Seminar with Sabeth Buchmann:
Putting Rehearsals to the Test

Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 3:00 - 4:30pm
GCA Room 2205, 149 West Hastings St., Vancouver
RSVP to by February 16. Free.

This informal seminar will be lead by visiting critic and art historian, Sabeth Buchmann, who looks at labour, performance and reception in her consideration of contemporary art practices. Her seminar connects both to programming in the Audain Gallery, specifically Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens' project When the Guests Are Not Looking and the Feb 22 panel on which she will be participating, and to the March 3-4 symposium Art, Labour and the Future of Work organized by SFU's Institute for the Humanities.

Although the format of the rehearsal is used across a number of disciplines-film and theater as well as fine arts-it has been scarcely considered in historical and contemporary art discourses. With this in mind, the seminar will focus the role and function of the rehearsal as a methodology, modus operandi, medium, site of representation, and reflection on processes of artistic production. Practices of rehearsal put those procedures-sometimes joyful, sometimes troublesome but structurally productive-into the foreground to replace given conventions and regulations with new forms and rules. Shaping working processes (the in-the-making) and products (the making-of) without defined aims and ends, artists, activists, and theorists working with strategies of rehearsal focus on moments of contingency, interruption, recommencement, irregular repetition, uncertainty, and failure within existing systems. Practices of rehearsal, in attempting to transform asymmetric labor divisions, appear as links between aesthetic judgment and social or institutional critique. As such, they imply a structural ambivalence since the popularity of the topic of 'rehearsal' can’t be separated from the neoliberal task to improve working methods as well as work performances for the sake of efficiency and value production.

Sabeth Buchmann is an art historian and critic based in Berlin and Vienna, where she is Professor of the History of Modern and Postmodern Art at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. She co-edits PoLyPen, a series on art criticism and political theory and her publications include Putting Rehearsals to the Test: Practices of Rehearsal in Fine Arts, Film, Theater, Theory, and Politics, co-edited with Ilse Lafer and Constanze Ruhm (2016) which includes a text by Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens; Hélio Oiticica, Neville D'Almeida and others: Block-Experiments in Cosmococa, written with Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz (2013); Art After Conceptual Art, edited with Alexander Alberrro (2006).

Organized and supported by SFU Galleries, SFU's Institute for the Humanities, and SFU's Vancity Office for Community Engagement.