28 King Street
G1 5QP


  • Location : Barnes Lecture Theatre, 9-11 West Graham Street G4 9LE
  • Date : Tuesday, 08 December
  • Time : 7pm - 9pm
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We're pleased to announce that on Tuesday 8th December at 7 o'clock writer and critic Jan Verwoert will join us for an evening talk:

The Aspirational (appetite, recalcitrance, cure)

Turn shit into gold: the alchemy of all ages. Who would know best how to do this trick if not those who need the money and have the bite because they come from where all industry died (Birmingham etc). Aspirational art? Is there any other? Middle class moralists dream of high-minded workers and can't quite tolerate that talent from below tends to go by the names of Ripley, Lazarillo, Krull…

But now that virtual splendour is but a mouseclick away and one could so easily copy and paste onself into fantasies of any kind, aspiration passes its expiry date quickly. And then where do spirits go? On zombie crawls through shopping malls, to live in a flat by the beach, get high, expire and exhale the aspirations of 20th century subjecthood, so it dissolves in a blue clowd of valium bliss?

Or is there still something to be said for the sensation of arriving in the desert of aspiration with one's body and stubborn self in tow, and feeling one's exhausted metabolism clamouring for something spiritual to feed on? Like: offline, IRL. What would those/us who (still) arrive with their/our body, aspire to find but some medicine and alchemy that could actually render life possible?

Jan Verwoert is a critic and writer on contemporary art and cultural theory, based in Berlin. He is a contributing editor of frieze magazine, his writing has appeared in different journals, anthologies and monographs. He is a professor for theory at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts and teaches at the Piet Zwart Institute Rotterdam, and the de Appel curatorial programme. He is the author of Bas Jan Ader: In Search of the Miraculous, MIT Press/Afterall Books 2006, the essay collection Tell Me What You Want What You Really Really Want, Sternberg Press/Piet Zwart Institute 2010, together with Michael Stevenson, Animal Spirits — Fables in the Parlance of Our Time, Christoph Keller Editions, JRP, Zurich 2013 and a second collection of his essays Cookie! published by Sternberg Press/Piet Zwart Institute 2014.

Entry is free however we recommend getting down early for those after a seat!