Nocturnalities: Bargaining Beyond Rest
Full night artistic research event – from dusk till dawn
Duration: 12 hours (6 pm – 6 am)
The event is created and moderated by Andrea Knezović in collaboration with curator Tia Čiček.
“This notion of rest, it’s attractive to her, but I don’t think she would like it. They are all like that, these women. Waiting for ease, the space that need not be filled with anything other than the drift of their own thoughts. But they wouldn’t like it. They are busy and thinking of ways to be busier because such a space of nothing pressing to do would knock them down.”
― Morrison, Toni. 1992. Jazz. New York: Knopf, p. 16.
Nocturnalities: Bargaining Beyond Rest is an artistic research event – an exercise in institutional disruption – developed by artist and researcher Andrea Knezović in collaboration with curator Tia Čiček. The event explores the intersection between cultural production, cognitive capitalism, the politics of sleep and its psycho-cultural implications. The event is an interruption of the regular programme of Škuc Gallery – a nocturnal procession of various habits, artistic research and non-formal knowledge exchange. It looks at sleep and consequently rest through the performative forms of work – highlighting their communal impact, temporal boundaries and mythological heritage. For the one-night event – from the evening to the morning of 19 November – Škuc Gallery will become a podium for experiments, round tables, performative readings and various screenings.
The nocturnal session will include talks with experts in the field such as Jonathan Crary and Katja Praznik, screenings, collective performative readings and other smaller creative interruptions. In addition, the library of the Center for Contemporary Arts SCCA-Ljubljana will be a guest, offering the public access to parts of its unique CEE Art Catalogue Archive.
During the process, we ask ourselves how we can predict the future by bringing it out of sleep. What can we learn from the capitalist co-option of sleep and its biopolitical strategies? Are we facing a cultural slumber or an implosion through oversaturation? What is the connection between sleep and the notion of certainty? How does the loss of sleep contribute to our mythologisation of certainty?
We invite the public to join us and test their limits in nocturnal endeavours as they lounge comfortably in the gallery, sipping tea and nibbling on some snacks while brainstorming and unfolding propositions around the politics of rest. The final media documentation, brainstorming, notes and audience contributions will be designed in a zine format as the final outcome of the event. The zine will be distributed through Škuc Gallery.
18:00 – Opening of the event & introduction to the CEE Art Catalogue Archive of the Center for Contemporary Arts SCCA–Ljubljana.
19:00 – A panel conversation Nocturnalities: Re-imagining Art Work in the Age of Awake with professor Katja Praznik, artist Andrea Knezović, Vesna Bukovec, Ana Čigon, and curator Tia Čiček.
- The panel conversation will reflect the politics of sleep and consequently rest through the framework of cultural labour.
21:15 – Film screening The Man Who Sleeps (original: Un homme qui dort), 78′.
Directed by Bernard Queysanne and Georges Perec, based on Perec’s 1967 novel Un homme qui dort).
23:30 – 06:00 Bargaining Beyond Rest Reading Group
- A brief online conversation with the author of the book 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep professor of Modern Art and Theory at Columbia University Jonathan Crary.
- An all-night reading group of the book 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep: The participants can rest in the gallery space while exploring realms of late capitalism and 24/7 nocturnal labour. We invite the public to join us and test their limits in nocturnal endeavours as they lounge comfortably in the gallery, sipping tea and nibbling on some snacks while brainstorming and unfolding propositions around the politics of rest.
Established in 2000, SCCA, Center for Contemporary Arts – Ljubljana (a successor to the Soros Centre for Contemporary Arts – Ljubljana, 1993–1999) is a model of a flexible and internationally active organisation for layering and comprehensively connecting programs and activities in the field of contemporary visual and new media arts. Their diverse activities address artists, curators, theorists, experts, critics and the general public in the fields of visual and new media arts. They trigger artistic, discursive and social practices and are rooted in the interdisciplinary approach and intense international cooperation.
