On Precarity and the Freedom f-r-o-m Security

Ana Vujanović (2016)

A review of the book State of Insecurity: Government of the Precarious by Isabell Lorey, published by Verso in 2015.

 

The political theorist Isabell Lorey is one of the most striking European voices in the recent debate on precarity and precarization – terms that describe the systematic inequalities wrought by neoliberalism in the name of financial crisis and austerity, and which lead to such recent phenomena as militarized violence and xenophobia. For reference, Lorey draws from political and biopolitical theory, feminism, gender and postcolonial studies, as well as the interventions made by social and political movements, such as Euromayday, Occupy, and 15-M. This invigorating intersectionalism has created a potent critical platform for analyzing the present moment.

State of Insecurity: Government of the Precarious is Aileen Derieg’s translation of Lorey’s book Die Regierung der Prekären (2012). It is her first book to appear in English, though she is the author of numerous works of cultural and political theory in German. Here Lorey is particularly concerned with the neoliberal “state of insecurity” and how it relates to the process of precarization. Lorey’s long-term research on precarity leads her to the question of neoliberal government, of government through and by insecurity. The first line of the book makes this clear: “If we fail to understand precarization, then we understand neither the politics nor the economy of the present” (1).

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PERFORMING THE SELF (currently running)

Transdisciplinary research project (2015-...) by Bojana Cvejić, Marta Popivoda and Ana Vujanović

 

After the twentieth century has been cast as the century of the self, the question arises of how the contemporary expressions of the self in the public and private domains of social life could be best accounted for. According to a prominent thesis of diverse approaches in social sciences throughout the twentieth century, the self is constructed through performances and technologies that rest on the metaphors of theatricality and choreography. Thus the notable analytical models of the self being constructed through performance include body techniques and habitus (Marcel Mauss, Norbert Elias, Pierre Bourdieu); act and gesture (Michael Bahktin), social roles and performance of the self (Erving Goffman), technologies of the self (Michel Foucault), man as actor (Richard Sennett), and performing identity (Judith Butler). The project investigates the contemporary practices of the self in search of a model that best describes and interprets their current form, basing itself on the contemporary theories of performance, dance and theater.

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(Cultural) Workers Gone Political

Ana Vujanović (2014/15)

This article presents a brief discussion on contemporary artists citizens. It will examine the public life, and the political activity in particular (vita activa), of the critical cultural worker in neoliberal capitalist society. Here, a critical cultural worker—theoretician, artist, curator, journal editor, cultural producer, etc.—means the one who wants and tries to be political,[1] hence the cultural worker gone political. The purpose of the article is to unpack, through discussing dubious politicality of the critical cultural worker, a tension between the work and the politics in today’s society, and to propose a few thoughts on what the politics today could be and how it could look like once we recognize its classical definition as socially and historically inadequate.

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Public Sphere by Performance

Public Sphere by Performance, with Bojana Cvejic
Berlin: b_books (in cooperation with co-publisher: Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers), 2012, 2015 second edition

publ sphere front

reviews:

  • Juliane Debeusscher, “Public Sphere by Performance”, Critique d’art [En ligne], 2012. Read here
  • Marko Đorđević, “Ana Vujanović, Bojana Cvejić, The Public Sphere by Performance, 2012. recenzija”, Art + Media, Journal of Art and Media Studies no. 6, 2014. Read here

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Performing Ideology // Madrid, 2013

full title: Ana Vujanović, "Performing Ideology: Immunitas and communitas in today’s neoliberal democratic society"

a lecture given at the international seminar No hay mas poesía que la acción (There is no other poetry than action) (the program of the seminar: in Spanish, in English)
Museo Reina Sofía / Artea
April 12-13, 2013, Madrid

Ana Vujanović’s lecture at: 01.52.00-02.22.30 min

Watch live streaming video from museoreinasofia at livestream.com