Fear, Resentment, Division

A symposium between art, theory and activism

29. - 30. November 2023

Fear, resentment, and disgust are the negative emotions from which populist ideologies and authoritarianism emerge, as sociologist Eva Illouz argues in her recent book "The Emotional Life of Populism: How Fear, Disgust, Resentment, and Love Undermine Democracy". Particularly in the era of burgeoning right-wing populism, it is increasingly evident that these pathological feelings are not exterior to democracies. Instead, they permeate around socially-mobile contemporary democracies, eroding them from within. These sentiments thrive on the perceived loss of privilege and the specter of social decline. They shape individual identities and fabricated communities that derive claims of possession and perceived exceptional rights to specific social spheres and lifestyles from these adverse emotions—an occurrence philosopher Eva von Redecker terms "phantom posession" (Phantombesitz).


Consequently, could social mobility and the pledge of upward progression signify systemic flaws within Western democracies? Are they responsible for the social dysfunction emerging ever more prominently in the current historical framework across Europe and America? How do assurances of advancement, neo-authoritarianism, notions of property entitlement, racism, and sexism interconnect?What triggers the polarization dynamics that are currently also coming to light within social movements?


With its annual theme Being Wrong, the artsprogram will shed light on these questions in Fall Term 2023 as part of the symposium "Fear, Resentment, Division," which is part of an extensive program that also includes the exhibition Whiteface by Candice Breitz and a panel discussion with sociologist Eva Illouz.

The symposium, co-curated by students of Zeppelin University and held in German and English explores through lectures, talks, and workshops, the sentiments, practices, and imagery that underlie populist thought and authoritarianism and provoke violent social divisions. Contributors are philosopher Eva von Redecker, artist Candice Breitz, writer Asal Dardan and curator Maria Hlavajova. They discuss the meaning of image making and distribution, the role that aesthetic experience, activism and social practice play or could play in the context of confronting hate and resentment.

In the face of the rise of right-wing populist and neo-fascist parties and movements and the racist and anti-semitic acts of violence related to them, such as those in Hanau or Halle, three topics will be discussed: First, it will focus on the analyses of the production and distribution of hostile images in different popular media and the emotional grammar which underlies these forms of hostile image making. Secondly, it will question which imaginary elements, sentiments and attitudes are obstacles in the fight against right-wing ideologies, practices and systems of thought, and which promote solidarity. And thirdly, it will examine those activist and artistic means, practices and strategies of action which are able to counter polarizing tendencies. In all three thematic areas, the focus will be on artistic approaches to the topic. The Symposium aims to shed light on the instruments and means which are currently emerging in the art field and in art-related anti-fascist and anti-racist protest movements, and what role these instruments might operate within a society based on hatred, resentment, and othering.

Background

As part of the annual theme Being Wrong, the events in the fall term 2023 are grouped around the exhibition Whiteface, running since September 2023 in the White Box, the exhibition and project space of artsprogram, and in which a video installation by Candice Breitz is shown. In Whiteface, the South African artist confronts herself and her viewers with white people's perspectives on whiteness. She shows gestures of immunisation of white people in the face of the worldwide call for their deprivation. The multi-layered re-enactment using fragments of debates presents resentment-laden and more-or-less concealed racist discourses as they circulate in various media. It presents the whole spectrum of attitudes and positions, from a sense of being attacked, which seems absurd at times, to feelings of guilt that turn into rage - those emotions from which resentment, grotesque defensive attitudes and ultimately, dangerous hate speech arise.

This exhibition will be accompanied by a study group in which students and teachers will examine the role of art in the field of tension between the critique of privilege, structural violence and solidarity-based engagement. On 31 October, ZU professors Eva Illouz and Simon Koschut will discuss the emotional grammar and emotional politics of right-wing populist movements and their proximity to politically motivated excesses of violence in a public panel event. These content-related discussions will then be condensed in the experimental symposium "Angst, Ressentiment, Spaltung" (Fear, Resentment, Division), which will bring together philosopher Eva von Redecker, artist Candice Breitz, curator Maria Hlavajova and other guests from academia, art and activism on 29 and 30 November 2023, in order to explore the connecting lines between fears of descent and the loss of future, disgust, radicalisation and phantasmatic ideas of ownership together with students and an interested public.

