The Headless Conference This Friday

Join us for the Headless Conference this Friday March 19th at 7pm in the New Museum's Theater. Tickets are $6 members, $8 general, and they can be purchased here. Description of the event below, for additional reading please check out Ginny Kollak's "Putting the capital in decapitation" as well as Brian Droitcour's "Interview with Goldin+Senneby" from Rhizome News. Ginny Kollak and Brian Droitcour are the co-organizers of the Headless Conference.

“I was still living in Gibraltar, working through my notice at Sovereign Trust, an offshore management company. [...] One of thousands of companies that Sovereign manages is called Headless. It was incorporated (i.e. registered) on the Bahamas through our Gibraltar office. Headless is a strange name, and it got me thinking. Then we got a call from Goldin and Senneby, two Swedish artists. They said they were looking into Headless Ltd. This definitely was strange. Companies like Headless are not really ‘open to investigation,’ so I didn't really understand Goldin and Senneby's angle here.”

—In Search of Story: A journal in eight parts by K.D.

Goldin+Senneby are Swedish artists. They are also characters in Looking for Headless, a novel they commissioned, a detective story involving a murder (by decapitation, of course) that has been published serially since 2007. In it, Goldin+Senneby appear as shadowy figures, remotely controlling the action as it unfolds in exotic locales like the Bahamas and Gibraltar—glamorous but bureaucratic hubs of the offshore finance industry.

“While they implicate art institutions in the narrative they enact, G+S are ultimately interested in how the virtual world of global finances performs a sleight of hand to fictionalize the boundaries between public and private interests, in order to make them disappear.”

—Gregory Burke, director of the Power Plant, Toronto

The lectures, documentaries, and didactic displays that have accompanied the presentation of Headless at art institutions share little of the heady cloak-and-dagger suspense found in the fictional texts that the project spawns. The Headless Conference is no exception to this rule. Co-organized by Rhizome and the Office for Parafictional Research, the event will take the form of an academic symposium on issues pertinent to the discourse surrounding Goldin+Senneby's work. Up for discussion are topics as diverse as the economic theories of George Bataille and the nature of virtual spaces built by offshore finance networks. Participants are to include Angus Cameron, lecturer in human geography at the University of Leicester and Goldin+Senneby's chosen emissary; Brian Droitcour, Rhizome staff writer; Keller Easterling, associate professor at the Yale School of Architecture; Ginny Kollak, director of the Office for Parafictional Research and second-year graduate student at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College; and Allan Stoekl, professor of French at Penn State University.

The Headless Conference
Friday, March 19, 2010
7:00 pm
New Museum Theater
235 Bowery, New York
$6 Members/ $8 General Public

The Headless Conference is co-organized by Brian Droitcour and Ginny Kollak as part of Rhizome’s New Silent Series at the New Museum, and is supported in part by the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.