by Solitude fellows

Schlossghost #1

In its new collective publication, Schlossghost #1, Akademie Schloss Solitude examines the ways in which politics meet artistic and aesthetic practices in contemporary societies. For this the Solitude-fellows who had residencies in 2014, 2015 and early 2016 were invited to reflect on following questions: »Would you say that your practice is political? If so, how would you describe its political dimension?« Schlossghost #1 takes over the role of the traditional yearbooks by the Akademie. Every second year since 1990 they were summarizing all the facets of the work done in Solitude and maintained as a final truth Stéphane Mallarmé’s affirmation that »the ultimate state of the world is a book«. This new publication has lost its materiality and exists only as a virtual yearbook, or one could say as the ghost of a book. WWW.SCHLOSS-GHOST.COM

(All) Music is Political

The filmmaker Costas Gavras has said throughout his career that every film is a political film. I deeply agree with his position, since no matter what you choose to show on screen, it will, in one way or another, take a political stand, either by making a statement, or by not making one. In this sense, I believe that my artistic practice as a contemporary music composer is political, not only for what it is, what it chooses to be,

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Solitude & Chess : Developing New Perspectives

When I first received an email from Solitude regarding the Schlossghost yearbook, I was thrilled! Thrilled because I thoroughly loved my experience at Solitude, and was excited at the prospect of being a part of the yearbook. However my excitement was short-lived, as I soon came to the part on the »topic.« I felt it was something only the »artists« in the true sense of the word could contribute to, while I, being a professional chess player, would have absolutely

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Spatial Structures — An Outcome of Political Processes?

The decisions of politicians have an important influence on the way we can use a city, how we can spend our time in the public space, if we feel comfortable there, if we find places where we can meet and chat with people, spaces where the city can produce its own habits. The political course of a government or a city government has an immense impact on the way we feel in a city. By analyzing the city’s spatial structures,

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Esthetic Entities

Retroactive Self-constitution In the past ten years, entities with a complex esthetic operativity emerged in the zones of dance and visual arts of Bucharest. Attempts at understanding them are mostly made by insiders, as is the case of this text. Apart from the necessity of grasping what are you part of and to figure these entities out, self-reflection functions as an engine that self-constitutes them. The entities expand in the direction in which they conceptualize themselves; they shape themselves through

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Shards of a Broken Mirror

War in You and in Me War in you and in me. Civil war. All-encompassing. I’m tired. Read me a story, take the stockings off your right and left feet and lie down on the sofa with me, quiet and virginal without a hint of gender, in the nameless living room. While the Russians stick each other with knives. While soldiers stomp on women’s breasts in prisons and cellars. Tanks move slowly, tanks move in columns. Let’s be husband and

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Ver nieve (To See Snow), HDV, 2016

Whether it addresses political issues directly or not, I think all work is political. This was my initial, knee-jerk reaction to the question. But if we think of the political as the ideological organization of the public sphere, of the common, I begin to doubt my initial statement. As some would say, »my art can’t vote,« neither will it change policies. But it does have the capacity to, among other things, question givens, broaden our scope of possibilities and narratives,

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My Father Has a Gun

my father has a gun when I was born, my father had already gone to war. he was in Guinea-Bissau, which used to be a Portuguese colony or a province, as our dictator Salazar used to call it he was the Minister of the Portuguese Finances and I wonder why most dictators were finance ministers. my father was always a silent person. I always wondered why he was so silent, although I love silent people. – I am a silent person

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The »Write« Thing between Art and Politics

I would love to describe my practice as social and cultural. But I won’t succeed with that description. Politics has a strong grip on my artistic practice. My artwork dwells very much on socialcultural problems; about social justice as well as social and cultural integration. It is the search for a solution that gives it a political twist. However much I insist on having zero interest in politics, politics pulls closer to the door, to understand or not to withstand

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Would You Say that Your (Artistic) Practice is Political?

Annemarie Ni Churreain, June 2016 Even as a child I was aware of a political atmosphere, a particular tension underlying the everyday. I grew up in northwest Donegal in the 1980s, flanked on one side by the Atlantic, on the other by a troubled political border. It was by most standards a wild, free experience of the world, though I remember what it meant to cross the border at night and see a gun over the rim of a car

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Test Sample from »Classes« The clip is part of preparations for a video called Classes. Its principal idea is presenting relations of class formation as compositional constellations of and within filmic shots. Therefore, direct narrations or motifs on social class will be neglected. For me, working about and with such explored compositional constellations does not necessarily make my art practice political, but it is an attempt to work with and against film as a societal form of the audiovisual, which also always separates.

