Núria Güell & Shahram Khosravi

Interpellation versus representation? & Prosopagnosia / Two Lectures and a Dialogue

Part of “Violence of Inscriptions”


English / 60 minutes

Following two short lectures that will introduce us to their artistic and theoretical practice and research, performance artist Nuria Guéll and anthropologist Shahram Khosravi open up a dialogue on bodies in migration.

Interpellation versus representation?
lecture by Núria Güell

How to avoid that exposing bodies under social and political violence stays limited to good or humanist intentions? Should we rather rely on interpellation and not on representation in order to re-address this problem? How can art unsettle a subversive potential that helps de-normalize what has become familiar? How can collaborating and creating alliances counter the discursive or political instrumentalization of these phenomena? How can cultural institutions be honest “with the real” when this implies going beyond what is morally accepted?

Those are some of the questions that artist Núria Güell raises in her creative process. In her presentation, she will draw on some of her recent projects in order to address ethical questions that concern both, artists as well as social, political and educational institutions involved in challenging but also maintaining structural violence. Thus, she will introduce us to her artistic methodology and practices such as listening and the distinct work with different qualities and forms of encounters. She thereby brings up the question how suspending hegemonic inscriptions, dismantling institutional mechanisms and working against the categorization of identities by artistic means can contribute to re-imagine the dynamics between the public and the ‘artwork.’ Becoming-part of the problem is actually the very pre-condition for any civic and artistic engagement.

lecture by Shahram Khosravi

This talk is about border gaze. Borders expose the “other” to a gaze that does not “see” her as an individual but “reads” her as a type. The visual field is not neutral. The gaze is a hierarchically interwoven complex of gender, racial and class factors. In other words, border gaze is not only seeing but also reading. The “other” is objectified by being looked at. The subject (the one who looks) remakes the object (the one who is looked at) and denies his or her individuality outside the subject’s mind. Prosopagnosia, also called face blindness, is a disorder that causes inability to recognize faces, even familiar ones. Migrants are seen but unrecognized. They are actively unseen. Rather than being invisible, they are “unvisible”: exposed to a conscious act of unseeing, excluding, and leaving out. In his talk Shahram Khosravi will focus on the relationship between  in/un-visibility and “othering.”


  • Past
    Sun 5.3.2017, 18:00 / HAU2


Hallesches Ufer 34, 10963 Berlin

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