Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, 1984

Readings for Artworkers is a series of seminars at the Free/Slow University of Warsaw 2009. We refer to the tradition of open universities, self-education artistic groups and free education: LINK

Pierre Bourdieu's Distinction is one of the seminal sociological books of the 20th century. Bourdieu conducts there an enormous research project, which he himself refers to as 'social critique of the power of judgment'. What does it mean to have a good taste, what is a righteous taste, what is high-brow art and what are the political and social stakes of what appears as the domain of free spirit? These are the main questions that a sociologist tackles. Bourdieu is inclined to the unmasking function of sociology. It does not suffice to describe the principles of what people do - one should also uncover the sense of what they do. The sense that remains a mystery to themselves.
In the second part of the readings, Marek Sobczyk is going to present parts of his theoretical-artistic project: Psycho/somo/socio analysis. Sobczyk is going to embody, socialise and make public the political and the artistic.

[transl. Łukasz Mojsak]


Michał Kozłowski

Marek Sobczyk

Michał Kozłowski - 
born in 1974, philosopher. Deals with history, capitalism, modernity, power, subject, desire and related issues. Tends to be Marxist. He studied philosophy and law at the University of Warsaw, philosophy at the KU Leuven and social sciences at the EHESS in Paris. At the latter he defended his Ph.D. thesis on the Foucault’s concept of freedom. Co-creates the “Bez Dogmatu” quarterly, co-edits the Polish edition of “Le Monde Diplomatique” monthly. Cooperates with “Variations” magazine and REASOPO (Réseau européen d'analyse des sociétés politiques). Teaches history of modern philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy of the University of Warsaw.

Marek Sobczyk - born in 1955, artist, painter, designer and art theoretician. He studied painting in Stefan Gierowski’s workshop at the Fine Arts Academy in Warsaw (ASP). At the beginning of the 80’s he painted mainly abstract, multi-colored compositions, later also images dealing with Martial law in Poland (GANDZIA, 1981/1983). In 1983 - with five other artists - he created a group called GRUPPA and participated in publishing the artzine "Oj dobrze już". In his paintings from the 90's, the increasingly complicated allusiveness of themes and iconographic references is accompanied by greater decorativeness of painting composition. Besides being a painter, he makes art installations and objects, he writes theoretical and literary texts (Uproszczenie sztuki, 1997, Zderzak Art Gallery, Cracow).