Vulnerability As a Resource: The Resilient Subject in Art and Crisis Capitalism
Conversation with Stefanie Graefe (Sociologist, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena) and Vika Kirchenbauer
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Resilience is becoming increasingly widespread as a “key term of the 21st century” (Bröckling, 2017) in everyday life, science and politics. The concept of the resilient subject is supposed to provide an answer to pervasive crisis and exhaustion phenomena in neoliberalism. The causes of crises and stresses are mostly considered to be unchangeable; instead, the responsibility for coping with such problems is increasingly placed upon the individual.
Central in this context is the notion of trauma, as described by sociologist Stefanie Graefe in her book Resilienz im Krisenkapitalismus – Wider das Lob der Anpassungsfähigkeit (2019, trans. Resilience in Crisis Capitalism – Against the Praise of Adaptability). Vika Kirchenbauer's work also often deals with vulnerabilities and traumas, negotiating their visibilities and invisibilities, their specific effects as well as their structural and social circumstances.
In their conversation the two will discuss the extent to which the concepts of resilience and vulnerability are mutually contingent, question the role of contemporary art as a field in this context, and explore the ways in which political and social agency can be conceived beyond this framework.
Stefanie Graefe is a sociologist and private lecturer at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. She researches and teaches on political sociology and the relation between subjectivity, work, health and recent social change. Besides her academic practice, she has been working in the field of political labor union adult education for many years.
Vika Kirchenbauer is an artist, filmmaker, writer, and music producer. Her work has received wide-ranging international attention. Her films and installations have, for instance, been exhibited in group shows and screenings at, among others, the Tainan Art Museum, Taiwan (2021); the Whitechapel Gallery, London (2020); Kunsthal Charlottenborg (2019), Copenhagen; the Berlin International Film Festival (2020), the New York Film Festival (2020), the ICA Artists’ Film Biennial, London (2016), and the Videonale at the Kunstmuseum Bonn (2013, ‘15, ‘17). Most recently, Vika Kirchenbauer received the EMAF Award, the German Short Film Award, and the German Film Critics Award for her work UNTITLED SEQUENCE OF GAPS (2020). In 2016, her video work SHE WHOSE BLOOD IS CLOTTING IN MY UNDERWEAR was awarded the Best Contribution to the German Competition at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. Other awards include the Kunstfonds Stipend (2020), the Villa Aurora Los Angeles Fellowship (2018), and the Visual Arts Working Stipend of the Berlin Senate (2015).
The event is being held in German. Admission: 5 Euro / 3 Euro (reduced). Free Admission for members.
Since the number of participants is limited due to the current corona restrictions, we would kindly request that you register at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that participating is only possible upon proof of a confirmed negative result of a rapid test from a certified testing center taken no earlier than 24 hours. Thank you for your understanding!
The Artist Talk accompanies our current exhibition Vika Kirchenbauer – FEELINGS THAT MOVE NOWHERE (May 29–September 5, 2021) at Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf.