The Parliament of Bodies at MoMA Warsaw
THE NIGHT OF THE BLACK MILK
As part of the last edition of the Department of Presence this year, the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw announces the next public gathering of the Parliament of Bodies, entitled THE NIGHT OF THE BLACK MILK, on November 11, 2018 (19:00-5:30). The gathering will be held at the Auditorium at the Museum on Pańska 3.
Participants: Vasyl Cherepanyn, Jodi Dean, Maria Dębińska, Sarah Diehl and Abortion Dream Team, Łukasz Drozda, Vala T. Foltyn / Valentine Tanz, Ayşe Güleç, Kem, Ewa Majewska, Joanna Ostrowska, Paul B. Preciado, Wojciech Puś, Karol Radziszewski, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Jan Sowa, Syrena, Igor Stokfiszewski, Adam Szymczyk, Margarita Tsomou, Krzysztof Wolański, also featuring: Vaginal Davis, Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens, Maria Galindo
Paul B. Preciado and Viktor Neumann
Ewa Majewska and Margarita Tsomou
Feminist resistance to fascism. Apatride and unheroic activism today
Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens
An ecosexual message
Sarah Diehl and Abortion Dream Team
Trust Women - Activism on safe abortion access
Music Intervention (tbc)
A reading from Paul Celan
Vasyl Cherepanyn and Jodie Dean
Crowds, Party and the new International. Institutions in the times of the crisis of exterritorial solidarity
Learning from “Radosław”
Ayşe Güleç, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Jan Sowa, Syrena, and Krzysztof Wolański
The Society of Friends of Halit Yozgat, Pavlos Fyssas, and Maxwell Itoya: Alliances between Athens, Kassel and Warsaw Anti-facist movements
The White to be Angry
Vala T. Foltyn / Valentine Tanz
Feelings are facts* - magic, sex and politics. A healing concert
Maria Dębińska, Fuligo Septica, Igor Stokfiszewski,
Museum’s metabolism. Slime molds against fascists
An anarcha-feminist message
Paul B. Preciado
with Vala T. Foltyn / Valentine Tanz
Black Milk Ritual: Transfeminist anatomy against the Nation-State
Wojciech Puś with Anton Tsyhulskyi and Magdalena Wawrzyńczak feat. Pat Dudek/MILKBABY
вітер з'єднує нас / Wiatr nas łączy / The wind connects us
Vasyl Cherepanyn is Head of the Visual Culture Research Center (VCRC, Kyiv). He works as a lecturer at the Cultural Studies Department of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and holds a Ph.D. in philosophy (aesthetics). Also, he worked as a guest lecturer at European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, at University of Helsinki, Finland, at the "Political Critique" Institute for Advanced Studies in Warsaw, Poland, and at Greifswald University, Germany. He was also a visiting fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, Austria. In 2015, VCRC has received the European Cultural Foundation's Princess Margriet Award for Culture for its activities. Visual Culture Research Center is the organizer of The School of Kyiv – Kyiv Biennial 2015, The Kyiv International – Kyiv Biennial 2017, and The Kyiv International – ’68 NOW.
Vaginal Davis is the internationally acclaimed intersexed doyenne of intermedia arts and sciences. Her beat is galactic. Born in Los Angeles but based in Berlin, Germany since 2005 where she works with CHEAP Kollektiv founded in 2001 by Susanne Sachße, Marcuse Siegelstein, and Daniel Hendrickson. Davis has curated and hosted the performative film event Rising Stars, Falling Stars since 2007, now located at silent green Kulturquartier through the auspices of Arsenal Institut fur Film und Videokunst. She is a frequent guest professor at colleges, art schools, and universities globally, teaching her spiky brand of live art that utilizes the DBD (doing-by-doing) method.
Jodi Dean is the Professor of Political Science and the author of numerous books and articles. Her books include Solidarity of Strangers (1996), Aliens in America (1998), Publicity's Secret (2002), Zizek's Politics (2006), Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies (2009), Blog Theory (2010), The Communist Horizon (2012), and Crowds and Party (2016). She has given invited lectures in Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and at colleges and universities throughout the United States.
