“What forms can cultural production take now? To what changes must it adapt in relation to how cultural production and its work are organized within the totality of life under capitalism, and within the frame of contemporary art? Having started in 2015 as a production-space for art, Rib takes the history and legacy of artistic production and the actual conditions of the current situation as points of reference, and lets itself collide with the tensions in this configuration. Rib positions itself as a smaller player in an institutional fabric that is made up of museums, medium-scale presentation-spaces and so-called small-scale ‘independent’ spaces. Its aim is to test this current institutional constellation of artistic production than can be characterized as having morphed into platforms for artistic production, incorporating the production of aesthetics and of knowledge-production—as form of internal critique—extending the range of functions in artistic production, from which an enhanced potential of institutional production and of political ambition is presented: the ambition of contemporary art. Understood as the trans-global institutional production of art that is to accommodate the geographic and cultural differences in one binding format and time.1 This approach is part of a more general development that can be observed where artists and institutes, reconfigure their modes of production as response, in an effort to reclaim a space of production under capitalism.
It is the multifaceted platform-function of the exhibition-space of Rib itself that is positioned towards this question as a performative medium of exploration, critique and expression. Rib’s operation is to simultaneously address the possibilities and bottlenecks of artistic production now, and to extend on this through its production. What needs to be re-assessed, re-visited, re-framed qua the difference between the potential of art—as ambition towards the realization of conditions to production, and the conditions and operation of production in c a’s current manifestation under capitalist subsumption? The system of contemporary art that produces the artistic object is understood here as the ‘assemblage’ of positions in production: curating, the institute, the artist and communication that jointly author the ‘object’ produced from this assemblage.2 How are the characteristics of cognitive capitalism, as capitalism’s most recent iteration, of effect in the realization of this ‘object’? And how does it contribute to its form that accommodates this space for autonomy, and its subsequent agency?
How can an exhibition-space be thought of as medium for production, and as medium for critique within these conditions? How can the legacies of our artistic past, notably that of conceptual art, within our present conditions inform a trajectory for action. Rib does this by focussing on and deploying the characteristic elements in the current form of production: aspects of distribution and curating, of time and space of production, and the notion of ‘work’ as an integrated form of production, raising once more the problem of autonomy in production. […]”
Read: ‘Rib — Mirroring productionism’ by Jack Segbars
1 I here refer to Peter Osborne’s definition of Contemporary Art’s commission. Peter Osborne, Anywhere or Not at All, Verso, 2013
2 Here I follow Peter Osborne’s conceptualization of authorship in Contemporary Art artistic as issue of the cycle of positions in production, Peter Osborne, Anywhere or Not at All, Verso, London/New York, 2013
“An introductory note: this text continues as a kind of response on the previous text about the Rib (the place that is definitely not a gallery, and is probably best defined as “artist-run space”) written by Jack Segbars [link]. It is highly recommended for the reader to attend to the Jack’s text before reading what follows in order to get introduced with the works produced and presented by Rib this text continues the more general line of discussion and provides no such information.
As a part of different Rib’s moves to produce the own reflection or what is often mistakenly equalized with institutional critique1 and what this text would view differently as a certain “Production of Space”2 this series of texts is initiated by Maziar Afrassiabi (the founder, director, curator and first of all the artist of Rib)3. It is envisioned as a kind of a critical debate among the several commissioned critics but it is also allowed to immediately break lose and dissolve in the messy world of critical writing.4 Themes topics methods and approaches in contemplating the existence and the consequence of Rib are left entirely open and at the discretion and sovereignty of the writers (what is not to be equalized with an “open-ended” approach; the argument for this will be proposed towards the end of this text). And so is the future of this debate at the moment it is probably only Maziar who can be aware of all the possibilities this series of texts can bring to the fore and in what shape and form this correspondence will surface to the public as another “production of Rib”.
On a personal note this particular text presented me with one yet unexperienced difficulty to bring it to (any) end.5 Surely I am not alone in this and it is probably so 2018 thing to say. Let’s see if 2019 offers any endings if that is what we need for the world to be set in motion once again. […]”
Read: ‘Notes on Rib, RibRib, RibRibRib: PREDICAMENTS PREDICATES PARADIGMS PEDAGOGY’ by Vlidi Vladimir Jerić
1 This according to the formula: Institutional critique = ouside of institutions = interventionism Institutional Reflection = inside of institutions = reformism (credit: Jelena Vesić).
2 In the first part of this text Rib will be observed as a “production of a (certain) space” (any and all references to the Lefebvre’s book intended) and will offer a more direct response and dialogue with Jacks’ text. The second part will be purely speculative and hopefully also propositional. Or it will be the other way around. Let’s find out along the way.
3 This alone makes Maziar Afrassiabi a proper curator and not just an enabler a producer or manager a middleman with a vision and an entrepreneurial urge or capacity or instinct. The role of the function and of the figure of “curator” will be examined further in this text. Probably.
4 [This is how I imagine was the perspective of Maziar during the previous 18 months or so: the entire “writing project” became a kind of immediate transfusion of the particular problems and dysfunctions from one realm to another. The writers will want to answer on the questions no one actually asked in the volumes not comprehendible nor manageable by the artists or any other humans finishing their work way later than anyone expected. What was supposed to be a quick affair of instigating the chain of responses to what seemed a (relatively) straightforward question of Rib became a long and exhausting campaign to extract and make sense of any particular statement from the exhausted but also exalted pool of half-mad writers.]
5 It has been a year ago when I started filling page after page with both how I imagined what a “response” to Jack’s text should be—I have never tested this procedure formally before—and with what I thought is something I could bring to this debate. All these pages appeared eventually at odds with the ways of the world and the facts of life rapidly collapsing into a single dark spot both as a cold measurable fact and as a personal subjective affair. Nothing I wrote seemed relevant anymore. The sense of helplessness and depression can be perhaps explained but is hardly understood on the other hand the experience of 2018 is something we understand as happening but seems not easy to explain. Eventually I decided to archive my non-understandable research and response HERE in the hope it will make sense once what remains are the non-explainable parts as you are about to witness in this text.
Launched in 2018, Rib Unresolved Issues is an online publication of mostly but not only textbased perpetually unfinished reflections and conversations on Rib’s activities including interviews essays and poetry. This format overtly approaches writing on art as a form of propaganda and persuasion thus treating it here as a theatrical and literary form. An open ended self-case-studying as a form of diagnostic production. The texts are mostly part of a chain reaction of comissioned writing progressively dilluting the editorial and material reference that is Rib.
The first text in this chain, is by Jack Segbars. The initial draft of his text was completed before the program of 2019 took off, hence it does not include any examples from our program post 2018. The reaction to this text is by Vlidi Vladimir Jerić, followed by Mohammad Salemy and others, who will be announced later.