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On Hannah Arendt Virtual Reading Group: ‘Tradition and the Modern Age’ with Seyla Benhabib
Richard Saltoun Gallery and the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College are collaborating for the full 2021 year to accompany the gallery’s 12-month exhibition program ‘On Hannah Arendt.’ Each exhibition will tackle one of the eight questions put forth in Arendt’s book Between Past and Future: Eight Exercises in Political Thought. The collaboration will include a virtual reading group, talk program, and artist interviews inline with each exhibition and its corresponding chapter.
Since the gallery’s inception, Richard Saltoun has sought to shed light on difficult questions concerning inequality and identity. The gallery’s curatorial approach is guided by a vision to serve a more comprehensive societal purpose.
Hannah Arendt is an influential post-war generation thinker and confronted some of our time’s most pressing socio-political issues. Her call for reflection on difficult subjects remains relevant today. Arendt posed questions instead of definitive answers to aid readers in learning how to think.
Artists’ work will reflect on Arendt’s intentions and views to question our beliefs on agency, freedom, exile, prejudice, and other issues that carve how we experience the world. A few of the program artists are Bracha L. Ettinger, Lili Dujourie, Peter Kennard, Everlyn Nicodemus, Marinella Senatore, and Lerato Shadi.
The Modern Age
The Modern Age exhibition addresses themes of dislocation, statelessness, social alienation, and the discomfort and uncertainty these conditions produce. Key works are by Siah Armjani, Thomas Baryle, Véronique Filozof, Vivienne Koorland, and Jo Spence. The second online session will be led by Roger Berkowitz to discuss the chapter ‘Tradition and the Modern Age’ and include an introduction by Seyla Benhabib.
Roger Berkowitz is the Founder and Director of Bard College’s The Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities, which organizes an annual conference every October and its own official Virtual Reading Group.
Berkowitz speaks and writes about how justice is made present in the world. His written works include The Gift of Science: Leibniz and the Modern Legal Tradition, Artifacts of Thinking: Reading Hannah Arendt’s Denktagebuch, Thinking in Dark Times: Hannah Arendt on Ethics and Politics, and the annual journal HA: The Journal of the Hannah Arendt Center.
Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Seyla Benhabib is the Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Yale University. From 2002 to 2008, she was the Director of its Program in Ethics, Politics, and Economics.
Benhabib accolades include; the 2009 Ernst Bloch prize, the 2012 Leopold Lucas Prize from the Theological Faculty of the University of Tubingen, President of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association in 2006-07, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1995. She was the Chair of Harvard’s Program on Social Studies from 1996-2000 after teaching at the university in Government since 1993.
Upcoming Program (Somes dates TBD)
The Concept of History, February 2021
In February, the solo exhibition by Peter Kennard will showcase three bodies of work, including his protest and riot influenced 1960-70s STOP paintings, 1990s Pallets series, and a new series of works on paper 2020.
What is Authority? April 2021
Lili Dujourie, Everlyn Nicodemus, and Lerato Shadi will examine structural antagonism and everyday discrimination – thoughts, glances, implied judgments that flourish in an environment where more explicit acts of inequality are illegal.
What is Freedom? June 2021
Bracha L. Ettinger’s solo exhibition will deal with the themes of trauma and compassion, investigating the historical and psychological landscape of transgenerational memory, as well as community and feminine subjectivity.