Sezgin Boynik:Politics of Form

Sezgin Boynik, the editor of the diverse and comprehensive magazine Rab-Rab (a journal for political and formal issues in art) is an author with many interests, which encompass the experimental cinematography of former Yugoslavia, Turkish punk, free jazz, conceptual art, art theory and political philosophy. He is an example of a passionate devotee, who is at the same time a precise academic thinker.

Politics of Form

The starting point of my presentation is an argument that the radical political engagement and experimental forms in art do not exclude each other. My thesis is that the convergences between politics and formalism in art practices are based on contradictory and complex relationship. In order to show these lines of intersections, I will talk about two projects that I am involved in.

First, is editing and publishing of /Rab-Rab: journal for political and formal inquiries in art /(www.rabrab.fi ). Rab-Rab is independent and non-profit art journal published by Rab-Rab Press in
Helsinki. Since 2014 we have published three issues, focusing on the questions of language, noise, and artistic subjectivity, including divergent contributions such as on deconstruction of the theory of slogans of Lenin, artists writerliness, rhetorics of no wave punk, tautologies and ideologies of artistic research, history of swastika in Finland, materialist film, theory of Shklovsky, critique of Luigi Rusolo, violence and music, visual language of Communist Manifesto, Hegel and conceptual art, swearwords in Marx, mathemes of cinema, and many others. Most of these contributions are either by artists or theoreticians and scholars involved in an art project. The point of departure of Rab-Rab journal is the thesis that the convergence between form and politics has a strong transformative effect; it changes both the way how artistic inquiry is understood and as well the methodologies of scientific research. In my talk, I will present the each issue of Rab-Rab together with theoretical and practical outcomes of this activity of publishing.

Also, I will talk about Rab-Rab press future activities which include a survey on currents regimes of representation of people's will that we tentatively call as /Formalism Formaoism/; and as well, the research on
conditions of writing by artists, especially focusing on the writings of Malevich and Art & Language group.

This will lead to the second line of my presentation, which will be about a particular moment in the history of conceptual art of Yugoslavia when some of the members of Art & Language group has visited Yugoslavia in 1975 with the plan to realize an index on art collectives and bureaucracy in the context of self-management socialism (http://glossary.mg-lj.si/related/commons-boynik/347?ref=commons). By talking about this work-in-progress, I will discuss the political and formal aspect of the project and as well the question of actualization
of an artwork from the seventies.


Sezgin Boynik (1977), lives and works in Helsinki. He has completed his Phd in Jyväskylä University Social Science department on the topic of "Cultural Politics of Black Wave in Yugoslavia from 1963 to 1972". He has been publishing on punk, relation between aesthetics and politics, on cultural nationalism, Situationist International and Yugoslavian cinema. Co-edited reader "Nationalism and Contemporary Art" (with Minna L. Henriksson, Rhizoma & EXIT, Prishtina, 2007), and co-authored book on "History of Punk and Underground in Turkey, 1978-1999" (with Tolga Guldalli, BAS, Istanbul, 2008) Apart from scholarly work he is also active as conceptual artist. Recent articles include "New Collectives" (Retracing Images, Brill, Boston & Leiden, 2011), "Cultural Policy of Dusan Makavejev" (Kino! Journal No. 15, Ljubljana, 2011), "Discontents with Theoretical Practices in Contemporary Art" (Journal of Visual Art Practice 10:2, London, 2011) "Art of Slogans - in two parts"(TKH no 19 and 20, Belgrade, 2012), "Social Surrealism: Historical-Materialist Theses on the Mystery of Art" (open space journal, Vienna, 2013), "Marxist-Leninist Roots of Zenitism" (Filmkollektiv, Frankfurt, 2013), "Counter-Godard: On Makavajev's Anti-Formalism" (Kino! Journal No. 15, Ljubljana, 2015) and "Between Privileges of Unlearning and Formlessness of Anti-Knowing: Idoelogies of Artistic Education" (Inca Press, Forms of Education, Seattle, 2016).

Also he is author of artistic books "Counter-constructivist Model" (co-authored with M.L. Henriksson, Labyrinth Press, Stockholm, 2012),"Still Stealing Steel: Historical-Materialist Study of Zaum" (Rab-Rab Publication, Tbilisi, 2014) and "Noise After Babel: Language Unrestrained" (Spector Books, Leipzig, 2015).

He is editor of Rab-Rab: Journal for Political and Formal Inquiries in
Art (www.rabrab.fi ).

14.12. 2016 7pm
Dittrichova 9, Prague

The lecture is held in English.

External Links
gossary of common language


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