurated today’s decentred and dispersed cultural field.
  • Yvonne Rainer’s ‘Preface: The Work of Art in the (Imagined) Age of Unalienated Exhibition’, on Martha Rosler’s ‘If You Lived Here…’ and Group Material’s ‘Democracy’ projects.

The Turn from the Turns: ‘Culture in Action’ reading group with Helmut Draxler
Friday 19 September, 13:00–15:00

The Showroom
63 Penfold Street
London
NW8 8PQ

This is a free event: to receive the texts in advance please RSVP to contact@afterall.org

This event is a collaboration with The Showroom, London and part of the Exhibition Histories research and publication project, developed by Afterall and published in association with the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College. The Exhibition Histories series is distributed by Koenig Books, London.

Image: Group Material, ‘Democracy: Education’, Dia Art Foundation, New York, 1988. © the artists.
 Courtesy the artists and Four Corners Books.