SESSION 1
LIMITS OF THE HUMAN
Human, inhuman, overhuman, antihuman
26 NOVEMBER 2015 – 31 JANUARY 2016
NCCA

ABOUT
LIMITS OF THE HUMAN
Human, inhuman, overhuman, antihuman
26 November 2015 – 31 January 2016
The theme of the 1st session – a reflection of the modern search for a new definition of humanity, classical anthropocentrism with its conception of man as the measure of all things. It puts into question the dramatic experiences of the last century. A new place for the human in the modern world, inside of natural and subject relations, discovering human in things never previously recognized as human.
EXHIBITION
ELECTIVE AFFINITIES
27 November 2015 – 31 January 2016
curator: Viktor Misiano
co-curator: Daria Pyrkina
The exhibition's title refers us to Johann Wolfgang Goethe's heritage. In his eponymous novel characters' emotional life appears to be part of natural processes, social contradictions are explained by Natural philosophy and high passion – by the chemistry of the elements. These romantic ideas of the organic unity of the world are undergoing a modern revival. Almost all participants of "Elective Affinities" began their career with an understanding of art as a holistic creative practice, which had no more distinctions in genres and types, as well as no delimitation of art from other forms of knowledge, including the direct experience of existence. Art experienced the similarity of the social and the organic, urban and natural dynamics (K. Holten, E. Di Maggio). And again, just as the pre-scientific and pre-rational knowledge microcosm and macrocosm are reproducing in each other (K. Lohr, A. Menlibayeva, K. Holten), name and fact, idea and phenomenon, number and thing (A. Csörgő, V. Fishkin) appear to be indissoluble, the world is now ruled not by laws, but by rhythm and sound (K. Holten, A. Menlibayeva). Subjects and time are deprived of distinction in this image of the world: present recognizes itself in the past (K. Holten, A. Menlibayeva), and universality of substance oozes out of the individuality of private things (A. Menlibayeva, E. di Maggio). Thus, humanity finds itself in the material unity of the world, in the infinity of its manifestations.

Exhibition "Elective Affinities" is an integral statement of the curator which is distinct by sophisticated and perfectly established conceptual and expositional dramaturgy. It examines movement in contemporary art which became noticeable in recent years – reference to the organic essence of the world which is being viewed in connection to the social, urbanistic, psychological and emotional processes. All presented works use as a turning point for their idea and formation principles and processes of the vegetable world and creation of the natural landscape, turning in the exposition into a web of connections and intercrossing when "behind the singularity of the personal things universality if the substance is revealed". The theme of the world's creation expressed in the preface to the exhibition in the works of Vadim Fishkin and Almagul Menlibaeva finds its continuation in approaching the "small Macrocosms" in the creation of which artists are basing on the natural elements.

Artists: Alexandre Joly (Switzerland), Christiane Löhr (Germany), Elizabeth di Maggio (Italy), Attila Csörgő (Hungary), Almagul Menlibayeva (Kazakhstan), Vadim Fishkin (Slovenia / Russia), Katie Holten (Ireland)
LIMITS OF THE HUMAN
27 — 28 November 2015
Moderators: Madina Tlostanova, Dmitry Bulatov
27 November 2015: The Human Condition in an other-than-human world
Moderator: Madina Tlostanova

In the first day of the symposium theorists and artists discuss from different perspectives The Human Condition in today's increasingly unsettled world marked by the ever-growing critique of anthropocentrism and Eurocen- trism. Under scrutiny is the pluriversality and complexity of the new world, which are often better understood and metaphorically represented in con- temporary art than in the majority of the dominant academic paradigms which cannot catch up with the rapidly changing reality. We also analyze the borders and coalitions between the human, the natural and the animal, as seen in the critical discourses on biotechnologies, trans* studies, capitalist modernity/coloniality, affect theory, etc. Contemporary concepts of West- ern antihumanism are problematized from the position of non-Western forms of other humanism (as a humanism of the other), as a reiteration of the importance of humanist premises that have never been fulfilled in rela- tion to liminal subjects of modernity seen as "problems", whose bodies act as powerful markers of difference, assimilation, rejection, resistance and re-existence. In our presentations, discussions and the round table wrapping up the first day of our symposium, we try to offer some answers to the ques- tions of where and how the humankind – as a multitude of plural and mobile entities – existentially exists in our difference. Are we able to imagine and put to life some post-utopian and post-dystopic scenarios for our complex world and its inhabitants?

