Bookshop Situation Series: Karl Katz Lydén, Poems and Parables on the Political Utility of Art

10 December 2021, 18:00–20:00

“Like a donkey dressed in zebra’s clothing, criticism can appear in a borrowed coat; perhaps it can even reveal itself in stolen poems. Here, among fables of donkeys, shoemakers and barricades, German angels and non-German angels, and a few lines from Emily Dickinson, the transformative possibilities of art are unfolded in the figure of labor.”

Welcome to the release of Poems and Parables on the Political Utility of Art by Karl Katz Lydén. It is a writing which may look like poetry, but which is better described as a kind of criticism. Taking up some recent disqualifications of art’s political potential, it refutes them in a threefold movement: against the notion of commodification of works of art; against the act of denouncing art as always already reified from the safe position of a pure, untouched theory; against the notions that art must either reveal our alienation, or produce immediate effects on the social sphere. Outlining art’s transformative possibilities in the figure of a certain labor, the argument is shaped among fables of donkeys, zebras from Gaza, apes from Adorno and a particular barricade from the Paris Commune.

The evening’s program includes:

18.30 Reading + Karl Katz Lydén in conversation with Fredrik Svensk
19.00 Drinks + Remote DJ Nina Canell and Robin Watkins

There will also be a display of the recent issue of Found Review 12 # Anti-fascism: Some Recent Swedish Publications

Karl Katz Lydén is a writer, critic, and translator. He is a doctoral researcher in philosophy at Södertörn University in Stockholm, writing his thesis on the notions of critique and care of the self in Michel Foucault’s late work. He is the founding editor of Found Review, a publication for art criticism that uses only found material.

Fredrik Svensk is an art theorist, active as a writer, critic, educator, editor and curator. His current research project is on art criticism and biopolitics. Editor-in-chief and publisher of Paletten Art Journal.

The Bookshop Situation Series at Index is based on events to present books, magazines, records and other artistic formats. The bookshop situation is a way to test content, to share it, to distribute it, offering situations to be part of a community of experimental producers and users.