The Man Who Sleeps: the story centers on an unnamed university student, referred to as “you” by the narrator, as he suddenly quits attending school, cuts off his friends, and attempts to lead a fully automation-like life devoid of human interaction. His inner thoughts are narrated in the form of an unwritten diary by Ludmila Mikaël in the original French version, and Shelly Duvall in English. A sense of paranoia and claustrophobia develops until he ultimately determines that, no matter what he does, life is futile. As a result, he dismisses isolation as a radical practice and returns to normal life.
24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep explores some of the ruinous consequences of the expanding non-stop processes of twenty-first-century capitalism. The marketplace now operates through every hour of the clock, pushing us into constant activity and eroding forms of community and political expression, damaging the fabric of everyday life. Jonathan Crary examines how this interminable non-time blurs any separation between an intensified, ubiquitous consumerism and emerging strategies of control and surveillance. He describes the ongoing management of individual attentiveness and the impairment of perception within the compulsory routines of contemporary technological culture. At the same time, he shows that human sleep, as a restorative withdrawal that is intrinsically incompatible with 24/7 capitalism, points to other more formidable and collective refusals of world-destroying patterns of growth and accumulation.
Jonathan Crary is an art critic and essayist and is Meyer Schapiro Professor of Modern Art and Theory at Columbia University. His first notable works were Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the 19th Century (1990), and Suspensions of Perception: Attention, Spectacle and Modern Culture (2000). Professor Crary has been the recipient of Guggenheim, Getty, Mellon, and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. In 2005, his teaching and mentoring were recognized with a Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award.
Katja Praznik is the author of Art Work: Invisible Labour and the Legacy of Yugoslav Socialism (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2021) and The Paradox of Unpaid Artistic Labor: Autonomy of Art, the Avant-Garde and Cultural Policy in the Transition to Post-Socialism (Ljubljana: Sophia, 2016) published in Slovenian. She teaches courses related to the political economy of the arts, cultural policy, and research in the field of arts management. Praznik holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Ljubljana. Her work and research is dedicated to the demystification of creativity as a form of labour and on the historical and contemporary implementation of labour rights discourse and fair payment practices in the arts, cultural policy and arts management.
Andrea Knezović (1990) is a visual artist, writer, and researcher with an MRes in Artistic Research from the University of Amsterdam and a BA from the AVA-Academy of Visual Arts Ljubljana. Her artistic practice plays with semiotics and dialectics of value by examining correlations between institutional and identity politics. Knezović is the chair of the board of the Salwa Foundation (NL) and co-founder of the MARC Foundation (NL) where she develops Art & Research public programmes. She has contributed to various discursive journals including Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – Thresholds Journal, Lish Journal London, University of Amsterdam Simulacrum Jurnal – Tijdschrift voor kunst en cultuur. In 2013 and 2015, she was nominated for the Essl Art Award.
Vesna Bukovec (1977) obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. She is a socially critical artist who expresses herself in various media, with the drawing being prominent alongside the video. She has shown her work in many solo and group exhibitions in Slovenia and internationally. She also works in graphic design and curates video art. Since 2015, she has been an expert associate of the DIVA Station archive of video, film and new media art at SCCA-Ljubljana.
Ana Čigon (1982) is an artist working in video art, film and performance. Her projects address social issues such as the underrepresentation in history, memory and public monuments, LGBTQIA+ issues, critiques of neoliberalism, etc. Her works often contain elements of humour, irony and satire. She presents her works in solo and group exhibitions in Slovenia and internationally. She received the OHO Award for her video work, while her documentary, experimental films and animations have been included in selected competition programmes of numerous Slovenian and international film festivals.
Tia Čiček (1992) has a master’s degree in Art History and has curated exhibitions locally and internationally, introducing alternative processes of curation and collaboration that challenge the curatorial. Due to their interest in contemporary art in a broader as well as local context, they attended the Thinking with Works of Art course under the mentorship of Ruth Noack and Grace Samboh at the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in 2018 and completed The World of Art School of Curatorial Practices and Critical Writing in 2020. Since January 2020, she has been the artistic director of Škuc Gallery.
Photo: Simao Bessa