Leonida Kovač: Disenactments

KIC, Preradovićeva 5

22 January 2024

Location: KIC, Preradovićeva 5

Book promotion

Continuing the series of four lectures delivered by Leonida Kovač under the title “Landscapes of Simultaneous Times: On Memory Practices in Contemporary Art,” the Art Pavilion in Zagreb and the publisher Sandorf present Leonida Kovač’s latest book titled “Disenactments,” which is based on the aforementioned lectures.

The contribution of this theoretical book is based on a consistent and thorough reconstruction of the image of the world, whereby the individual is not positioned merely as a recipient detached from the activities of life depicted in that image, but rather as an activist of its disenactment (ultimate realisation). Through comprehensive exploration of examples in existing literary, visual arts, philosophical, psychoanalytical, and numerous other significant works of the modern and contemporary era, a successful protagonist in the disenactment of the passive image of the world is shown to be the individual (or individuals) who, through memory and active witnessing of consciousness in the present, should primarily reconstruct the idea of togetherness.

Nataša Lah, reviewer

“Disenactments” by Leonida Kovač stands as an unparalleled book in contemporary Croatian essay writing dedicated to literature and visual arts. This distinction is not only due to its inspiration drawn from the “metaphysical intervention” undertaken by Walter Benjamin in the course of considering dialectical and historical materialism, but primarily because the central subject of analytical discussion, the introductory and main character Austerlitz – taken from the eponymous novel by German author W. G. Sebald from 2001 – encounters, within the pages of her book, Malte Laurids Brigge from “The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge” by Rainer Maria Rilke, from 1910. In Sebald’s novel, Austerlitz, at one point, says to his interlocutor: “And might it not be that we also have appointments to keep in the past, in what has gone before and is for the most part extinguished, and must go there in search of places and people who have some connection with us on the far side of time, so to speak?”

Matko Sršen, editor

When Rosi Braidotti underscores the importance of fostering a culture that respects knowledge, she emphasises that the political class does exactly the opposite. Instead of calling for revolution, she talks about alternative forms of resistance based on the principles of feminism, anti-racism, and anti-fascism, as well as solidarity and collaboration in finding margins for action. Many of these margins interfere today in the field of the expanded extension of the concept of art, where theoretical reflections are inseparable from practical actions. From one of these margins, I have penned this “book of indefinite kind,” viewing it as my own contribution to the critique of violence.

Leonida Kovač, author

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