• Sami Khatib at Summer School as School 2019
Sami Khatib: The Space of Critique

Sami Khatib at Summer School as School 2019
15 August, 2019, 19:00
Venue: Boxing Club

Summer School as School
5 - 21 August, 2019

Stacion - Center Contemporary Art Prishtina has the pleasure to announce "The Space of Critique" by Sami Khatib part of the Public Program of Summer School as School 2019.

If our age is defined by the capitalist homo economicus and the generalization of the commodity form, the global market appears as the last horizon of experience and imagination. This horizon is spatial and not historical anymore: space has become the resource and staging ground of capital. As a result, the space of capital has created its own temporality in which space and the disposability of space as spatialization have erased the historical texture of time. In my paper, I will argue that this dehistoricizing trajectory is not limited to political economy but also affects the fields of art and architecture. What Walter Benjamin calls “aura”—a presumably outdated mode of perception bound to the “here and now” of premodern unique work of arts—becomes mobile and reproducible, lending postmodern art-commodities their specific exhibition value and reproducible singularity. Singularities, however, cannot be criticized, compared to or put into perspective and context: they “speak” only for and to themselves. At the same time, this monadologic “aesthetics of singularity” (Fredric Jameson) becomes the spatial site of “criticality.” Artistic criticality is produced as a distinct trademark lending artworks or artistic texts their “critical” cachet. With the growing interest in theory within the art world, theory and contemporary art converge in the attempt to show, display, exhibit a stance called criticality. One may even state that this convergence constitutes the field of contemporary art nowadays. And if, as Boris Groys noted, “art functions in the context of the art market, and every work of art is a commodity,” criticality has become a commodity as well – a “critical” commodity attached to singular spaces and situations, deprived of its history.

Sami Khatib is a cultural theorist and philosopher based in Berlin. He is a founding member of the Beirut Institute for Critical Analysis and Research (BICAR). He taught and engaged in research at Freie Universität Berlin, Jan van Eyck Academie Maastricht, American University of Beirut and Academy of Fine Art Vienna. Currently, he is a postdoctoral researcher at Leuphana Universität Lüneburg. His main interests are in critical theory and aesthetic theory. For recent publications see: https://fu-berlin.academia.edu/SamiKhatib