Tues, 6 Dec - 7 pm
(Reception 7-7:30pm)


Free and open to the public.

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Anarchy and the Imagination

Figur (detail), 1989 - Roman Signer

Anarchy and the Imagination | A lecture by Kevin McCoy

Organized from the artist’s perspective, this lecture takes a speculative and critical look at the interrelation between anarchy and the imagination. Imagination is assumed to be the primary resource for artists, one that is best used by rejecting constraints through an attitude of limitlessness and radical personal freedom. It is celebrated for its ability to enable people to ‘think outside of the box,’ to innovate and to surprise. Anarchy, as a social and political idea, receives a far more ambivalent welcome. From it’s linguistic roots meaning ‘without a ruler,’ it would seem to be a fellow traveler to the imagination, seeking to scale up the transformative potential of the imagination to a social and political scale. But if it is a change in scale, it is one that then challenges us to examine closely the implications of the imagination and to engage with the full complexity of anarchy.

The talk will explore these ideas through a range of texts and artworks. Ultimately it will consider the question of lawlessness, violence and insurrection by looking at the writings of Valerie Solanas, the Unibomber, Tiqqun and the Anonomous Collective.

About Kevin KcCoy
Kevin McCoy is an Associate Professor of Art at New York University and at New York University Abu Dhabi. His artwork, produced collaboratively with his wife Jennifer McCoy, has been shown at museums and galleries around the world including recent exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, pkm Gallery (Beijing), La Maison Rouge (Paris), and the British Film Institute (London). The McCoys are 2011 Guggenheim Foundation Fellows and are currently at work adapting apocalyptic short stories by J. G. Ballard for an animated feature film.