Program

Wednesday 29.11.23

19:00h 

Welcome


19:30h

Some of My Best Friends are White | Artistalk mit Candice Breitz (en)


20:30h 

TDD (Tischlein deck Dich)

Thursday 30.11.23

09:00h

Check-In


10:00h | Black Box

Welcome by Spöhrer / van den Berg / students of the curating course (en)


10:20h | Black Box

The Heart of Whiteness | Candice Breitz (en)


10:50h | Black Box

Propositions for Non-Facist Living | Maria Hlavajova (en)


11:20h

Break


11:30h | Black Box

Us As Them | Asal Dardan (de)


12:00h | Black Box

Conversation (de|en)


12:30h

Break


13:30h - 16:30h | Seminar Rooms

Workshop

1) Propositions for Non-Facist Living | Maria Hlavajova (en)

2) The Heart of Whiteness | Candice Breitz (de|en)

3) Us As Them | Asal Dardan (de)


16:30h

Break


17:00h | Black Box

Sharing and Conversation (de|en)


18:00h

Break


18:30h | White Box | ZF-Campus

In view: Whiteface | Candice Breitz


19:15h | Black Box

 Phantom possession or shared life | Eva von Redecker (de)


20:00h | Black Box

Moderated talk Eva von Redecker & Candice Breitz (en)


permanent exhibition

Sound Is the [REDACTED] of the World | Bola Chinelo

SHIFT | Elena Ziegler & Hannah Runge

Localizing Whiteface | "Was machen Nazis hier?" | Allgäu ⇏ rechtsaußen


de: german

en: english

Public Talks

All Public Talks are open to the public and can be attended without prior registration.

Candice Breitz

Some of My Best Friends are White

29.11.23 at 19:30 | Black Box Zeppelin Universität


In the artist talk "Some of My Best Friends are White", the renowned artist Candice Breitz talks about the construct of whiteness and other racialized categories based on her artistic work "Whiteface" (2022), which is currently on display in the White Box at Zeppelin University. It addresses the dangerous fictions underlying white supremacy and asks how this violent ideology can be examined using artistic methods and what art can do to counter this ideology.


The video installation "Whiteface" (2022), which the artsprogram is exhibiting as part of the annual theme "Being Wrong" from September to December 2023, deals with racist clichés, ways of speaking and patterns of argumentation as they circulate in the mass media every day, where they form poisoned resonance spaces and offers of identification. In the work, the South African artist collages and restages white people's perspectives on whiteness and shows gestures of immunization of white people in the face of the worldwide call for their deprivation.


Biography

Candice Breitz (born 1972 in Johannesburg) is an artist based in Berlin. Her video installations have been shown internationally. Throughout her career, Breitz has explored the dynamics by which an individual becomes themselves in relation to a larger community, be it the immediate community one encounters in the family, or the real and imagined communities shaped not only by issues of national belonging, race, gender and religion, but also by the increasingly undeniable influence of mainstream media such as television, cinema and other popular culture. More recently, Breitz's work has focused on the conditions under which empathy is generated, reflecting on a media-saturated global culture in which strong identification with fictional characters and celebrities is accompanied by widespread indifference to the plight of those facing adversity in the real world. In 2022, she completed the White Noise Trilogy, a trio of multi-channel video installations that includes Love Story (2016), TLDR (2017) and Whiteface (2022).


Breitz holds degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg), the University of Chicago and Columbia University (NYC). She has participated in the Whitney Museum's Independent Studio Program and was a guest artist in residence at "Le Pavillon" at the Palais de Tokyo from 2005-2006. She has been a professor at the Braunschweig University of Art since 2007.


Photo: Tobias Zielony

Credit Tobias Zielony

Eva von Redecker

Phantom possession or shared life

30.11.23 at 19:00 | Black Box Zeppelin Universität


What is racism anyway? What different forms does it take and why is it so central to authoritarian politics as it is currently gaining strength globally? In her lecture, philosopher Eva von Redecker explains some of the dynamics that shape modern identities and control political mobilization. She shows how closely white supremacy is linked to the enforcement of the capitalist property system and to what extent individual racism as an expression of privilege is nevertheless a sign of powerlessness. Against the background of this analysis, however, it is also possible to trace how many contemporary protest movements are actively working against the devaluation and destruction of life. As an alternative to aggressive phantom ownership, sharing in solidarity points to other forms of planetary coexistence.


