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A Government of Times

A symposium-performance

HALLE 14, Center for Contemporary Arts, Leipzig.
May 28th, 2016
1:30 to 7pm

Diann Bauer, François Cusset, François Hartog, Maurizio Lazzarato, Émilie Notéris, Benjamin Noys, Lionel Ruffel, Camille de Toledo, Tiphaine Samoyault

symposium-performance curated by Aliocha Imhoff & Kantuta Quirós
in the context of the project Capitalist Melancholia
(cur. Francois Cusset, Camille de Toledo & Michael Arzt)
Scenography by Antonia Kamp.

With the support of Halle14 and Fonds Perspektive.
Participation fee: 4 € / 2 € (entry to the exhibition is included)
Language of the lectures: English.

Born from a modernity at the end of its rope, a « presentist » regime of historicity has emerged since the late 1980s. A symposium-perfomance will be imagining alternative regime of historicity for the future.

No one doubts that an order of time exists — or rather, that orders of time exist which vary with time and place. Historian François Hartog explored crucial moments of change in society’s « regimes of historicity » or its ways of relating to the past, present, and future. According to Hartog, contemporary Western societies have entered from 1989 a new “regime of historicity” (régimes d’historicité, a synonym for temporal order) in which the present has become omnipresent. Hartog calls this regime of historicity “presentism”and defines it as an invasion of the present into the realms of the past and future. The present is therefore experienced as an acceleration of our social lives and finally as enclosure where the perspective of the future is no longer reassuring, since it is perceived not as a promise, but as a threat. We would call also this tyranny of the present through a social acceleration – to accelerate to be at a standstill – melancholia.
How can we set time back in motion, to liberate us from the presentism to which we seem compelled in Europe particularly ?
On opposite side from presentism, new wave of contemporary accelerationism as social emancipation recently emerged, as a way to put time back in motion. The only way out of capitalism would be to take it further, to follow its lines of flight or deterritorialization to the absolute end, to speed-up beyond the limits of production and so to rupture the limit of capital itself.
But, as Benjamin Noys added it, speed is, still, a problem. Our lives are too fast, we are subject to the accelerating demand that we innovate more, work more, enjoy more, produce more, and consume more. Hartmut Rosa declares that today we face a ‘totalitarian’ form of social acceleration.
What interests us is a further turn of the screw of this narrative. How can we set time back in motion, to liberate us from the presentism to which we seem compelled – in Europe particularly ? What is the relationship between past, present and future we need to invent and deploy for the future? What politics can we initiate to provoke a new shift ? The symposium-performance A Government of Times tends toward a new politics of time, a possibility to govern the times differently. We are inviting theorists, poets, artists to propose an advocacy for a new regime of historicity and to come and negociate it.
Aliocha Imhoff & Kantuta Quirós

With (as parlementarians)
Diann Bauer, artist, writer, London
François Cusset
, philosopher, Paris
François Hartog
, historian, Paris
Maurizio Lazzarato, philosopher, Paris
Émilie Notéris, writer, Paris
Benjamin Noys
, writer, London
Lionel Ruffel, literary theoretician, Berlin
Camille de Toledo, artist, writer, curator, Berlin
Tiphaine Samoyault, writer, literary theoretician, Paris

Diann Bauer is an artist and writer based in London. She has exhibited and screened work at galleries and institutions including, Tate Britain (UK), The New Museum and Socrates Sculpture Park (NY), Deste Foundation (GR) and the Ian Potter Museum (AUS). She has lectured at the Tate, the ICA and Goldsmiths London, Berliner Festspiele and Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin and Performing Art Forum (France) and Cornell University amongst others. She is involved in a number of ongoing collaborative projects including of Office for Applied Complexity (, Fixing the Future (2014-15,, Laboria Cuboniks (, Alliance of the Southern Triangle (A.S.T. Miami), and Real Flow (NY). Her website is

Francois CussetFrançois Cusset is historian of ideas and professor of american civilization at the University of Nanterre, France. Former head of Le Bureau du livre français, New York, he has been an associate researcher at The National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) within the Communication and Politic laboratory, and professor at the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris. He is the author of French Theory Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze & Cie et les mutations de la vie intellectuelle aux États-Unis, La Découverte, Paris, 2003, À l’abri du déclin du monde, Paris, P.O.L., 2012 et Une histoire (critique) des années 90, La Découverte, Paris, 2014.

