Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


United against fascism: ducks, rabbits, art workers and the use of value in art

08 October 2018, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

united workers

The IAS is delighted to welcome Kuba Szreder for this talk, in conversation with Peg Rawes. 

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to





Masha Mileeva (UCL Art History) and Michał Murawski (Gold Zamt) (UCL SSEES)


IAS Forum
Ground Floor, South Wing, UCL
United Kingdom

This is the launch event for the new seminar series: Power Vertical: Politics and Aesthetics in the Global East. 

Addressing the authoritarian turn in global politics, Kuba Szreder will discuss recent examples of art workers’ activism, from Poland and abroad, to substantiate the perennial discussions of artistic theory. He will talk about the use value of art, address the difference between the merely instrumental and really useful, reflect upon the promiscuity of artistic objects, ponder about the double ontology of ducks and rabbits, and advocate for the art of herding cats. 

Kuba Szreder is a curator and researcher, and Associate Professor at the Department of Art Theory at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. A graduate of sociology at Jagiellonian University (Krakow), he was awarded a practice-based PhD from Loughborough University School of the Arts in 2015. In his interdisciplinary projects he carries out artistic and organizational experiments, hybridizing art with other domains of life. In 2009 he initiated the Free/Slow University of Warsaw, with which he completed several inquiries into the political economy of contemporary artistic production. He is editor and author of several catalogues, readers, book chapters and articles. In his most recent book ABC of Projectariat, he scrutinises economic and governmental aspects of project-making and their impact on 'independent' curatorial practice.

Peg Rawes is Professor of Architecture and Philosophy at Bartlett School of Architecture UCL.

Reception to follow, thanks to the generosity of CSCA - the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Art at UCL. No registration necessary, but please confirm your likely or possible attendance by responding to the Facebook invitation; or by sending an email to m.murawski@ucl.ac.uk or m.mileeva@ucl.ac.uk

About the seminar series:

'Power Vertical: Politics and Aesthetics in the Global East' is a collaborative, nomadic seminar series launching during the 2018-2019 academic year at UCL.

“I think Putin probably likes Trump from an aesthetic point of view”  (Valery Garbuzov, Director of the Institute for US and Canadian Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow).  Do certain modes of politics and economics – and certain parts of the world – come with particular styles and shapes attached to them? Is there an inherent correlation between authoritarianism and monumentality, and between democracy and authoritarianism? Between populism and kitsch, between liberalism and restraint? Between socialism and austerity, capitalism and luxury, patriarchy and verticality?
How are these politics and aesthetics shifted, reinforced, consolidated and gendered? How can our binary assumptions about political-aesthetic elective affinities be contested, queered and resisted – and what can the experiences of the 'Global East' – encompassing Russia, the former Soviet Union, the former socialist world and their transnational entanglements – tell us about these affinities?

Power Vertical is convened by Masha Mileeva (UCL Art History) and Michał Murawski (Gold Zamt) (UCL SSEES). It is a roving, and restless initiative, currently co-hosted by UCL SSEES, the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Art at the UCL Department of Art History, UCL Institute of Advanced Studies, The FRINGE Centre for the Study of Social and Cultural Complexity and The Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre.