PROBLEMATISING REALITY
Encounters between art, cinema and philosophy
Programme 2
Alberto Toscano, Simon Thompson

Goethe-Institut, Auditorium
10.07.2018

Alan Clarke, Baal. Film still. © BFI.

Baal (1982, 64 Min.) by Alan Clarke
Elephant (1989, 39 Min.) by Alan Clarke

Talk: Alberto Toscano, Simon Thompson

Artworks, especially those that comprise documentary material, can offer a particularly challenging appeal to our thoughts about reality. While their indexical link to the reality they address grants images and sounds a specific credibility, the position of the artist, her aesthetic, thematic and political choices and self-reflexive stance, may generate a critical assessment of the very constitution of reality. At such a point, art meets philosophy. In order to reflect on the relationship between the factual world and its subjective appropriation, questioning hegemonic claims to objectivity and problematising the inherent contradictions of society are inherently philosophical issues. ‘Problematising reality – Encounters between art, cinema and philosophy’ is a series of projections and discussions that takes place in various cultural spaces in the city of Lisbon, in a partnership between IFILNOVA (CineLab) / FCSH / UNL, Goethe-Institut and Maumaus / Lumiar Cité and in collaboration with Apordoc / Doc’s Kingdom. These encounters between artists and researchers of international renown focus on the very moments where art, cinema and philosophy enter into a productive dialogue.

The second programme takes place at the Goethe-Institut Auditorium and brings together the philosopher Alberto Toscano and the artist Simon Thompson, along with the screening of Baal (1982) and Elephant (1989), both by the British filmmaker Alan Clarke (1935-1990). Although most of his work has been produced within the television context, Alan Clarke uses cinema’s grammar to focus on neglected communities, confined between class distinction and the power of patriarchal institutions, creating a unique body of work that made him one of the most prestigious British filmmakers, whose influence has been claimed by the new generation of actors, screenwriters and filmmakers, including Harmony Korine and Gus Van Sant. Starring David Bowie in the role of an alcoholic and worldly poet who despises the norms of bourgeois society, Baal is the adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s homonymous theater play, conceived as a response to the expressionism of Der Einsame (The Lonely Man) by Hans Johst, a dramatist later compliant with Nazi ideology. Conversely, in Elephant, loosely inspired by police reports drawn up during the Northern Ireland conflict, Alan Clarke uses a set of his famous ‘walking shots’, the absence of dialogues and narrative concerns, displaying a minimalist device that offers an exemplary rhythmic quality of sound and image.

Alberto Toscano lives and works in London as Reader in Critical Theory and Co-Director of the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of Cartographies of the Absolute (with Jeff Kinkle, 2015) and Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea (2010). He edited The Italian Difference: Between Nihilism and Biopolitics (with Lorenzo Chiesa, 2009) and has translated several works by Alain Badiou, as well as Antonio Negri, Furio Jesi and Franco Fortini. He is currently working on two book projects, the first on tragedy as a political form, the second on philosophy, capitalism and ‘real abstraction’. He is also preparing a multi-volume edited collection, Handbook of Marxism (with Bev Skeggs and Sara Farris). He has sat on the editorial board of the journal Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory since 2004, and is series editor of The Italian List for Seagull Books.

Simon Thompson is a British artist living and working in Brussels.















































































































































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Tel: + 351 21 352 11 55
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Current:

Seminar
Amanda Boetzkes
Realism Without Authority
01.04, 04.04.2022
10h–13h, 14h–17h

Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

Registration is free but limited to the number of seats available. Please send an email with a short CV to admin@maumaus.org by 24.03.2022. Confirmation of registration will be sent by email. The seminar will be in English.

Upcoming:

Seminar
Kerstin Stakemeier
(Un)Romantic Sex
06–08.04.2022
11h–13h, 14h–17h

Goethe-Institut

Registration is free but limited to the number of seats available. Please send an email with a short CV to admin@maumaus.org by 31.03.2022. Confirmation of registration will be sent by email. The seminar will be in English.

Independent Study Programme
Call 2022
Until 20.09.2021

Fogo Island Dialogues
Atlantic Codes
November 8–9, 2019

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Padrão dos Descobrimentos, Lumiar Cité


Lumiar Cité

Rua Tomás del Negro, 8A
1750-105 Lisboa, Portugal
Wednesday to Sunday, 15h00 to 19h00
or by appointment.
Tel: + 351 21 755 15 70 | 21 352 11 55
lumiar.cite@maumaus.org

Loretta Fahrenholz
Circle Navel Nil
24.04. – 27.06.2021

24.06 | 18h00 Online conversation with Sabeth

Buchmann, Loretta Fahrenholz and Jürgen Bock


Current:

Ana Jotta
SEMPRE
05.03. – 31.07.2022

14.05 | 17h Guided tour and conversation

with the artist


In cooperation with Lumiar Cité:

Tiffany Chung
Thu Thiêm: an archaeological
project for future remembrance
08.06. - 08.09.2019

Johann Jacobs Museum



Maumaus/Lumiar Cité
is funded by Ministério da Cultura/Direção-Geral das Artes. With the support of Câmara Municipal de Lisboa and Junta de Freguesia do Lumiar

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