Maria Dębińska is a social anthropologist and activist. She received her PhD in 2015 for a thesis on trans identity categories in Poland and published several papers on this subject. She is involved in social activism and engaged research, cooperated with The Other Space Foundation, ResPublica Nowa and Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, among others. Currently interested in biohacking and bio-art and cooperates with the biology lab of the Copernicus Science Center, where she grows algae and slime molds.
Sarah Diehl is a writer, filmmaker and activist from Berlin and researches about International Reproductive Rights. In 2008, she made the documentary film “Abortion Democracy: Poland/South Africa”, which was awarded Best German Film at the XXIV. BLACK INTERNATIONAL CINEMA BERLIN. She is one of the co-founders of Ciocia Basia, an organization supporting women from Poland to access safe abortions in Germany. She publishes novels and non-fiction, her last book "The clock is not ticking" discusses how the mother ideal and stigma of abortion and childlessness coerces women into unpaid care work.
Łukasz Drozda is an urban planner and political scientist with a PhD in public policy. His research is focused on gentrification and social conflicts in urban space. He has published the following books: “Lewactwo. Historia dyskursu o polskiej lewicy radykalnej” (2015), “Uszlachetniając przestrzeń. Jak działa gentryfikacja i jak się ją mierzy” (2017), and “Dwa tysiące. Instrukcja obsługi polskiej urbanizacji w XXI wieku” (2018). He works as an assistant professor at the Institute for Social Prevention and Resocialisation at the University of Warsaw
Vala T. Foltyn / Valentine Tanz was co-director and co-founder of independent art institution Krakow Art House - the home for creative arts in the a century old villa in the city of Krakow. Due to the new investor's decision Vala and her community was forced to move out. This was a procedure done against the law and Vala became homeless by the end of May, 2018. Vala is also the mother and curator of "Lamella the house of queer arts" that supports LGTBQI+ community, that had its headquarters in Krakow Art House. Vala is poetic choreographer, queer witch, priestess of love, disobidient shape-shifter, devotional singer, visual mythology artist, sexual healer and peace activist. In September 2018 Vala was running a political campaign for the position of the Presidency/Mayer of the city of Krakow in Poland as a first transgender candidate in the history of Poland.
María Galindo was born in Bolivia. She is the founder of the anarcho feminist collective Mujeres Creando. She develops her activist practice around radio, graffiti, audiovisual productions, and writing. She is currently codirecting Radio Deseo, a radio station of La Paz and Alto.
Ayşe Güleç is a Kassel-based social and cultural worker and educator. Güleç has hold positions in the teams of documenta 12, documenta 13 and documenta 14. As the documenta 14 Community Liaison, her work focused on establishing social and sociopolitical relationships between various (trans-) local communities and contexts with documenta 14. As the coordinator of the “Society of Friends of Halit” of the Parliament of Bodies. Since 1989, Güleç has been working as a social educator at the Kulturzentrum Schlachthof in Kassel, focusing on migration, education, and cultural education. In addition, she is active in self-organized initiatives and networks in the fields of anti-racism, postcolonial studies, and critical migration studies and has been published extensively on these topics. Currently, she is the Head of Art education of the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt.
Kem is a feminist and queer project space based in Warsaw, focusing on choreographic and performance practices. Founded in early 2016, Kem hosts artistic experimentation that engages with the politics of affect, embodiment, and subjectivity. Kem’s desire is to create and support a context for critical dialogue around new choreography and anachoreographic* methods, as well as experimentation with formats, and queer pleasure. Kem is a collaborative entity that seeks to support and participate in feminist, genderqueer, and anti-racist movements.
