Hans Haacke and the Power Circuit of Identity and Values
Without question, the interrogations of notions of identity, and their dis-/empowering effects, is one of the key features of contemporary art. In my presentation, I will examine the recent work of Hans Haacke where the issues of identity, the processes of its constitution with the socio-political implications are examined.
In Haacke’s displays, the culturally contextualized figures reflect the specific rationales of their constitutive frameworks of value, making not only the means and effects of their subjection visible, but also undermining their claims to universality or truth. By dynamically co-relating competing rationales of cultural values, Haacke places the viewer in a space where the mechanisms of the cultural/political processes constituting identity, or of deployments of power as coordinates of conduct, could be intercepted and where the truth/value circuit could be re-cognized in terms of dis- and em-powerment effects it produces. The ultimate objective of this presentation will be to offer a perspective on identity, as a constitutive subject of culture, but also as a venue to intercept and intervene in those constitutive processes and thus gain a position of negotiation.
Born in Poland, emigrated to the United States in 1983 with a political refugee status that was based on my association with the Solidarity movement in Poland and its suppression by the current government at that time.
In 1987 enrolled at the University of Dallas majoring in art history and graduated in 1990 with a BA. My training as art historian was further pursued at the Virginia Commonwealth University (MA 1993) and The University of Iowa (Ph.D. 2001) focusing, at both institutions, on modern and 19 th century Western art.
My dissertation, The Project of Evaluation of Values: form Foucault to Dada, was written under the supervision and guidance of Professor Stephen C. Foster and it charts a historical trajectory and constitutive effects of the notions of identity in the West.
Publications include an essay “Sovereign Right, Democracy and the Rule of Law” appearing in Universitas (UNI, Spring, 2006) and several book and art film reviews published by Leonardo (MIT Press, 2005, 2006).
Currently teaching full time at the University of Northern Iowa since 2003 as an Assistant Professor, and previously, in such capacity, at the Wichita State University (2001-2003).