Art and Its Freedoms
Alÿs, Jonathan Dronsfield, Flora Lysen

Images for Our Time by Flora Lysen

Each week a spoken column offers a personal reflection on the topic of the previous edition. This week Flora Lysen will respond to the lecture by Kathrin Rhomberg, looking at Christoph Schlingensief’s work Animatograph (2005) for which he devised his own system of images, articulating a new system of meaning, apt for the present, for our time. Flora Lysen currently teaches at the MA Artistic Research at the Royal Art Academy, The Hague and is co-curator of ‘The Weight of Colour’, a lecture and art program of the Materiaalfonds. She has a longstanding interest in visual studies, and in the question of how it is that an object or image can be of a particular time.

KEYNOTE LECTURE Art and Its Freedoms by Jonathan Lahey Dronsfield

For his lecture philosopher Jonathan Lahey Dronsfield will be reading from his book The Swerve of Freedom After Spinoza. This book is a book to come. Each of its chapters appear only in the spaces of presentation of art: galleries, academies, books and journals. The premise is that art can show something about philosophy that philosophy ‘by itself’ cannot see. Jonathan Lahey Dronsfield is a Reader in Theory and Philosophy of Art, University of Reading. He also sits on the academic board of the Forum for European Philosophy, London School of Economics, and is a Permanent Fellow of the London Graduate School. Dronsfield has published widely in continental philosophy, especially on contemporary art and its relation to ethics. Recently he authored (with Benoit Maire and Marcus Steinweg) Materiality of Theory. A book on Derrida and the Visual is forthcoming, as is an edited volume on Philosophy Art Music for Art &Research, for whom he is a contributing editor. Recent performative readings include Philosophers enowning that there be no own (SMAK, Gent), A picture of French literature (Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp) and Where language stops (Wilkinson Gallery, London).

SCREENING When Faith Moves Mountains (2002), 15 min by Francis Alÿs

Alÿs worked with five hundred volunteers, who were asked to form a single line at the foot of a giant sand dune in Ventanilla, outside of Lima and to shovel together the sand, in order to move it. They managed to move the dune by four inches. This absurd gesture performed by an entire community (mostly students from the University of Lima) is an allegory of the power of collective will as the very texture of community. Francis Alÿs (1959) is a Belgian artist living in Mexico City. He addresses political and social issues as national borders, areas of conflict, community, and the inherent contradictions of progress. His work has been included in biennials including São Paulo (1998, 2005), Istanbul (1999, 2001) and Venice (1999, 2001, 2007). He has had solo exhibitions at major international institutions including the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2004) and the UCLA Hammer (2007). For his work and public domain videos, see -