Reading Group: Performativity as Technique of the Self

December 8, 2018, 1 – 2:30 PM

Please join us for a public reading group and discussion led by Griffin’s Curatorial Assistants, Mitra Kazemi and Bahar Mohazabinia.

The works in Griffin Art Projects’ current exhibition, Flower Petal Tongues, are united by their relation to performance and performativity, either as text, documentation, or objects. In conjunction with the central themes of the exhibition, which highlight spectatorship, durational viewing, and object-to-body relations, we will read from the chapter ‘The Young-Girl as Technique of the Self’ in Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl by Tiqqun. A mediation on the “anthropomorphosis of Capital” in modern society, and expressed in dozens of disjointed, cryptic theses, Theory of the Young-Girl diagnoses the the forms of the ‘living spectacle’ that have emerged in the wake of Capital’s total colonization of the feminine, consumptive, reproductive, and bodily spheres of life. Tiqqun proposes the format of the ‘Young-Girl’ as a way of speaking about the disorientating feminization of consumption and self-hood within capitalism. To create a historical basis for our discussion, we will also be reading from a short selection of materials by feminist theorist Silvia Federici and philosopher Giorgio Agamben.

In this public program, we will collectively read excerpts from the texts and discuss them in relation to the works on view in Flower Petal Tongues. We will encourage open discussion and engagement with the texts and the artworks to conceptualize new meanings and nuanced interpretations of artmaking and objecthood through the figure of the ‘Young-Girl.’

“Identity without the Person” (pg. 46-54) in Nudities by Giorgio Agamben. (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011).
“Why Sexuality is Work” (pg. 23-27) in Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle by Silvia Federici. (Oakland: PM Press, 2012).
“The Young-Girl as Technique of the Self” (pg 48-61), in Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young Girl by Tiqqun. (Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2012).

Please email for advance copies of the readings. Hard copies will be available on the day of. Familiarity with the material is preferable, but we will also be reading the texts aloud together at the session.

This event is free and open to the public. Coffee and refreshments will be served.