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Saturday March 16 | Session 10:30 - 12:15 (20 min) De Brakke Grond | Grote Zaal

Are criticism, activism, intervention or pedagogy the only ways for artists to inform institutions? Would there be a chance for an artistic act of institution which would not lead to another institute of art, a “theatre”, a “museum”, a “concert hall” or a “festival”? As I have argued earlier, today artistic research constitutes an institutional practice, whose effect on institutions can be both transformative and affirmative (Kirkkopelto 2015, 2017).

In this presentation, I will return the issue specifically from the point of view of performing arts. As artistic phenomena are given a new epistemic and institutional status, the subversive potential of the arts in relation to their institutions is liberated from their former unilaterally critical, deconstructive or “mimetological” (Lacoue-Labarthe 1975) framing.

At the philosophical level, this implies a shift into a new kind of logic, which is here called logomimetic: Instead of “fallogocentric” order, where corporality and mimetism are subordinated to the signifiers, in logomimetism the signifiers turn into performers through their hysteric re-embodiment and virtualisation (cf. “le vréel” in Kristeva 1979; “the lesbian phallus” in Butler 1993)

Instead of trying to establish or adjust the artistic phenomena into a given reality, the shift makes of those phenomena and their ways of performing a model to be imitated by other epistemic discourses. This turn and its repetition constitute the starting point for a new kind of institutional logic with an irreducible performative aspect. Politically, it anticipates a shift from the law of the Father to that of bodies.

Esa Kirkkopelto is a philosopher, artist-researcher and performing artist. In 2007–2018 he worked at the University of the Arts Helsinki as professor of artistic research. Currently, he is a visiting researcher at the same institution. His research focuses on the deconstruction of the performing body both in theory and in practice. He is the leader of a collective research project Actor´s Art in Modern Times on the psychophysical actor training (since 2008), the founder of the International Platform for Performer Training, a core-convener or the Performance Philosophy Association and the founding member of the Other Spaces live art group (since 2004).
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