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The Art, the Political Conjuncture, and the Left

1. Do I consider my work political? I was asked to reflect upon my own artistic practice, practice that I develop with my theater collective BADco., and describe if its political or not. [1] To start, I can immediately say that our work is not directly political. Colleagues in my collective would probably beg to disagree, yet I’ll explain

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  1. Jump Up This is a reworked version of the talk delivered at the symposium titled »Perfect Harmony« within the Transitions festival, Athens, November 27–28, 2015.

Is My Writing Political?

No. My writing is not political. For me writing is mainly about the aesthetics of the work. As a fiction writer, I think I would be presumptuous to imagine that I have an understanding of politics good enough to take on the role of political commentator, especially through my work. Writers are not political scientists. While some writers also work as journalists and scholars in the field of political science and other social sciences, one feels that an overlap of

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Gazaעזה غزة

At the end of 2012 Israel conducted an »operation« in the Gaza strip, mainly attacking different »targets« by air force. The official pretext was to strengthen the deterrence impact of Israel, following the rockets sent by Hamas. Attacks like this also occurred in 2008 and in the summer of 2014, with names like »Operation Cast Lead,« »Strong Cliff,« and »Pillar of Cloud.« I didn’t feel very strong. I felt weak and hollow. I felt that the children in Gaza and southern

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Oh Mensch plays »Entfernte Ergänzung« by Matthias Spahlinger   Oh Mensch is a guitar duo formed by Matthias Koole and Kobe Van Cauwenberghe. Both musicians are part of a scene that emphasizes new formats, multidisciplinarity and alternative concert situations. Oh Mensch is the result of the necessity felt by both musicians to render the classical guitar duo it’s participation in innovative musical/performative experiences.


Precipitations is a video work filmed in Kowloon, Hong Kong, during the rainy spring of 2013, less a forecast than a portrait of the city, drawn via the journeys of several people involved with art and social activism to varying degrees. It falls within the precipices of an everyday and the realm of change, where such change comes about by the breadth of a footstep, with the crossing of a threshold, through the struggle for sociopolitical transformation. Focusing on four

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Political Academic Normcore

Academic institutions today are often described as bureaucratic apparatuses that transform knowledge-seeking and driven researchers either into administrators or into adjuncts working under precarious conditions. But this is only half of the truth. Most of the conferences, symposia, and research projects that are produced under such conditions show that academic institutions have a political and moral function as well. Many cultural researchers not only reject the modern idea and possibility of a neutral, objective science as ideological flaws, but they

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A Rancierian Note on the Permanent Oscillation Between Art and Politics

Collective Re-Orient (Gal Kirn and Niloufar Tajeri) has only recently more directly intervened into what is called the »expanded field« of art, because the work we do is a combination of critical theory research and spatial intervention. In the project Thinking the Monument to (Sub)urban Riots, which started at Solitude, we wanted to introduce the possibility of a certain »permanence« of spatial inscription of those political events demonized by the moral majority and precarious in their duration. Returning to Jacques Rancière’s

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Slowly Making Visible

In my artistic practice I am interested in how history is written and rewritten depending on the case, ideology, or political agenda it promotes, and how marginalized groups are being represented in it. My work deals with power structures, identity, memory, the construction of history, and architecture, looking at how these interlinked phenomena are interpreted and represented culturally and spatially. By investigating how sites and our perceptions of them are affected by construction and reconstruction of history, sociopolitical and architectural

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Closing the Gap

Beyond straightforward ideas that come to mind when I think about politics, a more general association I make is one of conformity; governance as it applies to a set group, and ways of asserting some kind of control within it. But how do we define groups of people, and how do we negotiate the politics around the inevitable intersections between these boundaries – what are the politics of simply belonging and existing? The Caribbean is a region constantly struggling with

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I’m Not Coming

There is no way to think or make a work about everyday events and avoid the political and cultural circumstances in which we live, love, and operate on an everyday level. It is almost impossible to make a gesture that is not political.


Yogurt   Flags Loud scream Protests And statements: I would focus on small gestures Cut off the detail And add the tail of a bird. Close-up Microwaves Tiny bacterium: I would rather convert milk Into yogurt Than offer it raw

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The Refusal

from »The Refusal« Even heroic refusals often aren’t that heroic though some are more heroic than others.– Anne Boyer In memoriam, Tony Conrad   Or by hugging the cops Or by posing with them in photos Or by cooking them a hot meal Or by standing beside them and farting Or by pining away for G. W. Bush publicly Or by kissing a bust of him and serenading him with a guitar Or by blocking the way of traffic

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