Talks + Events
A Pact of Disengagement: Art and Philosophy's Mutual Abuses
Ben Woodard/Teresa Gillespie
Thursday 29th May | 6pm
Please click here to book your free ticket to this event
The very conjunction of the words art and philosophy call to mind a hazy cultural space cobbled together with lofty ambitions, ancient validity, and self-effacing critical attitudes. Any examination of the relation between art and philosophy reveals an engagement that oscillates between appropriation and back-patting. Furthermore, what art is for philosophy and what philosophy is for art tends to collapse the functional divisions of each: or art, artists, and the art world for the former and philosophy, philosophers, and academia for the latter.
For instance philosophers can and have criminalized art (as the practice) for the egregious capitalization of works by the art-world while artists have lampooned the abstract uselessness of philosophy as academia at its worst. The softer side of this non-engagement, the aforementioned back-patting, occurs when philosophers utilize art as a fundamentally demonstrative device for the conceptual thereby half-heartedly acknowledging the material advantage of the artist. Artists, in turn, validate the meta-conceptual authority of the philosopher as being idea-dealers while not pushing them on the potential applicability of those ideas.
In this discussion with Lily Cahill, Edia Connole, Paul Ennis, Hannah Fitz, Francis Halsall, Tina Kinsella, Jonathan Mayhew, Hugh McCabe, Rob Murphy, Michael O'Rourke and Matthew Slack moderated by Teresa Gillespie and Ben Woodard, the hope is for a discussion that can at least begin to parse out the reductions above while cutting out a proper space for the relation of art and philosophy that is neither vicious or merely amicable.
This event takes place as part of TBG+S’s Studio 6 Open Programme.
Ben Woodard is a PhD candidate in Theory and Criticism at Western University. He received his masters at EGS and undergrad at the University of Arizona. His work addresses Speculative Realism in relation to nature, post humanism, weird fiction, and the physical sciences. His papers have been published widely and he is the author of two books - Slime Dynamics: Generation, Mutation and the Creep of Life and On an Ungrounded Earth: Towards a New Geophilosophy. Recently Ben has been drawn into conversations and events with artists and curators, the most recent being with the Bureau of Melodramatic Research in Bucharest and with Vanessa Billy at Le Foyer in Zurich.
Teresa Gillespie is an artist based in Dublin. She has exhibited in Ireland and abroad and undertaken numerous artist’s residencies including the Frankfurter Kunstverein Deutsche Borse Program. She has also been the recipient of many awards, most recently the Arts Council Ireland Visual Arts Bursary Award and The Wexford Arts Centre Emerging Visual Artist Award. Upcoming projects include: a performative lecture in response to the work of Wim Beeren for On Curating Histories curated by Kate Strain, and return to the borderland bends, a solo project curated by Cassandra Needham for the launch of the John Jones Project Space, London. She is a graduate of the Glasgow School of Art and the Royal College of Art.