Ewa Majewska is a feminist philosopher of culture, she works as adiunkt professor at the Department of Artes Liberales of the University of Warsaw, Poland. She was a visiting fellow at the University of California, Berkeley (BBRG), a stipendiary fellow at the University of Orebro (Sweden), IWM (Vienna) and ICI Berlin. She is the author of four monographs: (Kontrpubliczności ludowe i feministyczne. Wczesna “Solidarność” i Czarne Protesty, Warszawa 2018; Tramwaj zwany uznaniem, Warszawa 2016; Sztuka jako pozór? Kraków, 2013; Feminizm jako filozofia społeczna, Warszawa 2009); co-editor of four volumes on neoliberalism, politics, gender and education; she published articles and essays in: Signs, e-flux, Public Seminar, Jacobin, Nowa Krytyka, Praktyka Teoretyczna, Przegląd Filozoficzny, Widok, Interalia, Kultura Współczesna, Le Monde Diplomatique (PL) and multiple collected volumes. Her main focus is weak resistance, counterpublics and critical affect studies.
Joanna Ostrowska has been a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Jewish Studies at Jagiellonian University and received a Ph.D. in history (Sexuality in times of oppression and the poetics of its representation). She received her MAs from the Institute of Audiovisual Arts at the Jagiellonian University and in Gender Studies from the University of Warsaw. She also studied film and television production in the Film and Theatre School (PWSFTviT) in Lodz. Currently, Ostrowska is doing research on sexual violence in Poland during the World War II and forgotten victims of the Holocaust, with a particular focus on homosexual victims. She is an author of book: Unmentioned. Forced Sex Labour during World War II.
Paul B. Preciado is a philosopher, curator, and transgender activist, and one of the leading thinkers in the field of gender and sexual politics. He studied with Agnes Heller and Jacques Derrida at the New School for Social Research, and he holds a PhD in Philosophy and Theory of Architecture from Princeton University. His first book, Contra-Sexual Manifesto was acclaimed by French critics as “the red book of queer theory” and became a key reference for European queer and transgender activism. He is the author of Testo Junkie. Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics (The Feminist Press), and Pornotopia (Zone Books), for which he was awarded the Sade Price in France. He has served as Head of Research at the MACBA, Barcelona, and Director of its Independent Studies Program (PEI). He teaches Philosophy of the Body and Transfeminist Theory at Université Paris VIII-Saint Denis and at New York University. He has curated numerous exhibitions and interventions, such as ThePostporn Marathon, MACBA, 2004; PornPunkFeminism, Arteleku, 2008; IM/MUNE, Emmetrop, 2011; Cuir International, MNCARS, 2011; The Beast and is the Sovereign, MACBA/Kunstverein Stuttgart, 2015; or The Passion According to Carol Rama, IMMA/EMMA/MACBA/GAM, 2013–16). He was the documenta 14 Curator of Public Programs in Athens and Kassel. Currently, he is the Curator for the Taiwanese Pavilion for the 58th Venice Biennale and a member of the Core Group of the Bergen Assembly 2019.
Wojciech Puś is a filmmaker and artist based between Lodz and Berlin. His post-emancipative, analytical work links to the sphere of queer abstraction, spirituality and intimacy by sophisticated, cinematic nature. For his feature film project “Endless”, he received the Feature Expanded film residency which supports visual artists in their feature cinema debuts.
Karol Radziszewski lives and works in Warsaw where he received his MFA from the Academy of Fine Arts in 2004. He works with film, photography, installations and creates interdisciplinary projects. His archive-based methodology, crosses multiple cultural, historical, religious, social and gender references. Since 2005 he is publisher and editor-in-chief of DIK Fagazine. Founder of the Queer Archives Institute.
His work has been presented in institutions such as the National Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; New Museum, New York; VideoBrasil, Sao Paulo; Cobra Museum, Amsterdam; Wroclaw Contemporary Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow and Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz. He has participated in several international biennales including PERFORMA 13, New York; 7th Göteborg Biennial; 4th Prague Biennial and 15th WRO Media Art Biennale.
Natascha Sadr Haghighian wishes to draw readers’ attention to bioswop.net in place of her biographical note. On www.bioswop.net artists and other cultural practitioners can borrow exchange and compile CV's for various purposes. The site went on line in October 2004 and is a work in progress. The aim is to have more and more people exchanging their CV's for representational purposes like catalogues etc. The project is aiming for even more 'redundance' in that particular section of artist's production. Bioswop hopes to fnally undermine the purpose of art CV's and resumes – or at least make them a bit more of an entertaining read.
