Inclinations #7: Is the Intentional Abolition of Art Only More Art?

January 14, 2014

Or Gallery Berlin is pleased to present Anthony Iles in Is the Intentional Abolition of Art Only More Art?, for the seventh in our speaker series Inclinations hosted by Patricia Reed.


The evening lecture takes its title from a short response by a poet to a specific ‘incendiary incident’. Artistic gestures that act out the destruction of art are uncommonly frequent yet few, if any, carry the power or tension of avant-garde gestures of the past. In a period in which we are also seeing an increasing frequency of incidents – forms of ‘involuntary abolition’ – by which the monopoly of an artist over auto-destructive activity is becoming severely challenged, I’d like to pose some questions about serendipity and the labour of the negative in art specifically and in capitalist society more generally.


A monthly speaker series at Or Gallery Berlin, hosting philosophers, artists, curators, and…


The presentation of work revolves around the posing of a question that is the thrust of a guest’s activities. It goes without saying that questions may not be answered, but are grappled with in their unresolvability. An inclination is the force of attraction to a question (without a straightforward response), yet also to each other, as a community who partakes in a common quest(ion).
Hosted by Patricia Reed.


# Arriving at a question is already a departure.
# Questions are a declaration of departure.
# Arriving at a question in thought or activity is also the creation of a trajectory, of inclining oneself towards an unknown goal, yet not without direction.
# A question inclines a departure in a particular way, but a question itself is generic – it propels all modes of seeking some thing. Questions possess the force of bending and swerving ideas/action.
# A question is the confrontation and departure from a lack. To arrive at a question is to arrive at a gap in knowledge, action and speech – a gap that cannot be immediately filled in without the inclination towards something other.
# A question is indisciplinary; the inclining magnetism of a question knows no disciplinary bounds.


In Kooperation mit der Botschaft von Kanada/In collaboration with the Embassy of Canada

Participant Bios

Anthony Iles is a writer of criticism, fiction and theory. He is Deputy Editor of Mute, an Associate Researcher at the UdK Graduate School and a project coordinator at the Post-Media Lab, Leuphana University in Lüneburg. He edited the book, Noise & Capitalism (2009), with Mattin, co-authored, with Josephine Berry Slater, No Room to Move: Radical Art and the Regenerate City, (2010) and, with Tom Roberts, All Knees and Elbows (2012). His current research draws upon Theodor Adorno’s notion of an ‘aesthetic relations of production’ and asks – what this term might mean for contemporary artistic and cultural practices in the current economic crisis?