Biography

Eva von Redecker is a philosopher and author who lives in rural Brandenburg and writes about property, social change and sometimes even life and death. Her most recent book, Bleibefreiheit (S.Fischer 2023), takes on the concept of freedom in the face of the ecological crisis and proposes that it should be understood more temporally than spatially in the future. Revolution für das Leben (S.Fischer), which combines a critique of capitalism with a philosophy of new forms of protest, was published in September 2020. Eva von Redecker has been a permanent columnist for the philosophy magazine since April 2023 and moderates the discussion series "Eva and The Apple" at Schauspiel Köln.


Photo: Philipp Plum

Workshops

Please register for the workshops under "Registration and Directions". Participation in the workshops without registration is not possible.

Maria Hlavajova 

To Hold the Ground for the Not-Yet

As concerns about the overflowing passions of “fear, resentment, and division” summon us to this symposium, I would like to think aloud about the aesthetico-political options before us from the perspective of an art institution that is theoretically informed on the one hand, and on the other, politically driven by yearnings for truth, for us, and for the world (after Marina Garces). Teasing out critique-as-proposition in the era that exhausts us by its demand to relentlessly react to a constant assault of compound catastrophes and urgencies, I will ask what would it take to instead hold the ground for the not-yet. Understanding our time as one of disastrous contestations around facts, collectivity, and the very possibility of livable life in common in the world at present, I will inquire about the practices of thinking, imagining, and social action that employ at once resistance and imagination. I will draw from artistic practices that have emerged into, from, or alongside BAK’s research projects, including Former West (2018–2016) and Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–ongoing).

If to hold one’s ground means to insist on an argument or an imaginary in spite of prevailing sentiments all around—with growing right-wing populism being the case in question for our gathering—the workshop will expand on the above set of propositions. We will attempt to do so by constructing a collective toolkit to hold ground for the not-yet through insistence on facts and the possibility of truth, and as a means for building collective pathways to imagine the world otherwise and live it as if that were possible.


This workshop will be held in English.


Biography

Maria Hlavajova is an organizer, researcher, educator, curator, and founding general and artistic director of BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht (since 2000). Between 2008 and 2016, she was research and artistic director of the collaborative research, exhibition, and education project FORMER WEST, which culminated in the publication Former West: Art and the Contemporary After 1989 (which she co-edited with Simon Sheikh, 2016). Hlavajova has instigated and (co-)organized numerous projects at BAK and beyond, including the series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–ongoing), Future Vocabularies (2014–2017), New World Academy (with Jonas Staal, 2013–2016), among many other international research, education, exhibition, and publication projects. Her curatorial work includes Call the Witness, Roma Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale, Venice, 2011; Citizens and Subjects, Dutch Pavilion, 52nd Venice Biennale, Venice, 2007; and Borderline Syndrome: Energies of Defense, Manifesta 3, Ljubljana, 2000. Publications she has (co-)edited include: Fragments of Repair (with Kader Attia and Wietske Maas, forthcoming 2023); Toward the Not-Yet: Art as Public Practice (with Jeanne van Heeswijk and Rachael Rakes, 2021); Deserting from the Culture Wars (with Sven Lütticken, 2020); Propositions for Non-Fascist Living: Tentative and Urgent (with Wietske Maas, 2019); Posthuman Glossary (with Rosi Braidotti, 2018); and Marion von Osten: Once We Were Artists (with Tom Holert, 2017), among others. She is a lecturer at HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, Utrecht and Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Bratislava. In addition, Hlavajova is co-founder (with Kathrin Rhomberg) of the tranzit network. Hlavajova is a member of the supervisory board of the Academy of Visual Arts, Prague and of the advisory boards of Bergen Assembly, Bergen; Art and Culture Program at Free University, Amsterdam; and IMAGINART,Imagining Institutions Otherwise: Art, Politics, and State Transformation, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam. In the recent past, Hlavajova served on the supervisory boards of European Cultural Foundation, Amsterdam and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. She lives and works in Amsterdam and Utrecht.


Photo: Tom Janssen

Candice Breitz

The Heart of Whiteness

What are the workings of white supremacy and how do they construct, manifest, and perpetuate themselves in popular media? In which ways do racist ideologies spread in online forums? How can artistic practices analyze and counteract violent visual languages?

In the workshop, we will explore the power of images, their political potential to divide as well as connect, and examine how artistic practices can decode and undermine white hegemonies. In the process, we will look at the construction and distribution of hostile images on the web and identify how they work with, build on and fuel emotions.

Using concrete examples, the participants will work out which fictions and emotions underlie ideas of white supremacy, how these ideologies haunt online forums and form the breeding ground for right-wing radicalization and extremism. We will further engage with artistic practices and works that analyse and decode these mechanisms.