Fuligo Septica is a species of plasmodial slime mold, and a member of the Myxomycetes class. It is commonly known as the scrambled egg slime, or flowers of tan because of its peculiar yellowish, bile-colored appearance. Also known as the dog vomit slime mold, it is common with a worldwide distribution, and it is often found on bark mulch in urban areas after heavy rain or excessive watering. Their sporesare produced on or in aerial sporangia and are spread by wind.
Jan Sowa is a materialist dialectical social theorist and researcher. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology and a habilitation in cultural studies. His work is focused on modernity studies. He authored and edited a dozen of books, including "A Joy Forever. Political Economy of Social Creativity" and "Fantomowe ciało króla. Perfyferyjne zmagania z nowoczesną formą". He is the curator of discursive programs and research of Biennale Warszawa and associate professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.
Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens are based in San Francisco and work primarily as an artistic duo. Annie Sprinkles has been creating multimedia about sexuality for four decades. She was the first US porn star to earn a PhD. Coming out as an ecosexual in 2008 changed her life forever for the better. Sprinkle was proud to be awarded the Artist/Activist/Scholar Award from Performance Studies International. She is into many nature fetishes and fantasies. Beth Stephens, PhD, is an ecosexual performance artist, filmmaker, activist, and educator. Stephens’s preferred pronoun is “tree.” Tree has made artwork, performances, and writing about queerness, feminism, and environmentalism for over twenty-five years. Stephens’s current focus is SexEcology, a new field of research. Dr. Stephens is the founding director of the E.A.R.T.H. Lab at University of California, Santa Cruz, where she has been a professor of art for twenty-two years. Together, Stephens and Sprinkle authored the Ecosex Manifesto, and officially added the E (for ecosexual) to GLBTQII-E in 2015. Their award-winning documentary film, Goodbye Gauley Mountain: An Ecosexual Love Story (2013) has been screened internationally. In 2017, they have released their latest documentary film, Water Makes Us Wet. Sprinkle and Stephens are married to the Earth, Sky, Sea, Soil, and many other nature entities.
Syrena is an autonomous space of initiatives, located in a recovered tenement at Wilcza 30 in Warsaw. The space functions as a place of non-commercial activities and support of local initiatives and residents. The Syrena collective uses space as a source of direct interventions and confrontations with the city's policy as well as private investors who, in accordance with the profit priority, jointly deny the residents' rights to the city. We regain the city in various fields: from direct actions, such as blockades of frequent and unlawful evictions, to the support of delegalized migrants, workers employed on bullshit contracts, citizens who defend public spaces, and all those discriminated against by the justice system and authorities.
Igor Stokfiszewski is a researcher, activist, journalist and artist. He was a participant and initiator of social theatre, community theatre and politically engaged art activities. Author of the book Zwrot polityczny [Political Turn] (2009), editor of the e-book Culture and Development: Beyond Neoliberal Reason (2017) and co-editor of, among others, the volumes: Built the City. Perspectives on Commons and Culture (2015) and Jerzy Grotowski – Teksty zebrane [Jerzy Grotowski Collected Texts] (2012). Member of the Krytyka Polityczna [Political Critique] team and of the Inicjatywa Pracownicza [Workers’ Initiative] Trade Union. He is active in the board of trustees of European Alternatives organisation and in DiEM25 transnational political movement.
Adam Szymczyk was Artistic Director of documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel in 2017. In 1997, he co-founded the Foksal Gallery Foundation in Warsaw. He was Director at Kunsthalle Basel from 2004 to 2014. In 2008, he co-curated with Elena Filipovic the 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art, When Things Cast No Shadow. He is a Member of the Board of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and Member of the Advisory Committee of Kontakt. Art Collection of Erste Group and ERSTE Foundation in Vienna. In 2011, he received the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement at the Menil Foundation in Houston.
