Some Profound Misunderstanding at the Heart of What Is [exhibition]

Exciting culmination of exhibition, talks and workshops emanating now from our colloborative research Inlab ‘Moving Images of Speculation’ at Jan Van Eyck 2013-14.

Some Profound Misunderstanding at the Heart of What Is

A research exhibition of the Jan Van Eyck ‘Moving Images of Speculation’ Inlab.

Hedah Contemporary Art Space and Jan Van Eyck, Maastricht, Jan 17 – Feb 23


If cinema’s legacies can tell us something about the present, it is because with the transformation to post-Fordism, fictional powers are increasingly central to value creation and accumulation. The moving image bundles time and toys with negativity to create virtual goods dependent on transactional fantasies in the present. With the shift from commodity money to credit money, to derivative forms and securitization, the financial system breaks from a transcendental signifier. Some Profound Misunderstanding at the Heart of What Is emerges from the Jan Van Eyck Moving Image of Speculation research Inlab of 2013-14.  The exhibition constructs a shared space of argumentation between artists who sense, stage and diagram local-global aspects of late capitalism’s speculative production processes across performative installation formats, all of which toy with the etymological and formal bleed between thought and money, cognition and economics. The works of the exhibition are especially invested in performing aspects of financialized systems that take place ‘behind the back’ of human thought, and the role of artists in bringing inchoate knowledges, potentiality and critique into dialogue with the pathologies of the present. The exhibition opening on January 17 will be accompanied by a performance by Jan Hoeft. The exhibition roundtable on January 18 with Sven Lutticken and Vlidi Jeric brings artists and critics together to unpack the project’s artistic research. A talk by Thijs Witty during the JVE Open Studios will address the spatialization of the essay form in contemporary art.

Exhibition curated by Cathleen Schuster, Marcel Dickhage and Rachel O’Reilly. Collaborative research, roundtable and performance workshop curated by Rachel O’Reilly, featuring Sven Lutticken (NL), Vladimir Jeric (SER) and Jeremiah Day (NL/GER/USA) and Thijs Witty (NL). Additional curatorial consultation, Jelena Vesic. Artistic advisors: Bik van der Pol.


Screening Session | Film works (selection) by Aleksander Komarov, January 15, JVE Basement, 2014

Aleksander Komarov, is a Belarusian artist and filmmaker and graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, Poland, attending the Rijksakademie from 1998-2000. Since 2005 he has produced nuanced essay films that coalesce around a singular thematic (political transparency, memory, voice, labour value, capital). In each work, the spectator is situated within a timeline, on the premise of deconstructing a conclusive documentary statement and instead offering up multiple possible routes towards meaning. His work is exhibited internationally, most recently in The Way of the Shovel at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, US, 2013. Komarov is also founder of ABA (Artist in Residence Berlin Alexanderplatz) in Berlin, Germany. (

Exhibition Opening | Some Profound Misunderstanding at the Heart of What Is

Hedah Contemporary Art Space, Maastricht, Friday January 17, 6pm onwards.

Featuring a performance by Jan Van Eyck artist Jan Hoeft.

Exhibition Roundtable | Saturday January 18, 2-5pm, Hedah Contemporary Art Space, Maastricht.

2.00pm – Welcome/introduction ‘What we talk about when we talk about Moving Images of Speculation: Curating artistic research’ – Rachel O’Reilly

2.20pm – Opening Plenary, Sven LuttickenFilming Speculative Capital

2.50pm – Contribution/response, Vladimir Jeric ‘Speculative Mining Company’


3.30pm – Artist talk, Julia Kul ‘Performing the Fear Index’ on KUL VIX INDEX.

3.45pm – Screening (rough cut) Money and Trade Considered. Marcel Dickhage and Cathleen Schuster discuss their 2013 film production at JVE.

4.00pm Group roundtable discussion.

