Book launch “Toward a lexicon of usership” – Stephen Wright

September 21st, 7pm. Book launch and author’s talk “Toward a lexicon of usership”, Stephen Wright.

Originally published in English, this lexicon, by the art theorist Stephen Wright, was used at different times and projects, such as the Museum of Arte Útil, and is now on bilingual version, Portuguese and English, thanks to the good care of the translator and researcher Julia Ruiz Di Giovanni.

More information and a preview of the book here: www.edicoesaurora.com/para-um-lexico-dos-usos-stephen-wright

 

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“Artworld ideologues speak of ‘participation’, often sexing it up with adjectives like ‘free’ and ‘emancipated’. We speak freely of ‘art lovers’, but ‘art users’ smacks of philistinism – which certainly says something about the lingering aristocratic values underpinning contemporary art’s ostensibly democratic ethos. Perhaps part of the reason for the artworld’s discomfort with usership is that it is an eminently unromantic category. It has none of gusty tailings of hijacking, pirating, ‘détournement’ and other such forms of performative high jinks that have become so fashionable in artworldly circles. It may ultimately better name the underlying logic of those operations, but it remains essentially different. Because it is radically imperformative. To perform usership would be to spectacularise it, make it an event – that is, to negate it, to make it into something else. Here the distinction between spectatorship and usership is clearest cut: spectatorship is to the spectacle as usership is to… the usual.”