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Updated: Oct 22, 2019

4.11.2019, The Masaryk Room, SSEES, UCL, 1-3pm.

Perverse pyraMMMids of wild capitalism under attack. Moscow 2016.

"The Perils of Perversion in The Age of Populism"

A PPV Reading Week Reading Group (PPV ReWeReGo) with Keti Chukhrov

Is it actually subversive to be perverted? Or do liberal democracies and capitalist institutions fully subsume perversion into their dominant ideologies? What form does perversion play in the politics and aesthetics of post-socialist authoritarianism, and in the alt-right populist authoritarianism of the late 2010s?

In 2013, Keti Chukhrov wrote:

"We know how often criticism has been prohibited in post-Soviet countries. But at the same time, these cases of prohibition do not mean that the authority is against perversion or subversion, but rather that the authority itself must remain the principal source of such perverse acts. The Russian conceptual writer Vladimir Sorokin has shown well in his writings how the drive for perversion manifests itself in the behavior of an authoritarian and sovereign power. In this case, perversity and transgression have nothing to do with freedom, even if the stance remains quite different from the post-Fordist Western treatment of the role of subversion."

In this reading group, we will re-visit Keti's short text, written in the wake of Pussy Riot's arrest and Putin's return to the Presidency; but at a time when the global normcore neoliberal center felt confident that it was holding its ground. What has happened during the intervening half-decade, as the forces of alt-right populism have swept to power throughout the world? How has power become perverted, and should we respond by politicizing perversion?

Essential Reading: Keti Chukhrov, "Epistemological Gaps between the Former Soviet East and the 'Democratic' West". First published in E-Flux #41, January 2013.

Extended version re-published in Ana Janevska (et al.) 2018 (eds.), Art and Theory of Post-1989 Central and Eastern Europe: A Critical Anthology. New York: MoMA Primary Documents. Download here.

Due to space constraints, attendance in PPV will be limited to 20 people. Please register by emailing politicalaesthetics@gmail.com

1pm: Gathering, lunch

1:30pm: Introduction by Keti Chukhrov

2pm-3pm Discussion and consumption


Updated: Oct 21, 2019

1.11.2019, The Forum, Institute for Advanced Studies, UCL, 6-8pm.

Perverted Utopia: The Politics of Fictional Institutions and Other Communist Pyramids”

A lecture by Gluklya

The practice of Natalya Pershina-Yakimanskaya (Gluklya) closely orbits the notion of utopian agency as a strategy to critique power, and to awaken sensitivity to everyday oppression and its normalising effects.

In projects such as “Carnival of the Oppressed Feelings”, “Museum of Utopian Clothes” and “Utopian Unemployment Union” the notion of distance from reality plays a crucial role in destabilising the institution and its hierarchies, which naturally tend towards closing down potentialities for change and reform, or of any deviations from the chosen path; and in the construction of new forms and structures - such as communist pyramids, composed of human bodies - which might function as deviant engines for rebellion or change.

PPV invites Gluklya for an evening of utopian, perverted and pyrammidal reflections on the agency of resistance in her continuous artisic practice, which create heterotopic public spaces, agoras in times of extreme (hidden, invisibilised and therefore normalised) alienation, capitalisation and commercialisation.

Gluklya's artist talk will be followed by an interactive workshop where the audience will be invited to become co-authors of the growing perverted community (perhaps rhizomatic, perhaps pyrammidal) of utopian institutions challenging the static, everlasting nature of the political status quo.

🥒18.00 - 18:30: artist talk by Gluklya (moderated by PPV convenors)

🥒18.30 - 18:45: Q&A with the audience

🥒18.45 - 19:15: utopian institutionalism co-creation workshop

🥒19:15 - 20.00: reception


PPV#10 is organised in collaboration with the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Art at the UCL Department the History of Art.

Updated: Jul 5, 2019

12.6.2019, The Forum, Institute for Advanced Studies, UCL, 5-8pm

Unedited audio-recording available here. Scroll down for photos.

Defining the Elephant in the Room 


For the final event in this academic year, PPV invites you to join us for an experimental reading and talking group.

Each participant is invited to bring along a book, a chapter, a page from a text, an object, a picture of an artwork, a screenshot of a video, an event poster - or any other material that influenced their way of defining (or perverting) power. The object/text in question may have helped to arrive at a shorter, more concise, or more precise definition; or allowed it to become a more accurate or truthful (from participant’s perception) representation of the multi-fanged and many-headed phenomenon of power, which is at the centre of PPV’s inquiry. 

The convenors of the seminar will commence the discussion with the introduction of their inspirations, followed by participating researchers. The results of this experimental workshop will be used as the foundation of the ever-growing Dictionary of Power compiled by PPV.  

Prior to the workshop, the convenors of the seminar and horizontal-vertical governing body of FRINGE centre will present “The Palace of Ritual”, the first instalment of the PPV participation in the carnival of the Venice Biennale preview week as well as future plans for Palazzo Perverso in Serenissima (Ab Aeterno).

This event is targeted at (but not limited) to PhD students and early career researchers based at UCL and elsewhere in London. 

Please send expressions of interest (no more than 100 words) and a brief bio (no more than 50 words) by June 7th to politicalaesthetics@gmail.com. Registration will be limited to 20 participants. 

🥒17.00 - 17.30: Welcome aperitif 🍹

🥒17.30 - 18.00: Presentation of “The Palace of Ritual” in Palazzo Dona Brusa during the preview days of 58th Venice Biennale “May You Live in Interesting Times” with Alena Ledeneva, Peter Zusi, Michal Murawski, Maria Mileeva & Denis Maksimov 🏰🔮

🥒18.00-19.15: Perverting Power: Reading Round Workshop 🍆🍑🌺

🥒19.15 - 19.30: Closing remarks

🥒19.30-20.30: Reception 🧀🍷

The event will be held on June 12, Wednesday from 17.00 - 20.00. Drinks and food will be served in a festive, Venezia-inspired mood.




Politics + Aesthetics in the Global East


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