The Lecture will be conducted in English.
Post-ironic existences – social media’s reflection in Alex Israel’s sunglasses
Alex Israel, it reads in the catalogue to the artist’s solo show at Astrup Fearnley, "rejects any notion of irony and satire" (p. 10). Talking about his celebrity talk show, As it Lays, "the artist insists that the interviewees have been chosen out of genuine admiration" (ibid).
This repeated denial of irony and ambiguity, of a moment of distantiation between what is enacted and what is communicated, is symptomatic for a layered attitude, not so much of the post-modern, but of the post-mortem. – No no, honestly, against all odds and better knowledge, I really mean it!
Alex Israel's artistic practice shares this general attitude with large parts of social networking culture online. And is he not right in doing so? Are we not? Is there not something strangely liberating, disarming and humbling in the embrace of gestures and scenes, objects and stories that have been exploited, used and reused to the point at which all life and immediacy of experience has been sucked out of them? To treat them as though they are shiny and new? And is it not in this post-ironic mode of existence that life in contemporary Western (media) culture obtains its worth and dignity?
In this lecture, Steffen Krüger will use the works and artistic practice of Alex Israel as springboards into a discussion on digital media culture, social networking, self-valorisation and identity.
Steffen Krüger, PhD, is postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Dept. of Media and Communication, University of Oslo. He is doing research, funded by the Norwegian Research Council (NFR), on the cultivation of forms of interaction online – social networking sites, debate forums and discussion threads on major news platforms – from a psychosocial perspective.
The lecture is free and open to the public. Welcome!