Pre-readings: Intro, Ch1 and 4, Sven Lutticken, History in Motion: Time in the Age of the Moving Image, Sternberg Press, 2013. Anonymous, Speculate This! Duke Uni Press 2003. To register for the roundtable and access readings, email

Movement Workshop | The Speculative Body with Jeremiah Day Monday, January 20, 10am-5pm, JVE

Jeremiah Day’s conceptual art practice is shot through with mediation, memory and technics. His invitation to the Inlab considers Day’s treatment of bodily perception in Bergsonian terms, as already-cinematographic. This workshop introduces Day’s improvisation and composition practice in movement and words, drawing strongly on the work and teaching methods of Simone Forti and her practice of Logomotion. We will focus on scores or structured improvisation as a way to develop and explore, with both group and solo work, performance modes that center around working with movement and speech simultaneously. Forti’s work emerged from the unique intersection between art forms that marked the New York scene of the early 1960’s. The workshop can be of particular interest to those in performance and movement, but also to visual artists, poets and others. Attendance is limited. Email


Moving Images of Speculation is an artistic research InLab of the Jan Van Eyck Academie exploring contemporary links between post-cinematic form and finance – incorporating readings, screenings, talks, research tours and a research exhibition and roundtable. In 2013-14, the InLab has been taking stock of artists’ approaches to forms and technics of speculative and essayistic practice, in the context of fictional economy. With this focus, the InLab proposes that to track (post-)cinema’s specific comprehension of the speculative at the level of production is to offer up conceptual resources for tarrying quite differently with capital’s logics and affects. The artists and researchers of Moving Images of Speculation aim to think the historicity of contemporary enthusiasms for materiality in much stronger reflexive terms than is often done inside of today’s fine art industries.


Lecture/Discussion during JVE Open Studios | Thijs Witty, ‘Whither the Essay? Learning how to live without speculation’

As the Essay text shuttles from print to electronic media and from words to images, it runs the risk of losing some of its founding investments. The relative lack of reflectivity (c.f. reflexivity) in post-textual and spatialized essayistic works must be questioned and amended if the Essay as form wants to retain a suppleness that can resist today’s pervasive economization of the speculative. In dialogue with the JVE Inlab Exhibition Some Profound Misunderstanding at the Heart of What Is, Amsterdam-based theorist Thijs Witty discusses some recent art works that make a claim on the Essay, and measures these against Michel de Montaigne’s all-too timely dictum that “it is a thorny undertaking, and more so than it seems, to follow a movement so wandering as that of our mind, to penetrate the opaque depths of its innermost folds, to pick out and immobilize the innumerable flutterings that agitate it.”

Lecture/Discussion | Joseph Vogl, ‘Debts from the future. On The Spectre of Capital’  Auditorium, Jan van Eyck, Maastricht, March 28, 2014.

JVE In-Lab participant, Sonja Lau, invites German philosopher Joseph Vogl for a lecture and public discussion of his recent work The Spectre of Capital (first published in German in 2010 and to be released in Dutch in 2014) – a ghost story set in the fiscal system of tomorrow. To Vogl, the difference between this and other uncanny encounters that have nurtured art, literature and politicized relations to time, is that the Spectre – the ‘ghost’ – of Capital (Original title: Das Gespenst des Kapitals) does not dwell in the past, but in the future. Its “sin,” or, to use a term that links the fiscal and the psychological | occurred, thus calling the phantoms to return. Contrary to Slavoj Žižek’s figuration of the Capitalist system as a vampire, which rises again once it has been killed, Vogl takes three refined steps. Moving from the ghost that was introduced in Marx’s Das Kapital, to an understanding of Capitalism as an overtly haunted system in the sense of Adam Smith, to the final shrinking of Capitalism to (abstract) Capital only, Vogl detects a form of undeadness within its immaterial and speculative matter: currency without objecthood or body – a literally uncontrollable zone. As the sovereign’s power “dissolves into the air,” Vogl evokes a system that can no longer be defined by “self-regulation,” but that will ultimately claim what it has been promised.

 Lecture/Discussion | Marina Vishmidt and Anthony Iles, ‘On Art and Economics as Speculative Practices,’, April 1-7, 2014

With additional contributions by Rachel O’Reilly, ‘Who has Purchase on the Speculative?: Neoliberalization and Dispossessive Thought’ and Jelena Vesic ‘The Administration of Aesthetics, or, Undercurrents of Negotiating Artistic Jobs: Between Love and Money, Money and Love …’

Curated and produced by: Jelena Vesic and BikVanDerPol.

Supported by: JVE, Piet Zwart and School for Missing Studies.

Inlab Participants: Oliver Bulas, Marcel Dickhage, Filip Van Dingenen, Stefano Faoro, Jan Hoeft, Julia Kul, Sonja Lau, Catherine Lommee, Valle Medina, Rachel O’Reilly, Vijai Patchineelam, Benjamin Reynolds, Alessandra Saviotti, Cathleen Schuster, Jelena Vesic. Culiminating in a Labin imprint publication edited by Rachel O’Reilly, designed by DongYoung Lee at JVE. Artistic advisors: Bik van der Pol.