SOUTH AS A STATE OF MIND #6 [documenta 14 #1] | Magazine Launch
Talks, Readings, Conversation, and Music to launch the documenta 14 publication program with
South as a State of Mind #6 [documenta 14 #1]
In Collaboration with SAVVY Contemporary
Featuring Akinbode Akinbiyi, Peter Friedl, Bouchra Khalili, and Françoise Vergès
With Marina Fokidis, Head of Artistic Office Athens, documenta 14; Quinn Latimer, Editor-in-Chief of Publications, documenta 14; Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Curator at Large, documenta 14; and Adam Szymczyk, Artistic Director, documenta 14
Music by Ahmet Ögüt / Ali Demirel // Ange da Costa // Browden, Sholar, Sammons Group // DJ Judex
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Possession and dispossession, displacement and debt—it seems that the stories that condition our present are inextricably born out of the stories that conditioned our past. The first of four special issues of South as a State of Mind, temporarily reconfigured as the documenta 14 journal, examines forms and figures of displacement and dispossession, and the modes of resistance—aesthetic, political, literary, biological—found within them. In essays, both literary and visual, as well as poems, speeches, diaries, conversations, and specially commissioned artist projects, the first issue of the d14 South considers dispossession as a historical and contemporary condition, and its connections to archaeology and the city, coloniality and performativity, debt and imperialism, provenance and repatriation, and feminism and protest.
To launch the inaugural issue of the d14 South, documenta 14 is organizing a series of public events—in Athens, Kassel, Berlin, Dhaka, and Kolkata—that bring the disparate voices of the journal, as well as those outside of it, into conversation in cities across the world. For the Berlin launch at SAVVY Contemporary, South contributors Peter Friedl and Françoise Vergès are joined by artists Bouchra Khalili and Akinbode Akinbiyi, as well as by documenta 14’s Adam Szymczyk, Quinn Latimer, Marina Fokidis, and Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, for an evening of talks, conversation, readings, and music.
In the first issue of the d14 South, Peter Friedl takes the reader for a stroll through the arcades and temporalities of “Chirico City,” the imaginary architectures of Giorgio de Chirico, born in an Italian colony in Volos, Greece, in 1888, and ever returning. Françoise Vergès, in her lucid essay for South titled “Like a Riot: The Politics of Forgetfulness, Relearning the South, and the Island of Dr. Moreau,” returns to her youth in Réunion and Algeria, gleaning the legacy of her South for today’s global economic world order. Berlin-based Nigerian photographer Akinbode Akinbiyi’s recent work has included photographic projects that focus on documenting major metropoles across Africa and the urban life they produce. Bouchra Khalili, a Moroccan-French artist, works in video and installation, using the tropes of documentary cinema to trace the history of anticolonial struggles, the stateless, and the displaced. In addition to presentations by these artists and thinkers, the evening at SAVVY Contemporary will be accompanied by musical interventions by Ahmet Ögüt / Ali Demirel, Ange Da Costa, VSS Trio (Eric Vaughn, Charles Sammons, Kelvin Sholar), and an afterparty with DJ Judex.
South as a State of Mind is a magazine that was founded by Marina Fokidis in Athens in 2012. Beginning in 2015, the magazine temporarily becomes the documenta 14 journal, publishing four special issues biannually until the opening of the exhibition in Athens and Kassel in 2017. These special issues are edited by Quinn Latimer, documenta 14’s editor-in-chief of publications, and documenta 14 artistic director Adam Szymczyk. The documenta 14 South is conceived as a place of research, critique, art, and literature that parallels the years of work on the d14 exhibition overall, one that helps define and frame its concerns and aims. As such, the journal is a manifestation of documenta 14 rather than a discursive lens through which to merely presage the topics to be addressed in the eventual exhibition. Writing and publishing, in all their forms, are an integral part of documenta 14, and the journal heralds that process.
In this collaboration with documenta 14, SAVVY Contemporary intensifies its efforts to explore critical discourses at the conceptual threshold between the West and the non-West, and spotlight theories from the Global South. The Berlin launch of the documenta 14 publication South as a State of Mind #6 [documenta 14 #1] also marks a new chapter in SAVVY Contemporary's history, as it moves into its new space, silent green in Berlin-Wedding.