This workshop will be held in English.


Biography

Candice Breitz (born 1972 in Johannesburg) is an artist based in Berlin. Her video installations have been shown internationally. Throughout her career, Breitz has explored the dynamics by which an individual becomes themselves in relation to a larger community, be it the immediate community one encounters in the family, or the real and imagined communities shaped not only by issues of national belonging, race, gender and religion, but also by the increasingly undeniable influence of mainstream media such as television, cinema and other popular culture. More recently, Breitz's work has focused on the conditions under which empathy is generated, reflecting on a media-saturated global culture in which strong identification with fictional characters and celebrities is accompanied by widespread indifference to the plight of those facing adversity in the real world. In 2022, she completed the White Noise Trilogy, a trio of multi-channel video installations that includes Love Story (2016), TLDR (2017) and Whiteface (2022).


Breitz holds degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg), the University of Chicago and Columbia University (NYC). She has participated in the Whitney Museum's Independent Studio Program and was a guest artist in residence at "Le Pavillon" at the Palais de Tokyo from 2005-2006. She has been a professor at the Braunschweig University of Art since 2007.


Photo: Tobias Zielony

Credit Tobias Zielony

Asal Dardan 

Us As Them

Since 2013, an annual commemorative event has been held under the name "Mölln Speech in Exile". It was initiated by İbrahim Arslan, one of the survivors of the arson attack in Mölln on November 23, 1992, as a critical examination of the town's official commemoration. It also stands as a sign of resistance against a German continuity of right-wing extremist violence and its social consequences, symbolically summarized in the city names Mölln, Solingen, Rostock-Lichtenhagen, Halle and Hanau. Based on this event, we will address the question of how social resistance against structural and everyday discrimination can be achieved and how social cohesion can be strengthened at the same time. Our workshop will focus on the apparent conflict between a universalist humanism and an identity politics focused on the particular and the question of what solidarity can look like when it is understood as a practice.


This workshop will be held in German.


Biography

Asal Dardan studied Cultural Studies in Hildesheim and Middle Eastern Studies in Lund. She was awarded the Caroline Schlegel Prize for Essay Writing for her text New Years. Her essay collection Betrachtungen einer Barbarin was nominated for the German Non-Fiction Prize 2021 and the Clemens Brentano Prize 2022. In May 2023, she gave the first Erika Mann Lecture at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. She lives in Berlin and on the Swedish island of Öland.

Artistic positions

Bola Chinelo

Sound Is the [REDACTED] of the World

Sound Is the [REDACTED] of the World is an interactive audio and visual project where ‘unwanted’ background noises take center stage. As a visual and sonic reinterpretation of contemporary musical playlists, this project’s immersive nature provides a non-linear listening experience inspired by the random and chaotic ways in which sound is encountered in real life. With the help of field recordings, data sonification, bioacoustics and acousmatic audio, listeners are invited to explore the textures and complexity of sounds that often get deemed the background noise of our daily lives.


Biography

Bola Chinelo is a mixed media artist who earned their Bachelors of Arts degree from UC Berkeley. Chinelo’s work uses sonic, iconographic and esoteric symbolism to convey messages. Chinelo has received fellowships and/or support from Akademie Schloss Solitude, the Processing Foundation, Tin House, Periplus Collective and the Watering Hole and has been featured in ContemporaryAnd and Obsidian: Literature & Arts in African Diaspora.


Photo: Bola Chinelo

Gülsüm Güler

TDD (Tischlein deck Dich)

TDD is a nomadic dinner-club collective founded in 2007 by Gülsüm Güler & lnci Güler. The meetings usually take place in temporarily used architecture, where a shared restaurant atmosphere is created. The team consists of artists working in the fields of photography, education, graphic design and visual arts. They all have a passion for food and public and/or interdisciplinary dialogs. Bon Appétit!


Biography

Gülsüm Güler, artist (she / her) lives and works in Berlin.

She teaches photography at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main.

Together with lnci Güler and Lisa Schweizer, she is the founder of the dinner-club collective TDD and self-published the publication "Flavors & Friends" in 2022.

In the BIPoC - Food Collective "Smells like" in Berlin, she negotiates questions of culture, identity and connection through food.

Since 2019, TDD has also been active in the Floating University Association, Berlin. In 2022 Gülsüm Güler received a scholarship from the Stiftung Kunstfonds, Bonn & with her collective TDD a scholarship from Urban Practice, Berlin.

