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Bellwethers: The Culture of Controversy

May 21, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


On three consecutive Tuesdays this spring – May 21, May 28, and June 4 – The Drawing Center will present a new program series, Bellwethers: The Culture of Controversy, which will convene a prominent group of writers, cultural critics, and artists to respond to a cultural “bellwether” and take it in their own interpretative direction. Each session examines a timely indicator, word, or phrase emblematic of a polemical socio-political topic of our moment and that impacts art as well as broader cultural production.

Tuesday, May 21 at 6:30pm
With Chiara Bottici, Sam McKinniss, Adrian Matejka, and Audrey Wollen

From those written by the Futurists to the Surrealists, the Black Panthers to the Unabomber, the manifesto remains a charismatic genre that persists despite the waning of utopic politics and unified avant-garde movements. This session invites contributors to engage with this form and its myriad applications as: a call to action, theatrical exercise, prescriptive fiction, or a platform for extremist philosophizing or paradoxical pontification.

Chiara Bottici is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research. Professor Bottici has written on myth, imagination, ancient and early modern philosophy, the Frankfurt School, psychoanalysis, feminism, and contemporary social and political philosophy. She is currently at work on a book on Anarcha-feminism.

Sam McKinniss is an artist and writer based in New York. McKinniss’s writing is regularly published in Artforum. His manifesto will address how an artist should be.

Adrian Matejka is the author of The Devil’s Garden (2003) and Mixology (2009). His third collection of poems, The Big Smoke (2013), was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize. His most recent book of poetry (Map to the Stars), was published in 2017. Among Matejka’s other honors are a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and a Simon Fellowship from United States Artists. He is the Ruth Lilly Professor of Poetry at Indiana University Bloomington and currently serves as Poet Laureate for the state of Indiana.

Audrey Wollen is a writer and artist who lives in New York. Most recently, Wollen’s artwork has appeared at the Museum of Modern Art Warsaw; Barischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe; the Washington Square Windows at 80wse gallery, New York; as well as in a one-artist exhibition at Steve Turner Gallery, Los Angeles. Her critical writing has appeared and is forthcoming in Affidavit, The Nation, and Bookforum. She is currently pursuing a PhD at The Graduate Center, CUNY. She will present a manifesto on men.

Image L to R: Adrian Matejka, Chiara Bottici, Audrey Wollen, Sam McKinness.


May 21, 2019
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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The Drawing Center
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The Drawing Center
35 Wooster
New York, NY 10013 United States
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