Previously at the ICA - Events
21 Jul 2010
With the collapse of neoliberalism, the idea of communism has made a surprise return to the table. Thinkers such as Slavoj Žižek, Toni Negri and Alain Badiou, have argued that communism, a society based on equality, is now proved to be the only alternative to the chaos of capitalism. Building on this discussion, the renowned art critic and thinker Boris Groys argues that the strength of the communist vision comes from the fact that it represents the subordination of the economy to politics.
Groys suggests that where the economy is determined by money, politics is determined by language. Money is, as we know from the fiasco with the banks, an undemocratic medium, whereas language is potentially the most democratic means to running society. Returning to an ancient tradition, first heralded by Plato, Groys argues that society should be ruled by language and philosophy.
Confronting the philosophy of communism under the Soviet Union, Groys argues that the experiment failed after the economy was again allowed to dominate society under the Soviet leaders. Now, with the end of these perverted communist experiments, the project of rule by language and philosophy is again given an opportunity.
Boris Groys is a philosopher, essayist, art critic, media theorist, and an internationally acclaimed expert on late-Soviet postmodern art and literature, as well as on the Russian avant-garde. Dr. Groys’s writing engages the wildly disparate traditions of French poststructuralism and modern Russian philosophy.
Professor of Aesthetics, Art History, and Media Theory at the Center for Art and Media Technology in Karlsruhe, and since 2005, the Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Science, NYU; Groys has published numerous books, including The Total Art of Stalinism, Ilya Kabakov: The Man Who Flew into Space from His Apartment, Art Power and, most recently, The Communist Postscript .
→ Boris Groys keynote 'Repetition of Revolution: Russian Avant-Garde Revisited'