Francois HartogHistorien, François Hartog (1946) est professeur à l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, où il est titulaire d’une chaire d’historiographie antique et moderne. Il a travaillé avec Jean-Pierre Vernant et Pierre Vidal-Naquet. Combinant les approches de l’anthropologie et les instruments de l’histoire intellectuelle, sa réflexion sur l’histoire est faite d’allers et retours entre le passé antique et le monde contemporain, entre les expériences anciennes et modernes du temps. (Combining Anthropology with Intellectual History, his reflexion on History has been moving back and forth between ancient and modern experiences of time).   Parmi ses publications récentes (Among his recent books) : Régimes d’historicité, présentisme et expériences du temps, Points-Seuil, 2012 ; Croire en l’histoire, Flammarion, 2013 ; Partir pour la Grèce, Flammarion, 2015.

Maurizio LazzaratoMaurizzio Lazzarato is an independant sociologist and philosopher, living and working in Paris where he pursues research on immaterial work, ontology of work, the breakdown of the wage system, cognitive capitalism and “post-socialist” movements. He is the author of Puissances de l’invention. La psychologie économique de Gabriel Tarde contre l’économie politique, éd. Les Empêcheurs de penser en rond, 2002, Les Révolutions du capitalisme, Les Empêcheurs de penser en rond, 2004, Le Gouvernement des inégalités. Critique de l’insécurité néolibérale, Éditions Amsterdam, 2008, Experimental Politics, Work, Welfare and Creativity in the Neoliberal Age, MIT Press, London, 2016, The Making of the Indebted Man, Essay on the Neoliberal Condition, Semiotext(e), Signs and Machines, Capitalism and the Production of Subjectivity, Semiotext(e), 2014, Marcel Duchamp and The Refusal of Work, Semiotext(e), 2014, Governing by Debt, Semiotext(e), 2015.


Emilie Notéris - crédits photo, ©Sandy Amerio

Émilie Notéris
Breaking into the Waves of Feminism
A polytemporal woolfian strategy
Émilie Notéris is a text worker born in 1978. Writer, author of science-fiction (Cosmic trip, 2008; Séquoiadrome, 2011) and theory (Fétichisme postmoderne, 2010). Translator (Marshall McLuhan, Sudipta Kaviraj, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Slavoj Zizek, Hakim Bey, Malcolm Le Grice, Helen Hester, Eugene Thacker…). She participated in a collective work devoted to Game of Thrones published by Prairie Ordinary in 2015 and is currently preparing a feminist and queer theory essay La Fiction réparatrice (The Healing Fiction). In 2015, she designed the EcoQueer program opening for Bandits-Mages in Bourges and a program series for bétonsalon.

Benjamin NoysBenjamin Noys
Time’s Carcass: De-Fetishising Toxic Time
The Bad New: Time in the Present Moment
Benjamin Noys is Professor of Critical Theory at the University of Chichester. He is the author of Georges Bataille: A Critical Introduction(2000), The Culture of Death (2005), The Persistence of the Negative: A Critique of Contemporary Theory (2010), Malign Velocities: Accelerationism & Capitalism (2014), and editor of Communization and Its Discontents (2011). He is currently writing Uncanny Life, a critical discussion of the problems of the vital and vitalism in contemporary theory.

Lionel RuffelLionel Ruffel
Lionel Ruffel is Head of Department and Professor of Comparative Literature and Creative Writing at Université Paris 8. He is the incumbent of a Research Chair ‘Archaeology of the Contemporary’ held at the Institut Universitaire de France. He is the founding director of the online literary journal “chaoïd”, and of the subsequent series “chaoïd” at Verdier. Currently a Humboldt Fellow at the Peter Szondi-Institut (Freie Universität), he’s the author of three monographs: Le Dénouement (2005); Volodine post-exotique (2007); Brouhaha, les mondes du contemporain (2016), and more than 40 book chapters and articles, published in five languages. He’s a member of the collective “L’école de littérature”.