Allgäu ⇏ rechtsaußen

Localizing Whiteface | "Was machen Nazis hier?"

Allgäu ⇏ rechtsaußen offers research, documentation and analysis of the activities of neo-Nazis and other right-wing extremists in the Allgäu and neighboring regions.

Allgäu ⇏ rechtsaußen relies on its own research and its own extensive archive on the local scene, evaluates relevant police and press reports, interviews authorities and is in contact with members of parliament who are involved in the issue. The archive chronicle attempts to document all right-wing activities in and around the Allgäu region as concisely as possible. In the Background & Analysis section, comprehensive research and background information is published to record developments and classify events. It also looks beyond the horizon at the scene's networking, including in other regions, as well as the long tradition of the right-wing scene in the Allgäu. Allgäu ⇏ rechtsaußen also documents the (few) activist and civil society actions and initiatives in the region against the right.

Allgäu ⇏ rechtsaußen consists of a handful of journalists mostly volunteer journalists. In December 2019, the group published the book "Voice of Anger und der rechte Untergrund im Allgäu" (Voice of Anger and the right-wing underground in the Allgäu) on research into the skinhead comradeship "Voice of Anger", regularly gives talks and runs workshops on investigative journalism and the analysis of right-wing structures.


Interview with: Norbert Kelpp & Sebastian Lipp

Editing: Niklas Ehret

Elena Ziegler & Hannah Runge

SHIFT

HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE? Have you received discriminatory messages, seen problematic tweets or stumbled across hate comments in forums? Send us these texts to anshift.hannover@gmail.com and become part of SHIFT! Important: Your email should only contain the relevant text. Please refrain from using greetings or farewell formulas.

WHAT IS SHIFT? The SHIFT software edits and alienates discriminatory texts and then prints them out automatically. In several steps, problematic content is recognized and changed with the help of AI. Although the original texts remain recognizable, their message is heavily distorted and they are transformed into a lyrical form. The results ultimately fill the apartment - just as hate speech from the digital world is taking up more and more space in "real life".

WHY SHIFT? people affected are often left to their own devices in the digital world on the one hand, they are attacked, but on the other hand, they also have to react to hate speech and discriminatory content and deal with it in terms of content. Often, a statement is only followed by further hate and more attacks.SHIFT is a low-threshold approach that can help those affected to protect themselves and still react. The resulting texts offer little more scope for further escalation, but have nevertheless negotiated the discriminatory statements - and now stand as an aesthetic result in their own right. SHIFT is thus an attempt to use digital art as a tool for anti-discrimination work in the digital space.

WHAT ELSE IS IMPORTANT?In SHIFT, we work with the AI ChatGPT from OpenAI (GPT 3.5). As things currently stand, the use of AI is never one hundred percent reliable. For this reason, the quality of the resulting texts varies greatly. Since we want to work transparently, these texts are nevertheless issued with


Registration and Directions

Registrations for the symposium by 22.11.23 at 

Link to the Google Forms


The symposium will take place at the ZF Campus of Zeppelin University, Fallenbrunnen 3 88045 Friedrichshafen


Travel information


Responsible for the program

Rahel Gloria Spöhrer | Curatorial head of the artsprogram at Zeppelin University | rahel.spoehrer@zu.de


Prof. Dr. Karen van den Berg | Scientific head of the artsprogram at Zeppelin University | karen.vandenberg@zu.de


Team artsprogram 

Marie-Sophie Usadel | Assistance at the artsprogram | marie.usadel@zu.de


Marei Brodbeck | Curatorial Assistance at the artsprogram | m.brodbeck@zeppelin-university.net


Lilli Kim Schreiber | Curatorial Assistance at the artsprogram | l.schreiber@zeppelin-university.net


Niklas Ehret | Curatorial Assistance at the artsprogram | n.ehret@zeppelin-university.net


Team curatorial practice project

Oliver Hartmann Eskildsen

Angel Luis Gomez Montoya

Franziska Schack

Denise Hoogeveen

Stephanie Lochschmidt

Julius Marn

Liv-Kristin Schmidt

Till Leander Schroeder

Merit Taeuber

Jil Tischer

Funding

Sparkasse Bodensee

Baden-Württemberg Stiftung

Fränkel Stiftung

Studentischer Vizepräsident

Student Lounge

Zeppelin Universitätsgesellschaft

Gessler-Projektstipendium

Time to decide

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