Sensuous Discontent: Critical Aesthetics The First 10 Years film series

  • Koki Tanaka, A Piano Played by Five Pianists at Once (First Attempt), 2012
    Koki Tanaka, A Piano Played by Five Pianists at Once (First Attempt), 2012
Photo courtesy of the artist, Aoyama Meguro, Tokyo, Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzho

The University Art Gallery’s Critical Aesthetics Program – the tripartite investigation of art, politics, and theory – has featured internationally renowned artworks by mid-career artists since 2005. Critical Aesthetics: The First 10 Years celebrates over a decade of exhibited film installations in the UAG that have included works by Yael Bartana, Molly Corey, Andrea Geyer, Adria Julia, Yoshua Okon, Dorit Margreiter, Florian Pumhösl, Constanze Ruhm, Koki Tanaka, Kerry Tribe, and Erika Vogt. The Critical Aesthetics Program was founded by Juli Carson.


Sensuous Discontent: Critical Aesthetics The First 10 Years

The production took the subject matter and the incidents shown and put them through a process of alienation: the alienation that is necessary to all understanding. When something seems "the most obvious thing in the world" it means that any attempt to understand the world has been given up...That's great art; nothing obvious in it -- I laugh when they weep, I weep when they laugh. —  Bertolt Brecht, Brecht on Theatre: The Development of an Aesthetic


Sensuous Discontent: Critical Aesthetics The First 10 Years re-traces the multifarious tangents and trajectories of the last 10 years of “Critical Aesthetics” through the core of their reception: the sensual production of meaning. Meaning, which is culturally bounded, is derived not from the arbitrariness of its nominated form but from the shape of recognition. A body predicates critique within the particularity of its own aesthetics.


Aesthetics makes difference. The films of “Critical Aesthetics” generate the dynamisms of meaning that elaborate from the schismatic frictions of particularity and arbitrariness. Since 2005, the Critical Aesthetics Program at the UAG has championed artistic works that conceive a critical vision beyond our habituated sociopolitical realities, tracing the imbrication of time, memory, identity, language, and desire. These works are “paradox as political act” and while they evidence quotidian realities, they evoke potentialities that are only accessible through what Jacques Lacan coined the Real: that space beyond the symbolic, where the critical resistance of aesthetic form lies.  


Coinciding with the exhibition After Before, by Sharon Hayes, please join us in the Colloquium Room for Sensuous Discontent, a weekly screening series exploring the first ten years of Juli Carson’s Critical Aesthetics Program at UCI. While each film comprises its own intimate confrontation, by compressing the intervals between their original exhibition, the series expands their discourses into the field of their succession; their common domain becoming the moment of their projection into space and our memories.


Sensuous Discontent: Critical Aesthetics The First 10 Years Film Series Schedule:

Colloquium Room, CAC 3201

Tuesdays, Oct. 11 to Nov. 1, 2016

2:30 pm  - 5:00pm        


Oct. 11             

Here & Elsewhere, 2002 by Kerry Tribe, 11 min.

Programm, 2006 by Florian Pumhosl, 8 min.

Blind Ambition, 2012 by Hassan Kahn, 46 min.


Oct. 18           

A Piano Played by Five Pianists at Once (First Attempt) 2012 by Koki Tanaka, 57 min.

Reference Over Time, 2004 by Andrea Geyer, 19:14 min.  


Oct. 25           

Truc Trang Walls, 2006 by Adria Julia, 14 min. 

The First International Congress of the Renaissance Movement in Poland, 2012, Berlin., 2012 by Yael Bartana, 1 hr 46:17 min.


Nov. 1           

X Love Scenes, 2010 by Constanze Ruhm, 58 min.

Salo Island, 2013 by Yoshua Okon, 24 min.


Curated by Kelly Donahey and Ian Meares
Exhibition Dates: 
Oct 11, 2016 to Nov 01, 2016