Monika Weiss (US) - Sustenazo - Public Space and The Environment

Prague - December 8, 2012

Monika Weiss presents her paper within the panel Balance-Unbalance: Can the Arts Help to Save the World? at International conference Mutamorphosis in Prague, Czech Republic.

The interruption and convergence of our understanding of dispersed histories and identities happens through an evolving poïesis, examples of which take into account enunciation, repetition, performativity, and interactivity. As artists, we strive to deepen and extend the public sphere and conceive projects that help those who have been rendered invisible to make their appearance and to develop viewers’ capacity for public life by asking them to respond to, rather then react against, that appearance. How can we contribute to a transdisciplinary research and practice that aims at sustaining our environment and defeats “heroic dreams” which result in wars and destruction? Can (electronic) art offer a vision that might overcome apathy and respond to suffering of others? This essay discusses the nature of lament as a performative language sited within the space of historical memory and contemporary urban landscape, and understood as public, communal and performative acts of questioning historical trauma, and as reaching beyond language. The text looks also at my new and evolving collaboration with the international criminal law and international justice expert, Dr. Leila Sadat, and asks questions related to my current projects that consider aspects of public memory and amnesia as reflected within the physical and political space of a City.


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