Inclinations – Is the Intentional Abolition of Art Only More Art?

Inclinations #07
A Talk Series at Or Gallery Berlin
Oranienstr. 37, Berlin |

Tuesday January 14, 19:30
Or Gallery Berlin is pleased to present:

Anthony Iles
Is the Intentional Abolition of Art Only More Art?

Anthony Iles is the seventh guest of our speaker series Inclinations hosted by Patricia Reed. 

The evening lecture takes its title from a short response by a poet to a specific ‘incendiary incident’. 
Artistic gestures that act out the destruction of art are uncommonly frequent yet few, if any, carry the power or 
tension of avant-garde gestures of the past. In a period in which we are also seeing an increasing frequency of 
incidents – forms of ‘involuntary abolition’ – by which the monopoly of an artist over auto-destructive activity 
is becoming severely challenged, I’d like to pose some questions about serendipity and the labour of the 
negative in art specifically and in capitalist society more generally. 


Anthony Iles
Is a writer of criticism, fiction and theory. He is Deputy Editor of Mute,, an Associate 
Researcher at the UdK Graduate School and a project coordinator at the Post-Media Lab, Leuphana University 
in Lüneburg. He edited the book, Noise & Capitalism (2009), with Mattin, co-authored, with Josephine Berry 
Slater, No Room to Move: Radical Art and the Regenerate City, (2010) and, with Tom Roberts, All Knees and Elbows (2012). 
His current research draws upon Theodor Adorno’s notion of an ‘aesthetic relations of production’ and asks – what 
this term might mean for contemporary artistic and cultural practices in the current economic crisis?


Inclinations: A monthly speaker series at Or Gallery Berlin, hosting philosophers, artists, curators, and…

The presentation of work revolves around the posing of a question 
that is the thrust of a guest’s activities. It goes without saying that 
questions may not be answered, but are grappled with in their unresolvability. 
An inclination is the force of attraction to a question (without a straightforward response), 
yet also to each other, as a community who partakes in a common quest(ion).
  1. Arriving at a question is already a departure.
  2. Questions are a declaration of departure.
  3. Arriving at a question in thought or activity is also the creation of a trajectory, of inclining oneself towards an unknown goal, yet not without direction.
  4. A question inclines a departure in a particular way, but a question itself is generic – it propels all modes of seeking some thing. Questions possess the force of bending and swerving ideas/action.
  5. A question is the confrontation and departure from a lack. To arrive at a question is to arrive at a gap in knowledge, action and speech – a gap that cannot be immediately filled in without the inclination towards something other.
  6. A question is indisciplinary; the inclining magnetism of a question knows no disciplinary bounds.

About anti

Anthony Iles is currently a doctoral candidate at the School of Art & Design, Middlesex University. A founder member of the Full Unemployment Cinema. A contributing editor with Mute / Metamute since 2005. He is the author, with Josephine Berry-Slater, of the book, No Room to Move: Art and the Regenerate City (Mute Books, London 2011), contributing editor to the recent publications, Anguish Language: writing and crisis (Archive Books, Berlin, 2015), and Look at Hazards, Look at Losses (Mute/Kuda, 2017) and a contributor to Brave New Work: A Reader on Harun Farocki’s Film A New Product. Recent essays have been published in Mute, Radical Philosophy, Rab-Rab: Journal for Political and Formal Inquiries in Art and Logos.
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