Lars Bang Larsen

Wednesday December 4th at The Western Front

“… they tell us Hollywood is dead! … they can say that again! how can the movies deliver after what’s happened for real! … which is why I personally can’t even look at a photograph! … to translate is to betray! right! to reproduce, to photograph, is to putrefy! instantly! … anything that existed makes you sick to look at! … therefore transpose! poetically if you can! but who tries? … nobody! … (…) what were the crusades for? … the crusaders transposed themselves! now they get themselves ejected from their sixteenth floor in Passy by air-conditioned super-jet direct to Golgatha … seven minutes … get their pictures taken in front of the Mount of Olives … Monsieur as Joseph … Madame as Mary … the children? angels naturally …  home again for the cocktails … now that every man and his wife has a motor on his ass and can go wherever he likes, without legs, without a head, he’s nothing but a balloon, a half portion of air … he won’t even pass away, he’s done it already …”

Using the above passage from Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s 1969 novel Rigadoon as a starting point, the lecture from Lars Bang Larsen will depart from, and—with the help of examples drawn from art, literature, and music—play with sociology’s insight that in a digitally connected realm, time is subordinated to space. Inspired by the experience of a bombing raid on a German train station during WWII, Céline’s rant presents an extreme and affected summation of post-war disenchantment that echoes critiques of the culture industry and meditations on the waning of experience in a technological world, which is lent additional historical depth through the author’s involvement with fascism. In a post-apocalyptic, digitally reconstructed world, what concepts of time are relevant? Faced with time’s subordination to credit and immediate exchange, what chronopolitical stances can be assumed? What possibilities of transposition do we have?

Lars Bang Larsen is a curator and art historian, who holds a PhD from the University of Copenhagen, where he completed his dissertation on the subject of psychedelic art and culture of the 1960s and its international dissemination. He recently organized Radical Enlightenment: A Symposium on Cybernetics and the Soul (Palais de Tokyo, Paris 2013), and his current exhibition projects include Psychedelism (Raven Row, London 2013), and Concept after Concept: Physiognomy of the Idea (Roskilde Museum for Contemporary Art, Copenhagen 2014). Bang Larsen is a regular contributor to such publications as Frieze, Afterall, and Artforum, and his books include “The Model: A Model for a Qualitative Society, 1968” (MACBA, 2010), “The Critical Mass of Mediation” (Internationalistisk Ideale, 2012), “Art and Psychedelia” (Afterall Books, 2013), and “Sture Johannesson” (NIFCA/Lukas & Sternberg, 2002).

The talk is being held in conjunction with the New Forms Media Society’s annual New Forms Festival, which explores the intersections of art, music, film, performance, and technology, through promoting constructive collaborations between Canadian and international artists and creative communities.

Admission for this event is free.