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2009-11-11
WARSAW
UNDER CONSTRUCTION:
CITIES AND PROFIT
/ SEMINAR AT MOMA
13-14.11.09

In 2005 49% of the world population was living in the cities. Humanity is now urbanized for the first time in history. But what the cities of today really are? Toxic slums of crime and misery, industrial platforms of neo-fordist production, gentrified centers for financial services and cognitive capitalism – cities are all of the three and possibly more than that. In each case contemporary city results from mutations of world capitalism and at the same time is fueling and actively shaping its expansion. Cities are extremely dense milieus of socialization, social and economic exchange, capitalistic and non-capitalistic productivity. As such they are places of dwelling and survival, laboratories for strategies of control, technologies of power as well as workshops of collective and individual struggles and resistances. Cities are forges of our present and steel mills of our future.

During the two day seminar in the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw we will interrogate scholars, artists, architects and social activists about the content and the form of today’s urban space. We shall discuss urban, social, economic and cultural structures of contemporary city and how all of them intertwine or collide. We will seek to expose the trends, the perils, the stakes and perhaps some realistic utopias which would be worth fighting for.

CURATORS
Michał Kozłowski,
Kuba Szreder

WARSAW UNDER CONSTRUCTION

This event is a part of the festival:

MUSEUM OF MODERN ART IN WARSAW
ul. Pańska 3, Warsaw
www.artmuseum.pl


PROGRAMME:


// FRIDAY
13.11.2009
18.00–21.00
PRACTICAL-THEORETICAL SESION

Programme of the session:

18.00–18.30
Introduction: 
Michał Kozłowski
ŚWIAT NIE JEST PŁASKI / WORLD IS NOT FLAT
(lecture in polish)

18.30–19.15
Hugues Lethierry, keynote speech
LEFEBVRE: OCALIĆ MIASTO, OCALIĆ ŻYCIE / LEFEBVRE: TO SAFE THE LIFE AND THE CITY
(lecture in french, translated to polish)

Coffee break

19.30–19.50
Kacper Pobłocki
POLITYKA SKALI A KSZTAŁTOWANIE SIĘ DEMOKRACJI MIEJSKIEJ W POLSCE / THE POLITICS OF SCALE AND PROSPECTS FOR URBAN DEMOCRACY IN POLAND
(lecture in polish)

19.50–20.10
Lidia Makowska
MY, MIESZKAŃCY O NASZEJ PRZESTRZENI / WE, THE CITIZENS ABOUT OUR SPACE
(lecture in polish)

20.10–20.30
Kuba Grzegorczyk
MIASTA GLOBALIZACJI - METROPOLIZACJA, GENTRYFIKACJA, PRYWATYZACJA. PRZYKŁAD WARSZAWY / GLOBALIZED CITIES – METROPOLIZATION, GENTRIFICATION, PRIVATIZATION. THE CASE OF WARSAW
(lecture in polish)

// SATURDAY
14.11.2009
14.00–21.00
LECTURES AND RELAX STUDIOS' PROJECT

14.00–17.00
Artistic intervention of the RELAX Studios:
CREDIT. GETTING PAID FOR DOING NOTHING
intervention combined with a lecture by prof. Philip Ursprung
from the Institute of Modern and Contemporary Art, University of Zurich:
THE VALUES OF RELAX
(lecture in polish)
Can we save our friendships in the same way as we can save some money? On the afternoon of saturday november 14, 2009 RELAX (chiarenza & hauser & co) and Philip Ursprung will take out a loan from the audience without driving anybody into ruin. The action will consist of: screening of the video documentary which reports the RELAX action at the Warsaw’s Passengers Festival from last september, contribution of Philip Urspung, walk in the neighbourhood area, where the participants will spend all their friendships. 

18.00
Łukasz Stanek
THE PROJECTS OF HENRI LEFEBVRE
(lecture in polish)
Some of Henri Lefebvre’s books earned him a reputation of a bitter critic of architects, lambasting the profession for every imaginable crime, from the death of the cities to the victory of post-war capitalism. And yet a more careful reading of his texts which pays attention to occasional writings, such as reviews of architectural designs, introductions to exhibitions, minutes of discussions and seminars, or contributions to conferences, conveys a sense of urgency to propose an architecture of a different kind, defined by means of a variety of concepts, such as centrality, difference, social interchange, and desire. Drawing inspiration from the studies on habitation he carried out or supervised since the late 1950s, and from his exchanges with architects and urbanists, Lefebvre investigated architecture in two perspectives: as a study of its overdetermination by its position within the general division of labour among the practices producing space; and an account of the practice of habitation. It is from a research about the interdependences between these two perspectives and their generalizations, that Lefebvre’s thinking about architecture is developed. This account comes close to what he understood as a “project”: neither a prediction, nor a prophecy, nor a fantasy, but a research about tendencies which emerge within the current society and, when generalized, allow for conceiving a different space and a different society.