Previously at the ICA - Events
13 Jan 2016
I Would Prefer Not To
Often things, organisations, ideas or even people are decommissioned when they are deemed failures.
What, though, if obsolescence is celebrated?
What if positions of indifference are deemed resistant rather than lazy?
In this lecture, Lisa Le Feuvre is guided by Bartelby, Herman Melville’s scribe in the short story of 1853, Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street. Narrated by an elderly lawyer the pages describe Bartleby, a man who he chose to employ in his chambers. Fast and committed at his chores at the start of his employment, the scrivener very quickly adopted a pointed conduct of indifference, responding to questions and requests with the simple phrase ‘I would prefer not to’ in an incessant passive resistance to required and prescribed behaviours. To take such a position is to be beyond redemption. Le Feuvre argues that art must refuse to be co-opted into a position where it can serve to save, educate or entertain.
Lisa Le Feuvre is Head of Sculpture Studies at the Henry Moore Institute, a centre for the study of sculpture
In a series of ten lectures, Decommissioned seeks to address how strategies of disavowal, inactivity and transition are employed in contemporary art and design. When encountering cultural bias, uncertainty and co-option across the arts, how can the dominant flows of information, language, policy and ideology be circumvented? Curators, sociologists, artists, politicians, academics, queer-thinkers, bio-designers, film-theorists and others will respond through diverse fields of exciting and critical research.
This series is curated and convened by Dr. Stephen Wilson and is staged in collaboration with Chelsea College of Arts Postgraduate Community and the University of the Arts London, CCW Graduate School.