Margarita Tsomou is a Greek, Berlin-based author, publisher, dramaturge, and curator. She is the publisher of the pop-feminist magazine Missy-Magazine and writes for German newspapers and radio. Her artistic collaborations and curatorial projects have been presented at theaters such as Maxim Gorki Theater (Berlin), and Volksbühne (Berlin) or the Onassis Cultural Center (Athens). Her last conference on “Nation and Heimat” with the title “Homeland phantasies” was presented at Kampnagel Theatre (Hamburg). She holds a PhD in “artistic research” and works on the topics queer-feminism and sexuality, political art, theory of performance and new media, antifascism and feminism of colour, as well as democracy theories in the context of the Greek debt crises. She is part of the publishing collective b_books in Berlin and the activist/artistic group Schwabinggrad Ballett in Hamburg. Since Autumn 2016 and together with with Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz and Nelli Kampouri, she is the leading curatorial and organizatorial force behind the “Apatride Society of the Political Others” of the Parliament of Bodies. Tsomou is the newly appointed Head of Theory Department at Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin).
Krzysztof Wolański is a sociologist and philosopher working towards an immanent, interdisciplinary perspective of analyzing social phenomena, drawing on the concept of schizoanalysis proposed by Deleuze and Guattari. High school teacher, creator of cultural and artistic content (texts, lectures, happenings, videos, computer games). Author of "God, Nerves, Psychoanalysis. The Case of Judge Schreber", co-author with Jan Sowa of "Sport Doesn't Exist. Games in The Age of the Spectacle. He holds an MA in Philosophy, an MA in Sociology and a PhD in Philosophy.
The Parliament of Bodies (PoB) announces its next public gathering in Warsaw on November 11, 2018, calling for an anti-fascist, anti-colonial, and transfeminist coalition.
Hosted by MoMA Warsaw, the PoB dares to come together on the one-hundred-years anniversary of the Polish National Independence Day, a date known for the hyperbolic celebration of nationalism, white catholic supremacy, and heteronormativity. Acknowledging interdependence of all living beings on the planet and refusing national identity as a framework to think sovereignity in contemporary capitalism, the PoB calls disenfranchised bodies and subaltern organs to gather in a joyful assembly against the nation-state.
Originally conceived as the Public Programs of documenta 14, but having failed to transform documenta’s economy and institution, the PoB mutates into an apatride institution-in-becoming and without constitution that parasites other institutions to provoke critical metamorphosis and repolitization.
Born in 2016 in Athens, the PoB took its name and its vocation from the experience of the failure of representative democracy in Greece during the “OXI” referendum of July 2015. When the Greek government refused to accept the citizens’ decision to reject the conditions of the bailout, the national Greek parliament appeared as an institution in ruins, unable of representing the people. At the same time, for many days, Syntagma Square and the streets of Athens, were filled with voices and bodies of thousands of Athenians and Greeks. But also thousands of migrants and refugees that were arriving every day to the Pyreas port. We needed a counter-Parliament of living bodies beyond markets and nations, as it also became obvious in the city of Kassel and its entagelments with the military industry and its weaponary export to many sites of world conflicts.
The PoB is made of those who lack full political recognition within the framework of the nation-state. It does neither provide a single discourse on identity, nor a homogeneous space of race, gender or sexual representation. On the contrary, it aims to create a new forum for artist and activist, an open arena of experimentation, performativity, media production and debate essential for new planetary somatic democracy to arouse.
The PoB is a place for cultural activism, a critical device to collectively imagine and construct other ways of producing, reproducing and governing knowledge and life, visibility and affect, implicating bodies (human and non-human, objects, dispostifs, ensembles…), subjugated knowledges and artistic practices.
The first public gathering in Warsaw will introduce already established and newly created Open Form Societies. Inspired by the “open form” methodology of Oskar Hansen and modeled on the endeavors of the countercultural antislavery bonds of the late 18th century, the Open Form Societies aimed to work like self-learning, self-organized counter-publics that, housed at MoMA Warsaw, generate their own activities and set their own critical agenda.