28 November 2015: Living Topologies / Nonhuman Agencies
Moderator: Dmitry Bulatov

The principle question of this session may be formulated concisely in the fol- lowing way: "How can simple localized actions create truly complex pat- terns?" Our intention is to consider this problem, using the examples that have emerged as a product of technological activities of the modern man. Among such agents are programmable matter, symbiotic forms and hybrids, "semi-living" entities and other manifestations of life existing "at the edge of chaos" and disorder. All these nonhuman subjects, interacting with one another, engender a complex systemic whole – a new sphere of existence, wherein the role of humanity is not of primary concern. How then can the effects of such self-organization be analyzed? How can this borderline state be located, beyond which the improbable manifestations of new technologies become our daily reality? What role can art and philosophy play in making sense of this new world and the orientation of our values within it? The par- ticipants in our session, "Living Typologies / Nonhuman Agencies" – phi- losophers, sociologists, art and new media theoreticians – answer these and other questions.

Program and video of the presentations. The first day of the symposium "LIMITS OF THE HUMAN". "THE HUMAN CONDITION" project. NCCA, 27 November 2015.

Program and video of the presentations. The second day of the symposium "LIMITS OF THE HUMAN". "THE HUMAN CONDITION" project. NCCA, 28 November 2015.

ACADEMIC PROGRAM
December 2015 – January 2016
The first session of "The Human Condition" includes an extensive academic program, which expands the visual and disciplinary context of the whole project. It includes performances and works by internationally acclaimed artists (Critical Art Enseble, Claire Pentecost, Pierre Huyghe), lectures and workshops by prominent curators, art historians and theoreticians (Roger Buergel, Christoph Brunner, Karina Karaeva), as well as representatives of other disciplines, such as astronomy (Konstantin Ivanov) and landscape architecture (Ekaterina Ozhegova), extremely important for the theme of the first session.
TEAM
Bausina Maria, Bazhanov Leonid, Bulatov Dmitry, Bychkova Julia, Gagarina Vera, Garevskaya Elena, Gerasina Natalia, Goltsova Elena, Gorlova Irina, Grebtsova Anastasia, Demina Olga, Geusa Antonio, Zeynalyan Anush, Ivanova-Skriabina Alina, Karaeva Karina, Kashtanova Natalia, Kostylev Alexander, Makarova Elena, Machabeli Dmitry, Mindlin Mikhail, Nemirovskaya Tatiana, Ovchinnikova Julia, Pyrkina Daria, Rozanova Alina, Romanovskaya Julia, Ryskunova Elena, Saraykina Alina, Skibo Polina, Starush Marina, Tlostanova Madina, Filippovsky Pavel, Fonton Anna, Tsagolova Daria, Chernyak Alina, Chubukova Anna, Chuhrov Keti, Shuvalova Anna
PARTNERS
The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Goethe-Institut in Moscow, The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia*, The Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Institut Français in Moscow, The Embassy of France in Russian Federation, The Embassy of the State of Israel in Russian Federation, Balassi Institute - the Hungarian Cultural Centre, The Royal Netherlands Embassy in Russian Federation, Artwin Gallery

*This project is part of a cultural exchange programme between Switzerland and Russia initiated by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. Further details about Swiss made in Russia. Contemporary Cultural Exchanges 2013-2015 at www.prohelvetia.ru
media partners:
Radio Culture, The Art Newspaper Russia, Iskusstvo, Theory&Practice, Syg.ma
THE HUMAN CONDITION
artistic director of the project: Viktor Misiano
National Center for Contemporary Arts
Moscow Museum of Modern Art
Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center
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