Facing Forward: Lecture Evening #3

Speakers: David Summers & Amelia Jones

Date: Friday, January 13th

Location: Aula, University of Amsterdam (Oude Lutherse Kerk), Singel 411 (corner Spui), Amsterdam

Time: 8:00 – 10:30 pm

Language: English

On Friday, January 13th the third event in the lecture series Facing Forward: Art & Theory from a Future Perspective will take place, on the theme of FUTURE HISTORY. The speakers of this evening are art historians and critics David Summers (USA) and Amelia Jones (UK/USA). Following the two lectures, there will be a debate with experts and the public, moderated by Kathryn Brown, Professor of Art History at Tilburg University. Dutch curator en art critic Steven ten Thije (NL) will provide an introduction statement.

In contemporary art and theory, there is renewed interest in the concepts of history, archiving, and cultural memory. This is described by Dieter Roelstraete as the “historiographic turn,” in which artists, exhibition makers, and critics adopt an archaeological modus operandi, meticulously examining the traces of the past. Does this obsession with history indicate an inability to look at the future? Should we and can we jettison the concept of “history” so that we can look at the future once again?

One question that presents itself is whether this sort of attempt to sideline history does not essentially imply a return to the postmodern thinking of Francis Fukuyama and Arthur C. Danto. At the end of the 20th century, they explained that we are living in a post-historic age. This is allegedly a time in which only contemporary matters and the future are important; in a sense, it’s the end of the line in which history no longer exists. Is this conceptual model, an early version of Facing Forward, still relevant to our time, or can we focus on the future in a different way? In other words, how does Facing Forward 2.0 look in relation to the past?

About Facing Forward: Art & Theory from a Future Perspective

The Facing Forward series consists of seven lecture and debate evenings addressing urgent themes that together envision possible futures for contemporary art and theory, offering innovative models and strategies for today’s artistic practices.

The complete program is as follows:

#1 FUTURE TECH - December 7‚ 2011, 8 pm

Speakers: Manuel DeLanda & Amber Case

#2 FUTURE IMAGE - December 14, 2011, 8 pm

Speakers: James Elkins & Jalal Toufic

#3 FUTURE HISTORY - January 13, 2012, 8 pm

Speakers: Amelia Jones & David Summers

#4 FUTURE FREEDOM – February 9, 2012, 8 pm

Speakers: Paul Chan & Hito Steyerl

#5 FUTURE MUSEUM - March 8, 2012, 8 pm

Speakers: Hans Belting & Iwona Blazwick

#6 FUTURE CITY - March 2012, 8 pm

Speakers: Rem Koolhaas (among others)

#7 FUTURE’S FUTURE - April 2012, 8 pm

Speakers: To be announced

Practical information:

Language: All lecture evenings will be held in English.

Location: Oude Lutherse Kerk, Spui 411 (corner Spui), Amsterdam.

Editorial board:

Jelle Bouwhuis (SMBA), Ann Demeester (de Appel arts centre), Hendrik Folkerts (Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam), Christoph Lindner (ASCA, University of Amsterdam), Domeniek Ruyters (Metropolis M), Margriet Schavemaker (Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam), and Tim Voss (W139).

For the full program, more information on the topics, speakers, and ticket sales, as well as information regarding the workshops, please visit our website www.facingforward.nl. Also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.


De Appel arts center

Metropolis M


Stedelijk Museum

University of Amsterdam



De Groene Amsterdammer


Sns Reaal

Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst

Mondriaan Stichting

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