During the November gathering in Warsaw the Apatride Society of the Politically Other, established in Athens in September 2016, will further challenge the tropes of the nation-state through exploring anticolonial discourses and practices. The Society of Friends of Halit Yozgat and Pavlos Fyssas, established in Kassel in April 2017, will extend it’s fight against institutionalized forms of racism in Warsaw. Named to honor the memories of Halit Yozgat, murdered in Kassel by neo-Nazis in 2006, and Pavlos Fyssas, murdered by a member of Athens far right political party Golden Dawn, the Society reaches out in solidarity to the family and allies of Nigerian born Maxwell Itoya, shot by police in Warsaw on May 23, 2010.
NOVEMBER 11, 2019
THE NIGHT OF BLACK MILK - THE PARLIAMENT OF BODIES AT WARSAW
Coming to Warsaw, the PoB answers to a collective emergency call within the arts and culture: Poland has become the site of development of extreme forms of patriotism, white supremacism, and border protection politics, leading to last years Independence Day march chanting “Death to the enemies of the homeland” during one of the largest far-right demonstrations in the world. In the context of growing neofascist and neocolonial discourses, the PoB acts as a counter-mirror, denouncing the pitfalls of representative European democracies, and understanding politics not as ideology but as poetic actions, learning from and leaning towards the methodologies of art, critical theory, and activism.
In order to face the violent Polish parliament attempts to outlaw abortion and criminalize any form of agency of unruly bodies who contain a possible gestating uterus, the PoB comes to Warsaw to organize a night of non-reproducing nymphomaniacs. THE NIGHT OF BLACK MILK is a gathering of the PoB dedicated to question the politics of reproduction and the white supremacist ideology of the nation-state. Against the reproduction and anti-migration agenda of European nations, and the celebration of non-white, migrant and queer bodies, we propose to share black milk across all kinds of borders: genders, sexes, sexualities, races, bodies, species…
The newly created Warsaw Society of Black Milk, dedicated to explore the biopolitics and necropolitics of the nation-sate and reproduction, and its relation to the development of patriarchal ideologies, will gather for the first time during the celebration of “the rebirth of Poland as a nation”. Surpassing identity politics, we consider nymphomaniacs all bodies engaging freely and joyfully into social, sexual, and mutually caring activities without an agenda of national reproduction.
We shall ask: Who is reproducing and what is being reproduced? What is the location of the uterus within the political economy of the nation-state? Shouldn’t bodies carrying a uterus be considered as the lumpen proletarian class of the world? If this is the case, wouldn’t a large alliance of sexual and reproduction workers constitute the largest political collective across national borders?
We call the workers movements, the transfeminist and queer movements, the indigenous and first people movements, the hackers, pirates and Anonymous movements, the disability and crip struggles, the sex-workers, the anti-prison, anti-psychiatric movements, the migrant and refugees coalitions…we call all non-reproducing nymphos of the world to drink together with us the cup of black milk in an all night long ritual.
Mimicking and queering the recent Polish governmental strategy of imposing unpopular law-making during night hours, and recognizing the night as the invisible realm of reproduction, of prisons and madhouses, of tramps, whores, and caretakers, the Parliament of Bodies gathers for the first time in Warsaw from the sunset to dawn, bringing together artists, activists, theorists, performers, workers, migrants…to experiment collectively on a radical transformation of the public sphere and the proliferation of new forms of subjectivity.
At MoMA Warsaw, the PoB gathers at the architectural site “Demos”. Built by Greek architect and artist Andreas Angelidakis originally created for the PoB in Athens and now transformed into is new home in Warsaw. Inspired by the ruins of contemporary democracy, “Demos” is a soft architecture of fake-concrete ruins that can be assembled and reassembled in multiple ways that reorganize the inner structure of the space and create different platforms for enunciation, speech, display, or action.
Stressing process, production of subjectivity and mutation, the PoB is a time structure, with a score, playing with rhythm and reiteration of movements across boundaries. From November 11 onwards and over the course of 2019, The Parliament of Bodies and its Societies will spread its activities in and beyond Warsaw to create synthetic alliances between different struggles for minor forms of sovereignty, recognition, and survival.
Paul B. Preciado