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Talk: Agnieszka Kurant – A hybrid joy forever

political map of phantom islands_stor.jpg

Time: Wednesday 28 March 6 pm
Place: Lucie Fontaine's studio, Iaspis, Konstnärsnämnden, Maria skolgata 83, Stockholm
Agnieszka Kurant's talk "A hybrid joy forever" is a part of the Iaspis och Lucie Fontaine series of talks A BODY OF WORK.

Agnieszka Kurant’s presentation will draw upon her longtime interest in the “unknown unknown” of knowledge, virtual capital, imaginary and immaterial property, immaterial labour, hybrid status, value, form, format and authorship of objects as well as the new modes of production, distribution and dispersion in cognitive capitalism. Her work explores how things created as fiction, rumors, paranormal phenomena or, myths; as well as objects not existing materially, enter into the economy and the politics of the contemporary world. and They become hybrid structures or objects that exist between fiction and real economy and politics. How can this fictional and imaginary “economy of the invisible” can also be politicized and colonized and causing changes of in values and of power structures? How do “non-knowledge” and the “unknown unknown” acquire value and political meaning? Kurant will concentrate on her interest in the hybrid status of things leading to the elusiveness of their value. Hybridity of value, authorship, production, dispersion and ownership as well as aura and experience of objects is seen in relation to her past projects which are often in constant transformation or change and have shifted their status and value in many different ways after since they were created. and They shift forms and formats, back and forth, or remain permanently depending of different quasi-fictional or unexpected factors, parameters and contexts operating in reality, such as the impact of rumors, fictions or the weather in economy and politics. One of the factors influencing the hybrid status of objects is their atemporality and the existence of the future in the present. Time, affects and the use/misuse/abuse of objects and are is also very important in transforming the status of objects through their shifting aura, purpose and exchange value.

One of the key points of reference of Kurant’s presentation is the shifting processes of value and surplus value formation and attribution. The mechanisms of the art market and cultural industries lead to the exploitation of the general creative intellect. They are based on the fetishization and speculation not only of the cultural / artistic objects but also of seemingly intangible processes and ideas. Does it make contemporary culture a perfect laboratory for future surplus value production and appropriation? The artist will present selected voices from the a conference about on the political economy of social creativity that she recently co-organized in Warsaw and also from the book to be published this year by Sternberg Press – “A Joy Forever”. The conference presented critical perspectives on ideology which recognizes the creative sectors of production as central sections of economy and the creative class as a driving social force, where art is conceived as a social lab, where the innovatory ways of organization of labor and its modes of appropriation are tested, as well as different types of production, speculation, generation and accumulation of value.  “A joy forever”  is a promise of a common happiness, provided also in the sphere of economy by widely applied creativity. Is it then a tool for the emancipation of humanity, an instrument of control or a space for investment and speculation? 

The artist will also talk about the changed of status of objects in relation to her analysis of the conscious lose loss of control over authorship, content, meaning and signature of artworks that often become quasi memes and start living their own life. For Kurant hybridity is also related to the amount of fiction constituting our sense of the real, fiction being very often a constitutive factor for the establishment of truth which can be observed e.g. through the way that contemporary economists wave weave in fiction into new economic theories. Paradoxically, trying to interpret the world logically can often lead us to experience experiencing a fictional version of reality. Therefore in order to understand reality we must often embrace a certain amount of fiction also in the realm of production and authorship.

Agnieszka Kurant is an artist based in Warsaw. She is interested in the ways in which trying to interpret the world logically results in a fictional version of reality. Her works explore how things created as fictions, rumours, paranormal phenomena as well as objects not existing materially, enter into the economy and the politics of the contemporary world. This talk is made in collaboration with the Polish Institute in Stockholm.

During her Iaspis residency, Lucie Fontaine will host a series of talks and exhibitions. The series of talks will be based on the following topics: authorship, signature, creativity and labour. The activities will take place in Lucie Fontaine’s studio at Iaspis on Maria skolgata 83 in Stockholm.

For further information please visit  and or contact Iaspis project coordinator Ulrika Sten at e-mail: or phone no. +46 (0)8 506 550 94.

Updated: 2012-03-26 Tell a friend


Agnieszka Kurant

Map of Phantom Islands

photochromic print on archival paper



  • Address: IASPIS, Maria skolgata 83, 2nd floor
  • Phone: +46 8 - 50 65 50 00
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