The Art of the Question – A Question of Art
To understand a work of art or research, Walter Benjamin claims, requires one to identify the question posed by the artist or researcher. The problem, however, arises as the solution is embedded in the work and the originary question has been removed. Identifying the question posed is a complex procedure that requires rewriting history. Understanding the question, Benjamin argues, changes the explanation and the historical narrative of the work completely. Such an understanding transforms our perception of the present.
Works of art, curatorial projects as well as academic research, pose questions. The questions are posed by artists or researchers, to and for viewers, to readers, to critics. What is a question? Why are questions necessary for a project, not only in the arts or in the sciences? How are questions formed and composed? In this seminar, we will examine the practice and theoretical discussions of posing questions.
What is a question? How is a question compiled? These are the questions this seminar will pose. We will examine the concept of the question and its history. We will read those who posed questions: Socrates, Descartes, Rousseau, Kant, Nietzsche, Freud, Lacan, Heidegger, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Derrida, Foucault, Deleuze, Haraway, Malabou, Hayles, in addition to reviewing works of art.