Camille de ToledoCamille de Toledo
« And so it was, we had to rebuild the future… » 
Camille de Toledo (Chto) is a fiction writer, theoretician, and artist. He comes from a jewish descent, on the side of his father. He studied literature, law and history. He continued in London, and then at the Tisch School of New York. In 2004, he obtains the grant of the Villa Médicis in Rome for his video and literary work. In 2008, he grounded the European society of authors (, a utopian institution proposing to adopt « translation as language » in order to move away from the paradigm of nations and identity. Since 2012 and 2013, after his departure to Berlin, Toledo works on extended forms of writing under the acronym CHTO, what he presents as « spatial narratives » or « material narratives », beyond the book. It has been, notably, « The Fall of Fukuyama », in 2013, an opera with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France or, in 2015, at Leipzig Contemporary Art Center, Halle 14, the « Potential exhibition », « History Reloaded », and « Europa – Eutopia ». His new novel, The book of hunger and thirst, will come out in 2017 by Gallimard.

Thiphanie SamoyaultTiphaine Samoyault
Elle est née en 1968 à Boulogne-Billancourt. Universitaire, critique littéraire, romancière française, et normalienne, auteur d’une thèse de doctorat sur les Romans-Mondes, les formes de la totalisation romanesque au vingtième siècle (1996) et d’une thèse d’habilitation sur l’Actualité de la fiction — théorie, comparaison, traduction (2003). Tiphaine Samoyault est professeur en littérature comparée à l’université Paris VIII, dont elle a dirigé ce département jusqu’en juin 2012. Ancienne pensionnaire de la Villa Médicis (2000-2001), elle est aussi traductrice, entre autres, de portions de la nouvelle édition d’Ulysse de James Joyce. Conseillère éditoriale aux éditions du Seuil, elle collabore en outre à France Culture et à La Quinzaine littéraire.

Antonia KampScenography
Antonia Kamp, born 1992 in Braunschweig. Currently studying Costume- and Stage Design at the HfBK Dresden. Assistancies for Costume and Stage from 2012 on going, e.g. at Staatsschauspiel Dresden, Theater Chemnitz and Szene 12. Since 2015 own realisations both in Costume and Stage Design for theatre and opera , e.g. in cooperation with the HfM Dresden. Involved in group exhibitions such as “Rückzugsorte” at EX14 and “Die Fehler”.

Halle14, Center for Contemporary Arts
May 28, 2016
1:30pm to 7pm
Spinnereistr. 7 04179 Leipzig, Allemagne

With the support of  Halle14 and Fonds Perspektive.

fonds-perspektive halle14

About the exhibition Capitalist Melancholia

Thanks to
Camille de Toledo, François Cusset, Michael Arzt and the Halle14’s team (Claudia Gehre, Monique Erlitz, …), Fonds Perspektive, Mittel-Europa, le peuple qui manque‘s team (Carlos Quintero, Margot Becka, Helena Hattmannsdorfer), Jean-Hubert Martin, Hélène Guenin, Olivier Surel, Manuella Vaney, Marie-Pierre Liebenberg, Art Press (Barbara Green, Eva Zahl), Virginie Pislot, Christian Hartwig Steinau, Jacinto Lageira, Françoise Parfait, Nine Yamamoto, Michka Gorki, Carine Le Bihan. Nous remercions également Guillaume Désanges, Rima Abdul-Malak, Fabrice Rozié, Marie-Cécile Burnichon, Theaster Gates, Kent Stewart, Demecina Beehn, Xavier Wrona (notre résidence en 2015-2016 à la Méthode Room/ Rebuild Foundation de Chicago nous a permis de développer certaines des recherches qui donnent lieu à cet événement).

Capitalist Melancholia