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Politics of Feelings / Economies of Love brings about a set of reflections on the possible relation between ideology and social emotions, sexuality and nationalism, love and emotional community within nationalist and/or market fundamentalism. In attempts to find out how these issues were tackled in film, visual arts and architecture, we are trying to draw some new lines of understanding love as a tissue in which ideological, political, social and economic meanings are inscribed.

As we have witnessed over the past few decades, the mass politics of passion can often be a major driving force in the contemporary political arena. The “politics of emotions” represents the core of identity politics. To paraphrase Vjeran Katunaric in his article “The politics of memory”, the rulers of societal emotions are ideologies and their instruments of mass politics, primarily the media. Consequently, it can be said that our social and emotional capacities often limit our cognitive horizons. With respect to ideological speech, we are interested in its representation in language and image. According to Susan Sontag, the utopian aesthetics deployed in Nazi propaganda (i.e., identity as a biological given) implies an ideal eroticism (sexuality transformed into the magnetism of a leader and his joyful followers). The transformation of sexual energy into a spiritual force for the benefit of the community is the fascist ideal. Our interest is twofold: firstly, we are interested in the politics of emotions within the dominant political discourse, including the sexuality/sexualisation of ideological speech, and secondly, in its relation to the emotional community of two or more individuals.

This was (more or less) the message we e-mailed to a number of artists, theorists and cultural workers. The first k.r.u.ž.o.k. public event which included film screenings, lecture performances and talks was done in collaboration with the invited guests who responded to our message offering a certain shift in the form, i.e. interdisciplinary presentations, artistic explorations, lecture performances or film research. These included the Bureau of Melodramatic Research (BMR) and Florin Flueras from Bucharest as well as Romana Schmalisch and Robert Schlicht from Berlin.

Contributors: The Bureau of Melodramatic Research, Clare Butcher, Jasmina Cibic, Sebastian Cichocki, Marija Dremaite, (Bob Dylan), Fokus Grupa, Thomas Hirschhorn, Marina Naprushkina, Ana Peraica, Tihana Puc

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