Whereas Michel Foucault’s history of sexuality relied on the notion of “biopolitics” to understand the modern formation of political sexual subjects, this seminar takes as a starting point the constitutive relationship between “necropolitics” and sexual and gender identities. Over the course of three days, we outline a genealogy of the shifting technologies that produce the modern body and its subjectivity, from sovereign regime and the colonial reticule of power to contemporary pharmacopornographic formations, in an attempt to understand the displacements from patriarchy to modern notions of homosexuality and heterosexuality as well as to contemporary gender politics. The aim of this genealogical research is not only to unpack the archive of power regimes (and the invention of a series of “political living fictions” from the “sovereign father” to the “abnormal”), but also to sketch a cartography of somatopolitical oppositional technologies. Thus, the seminar sketches a new history of sexuality, forcing a Foucauldian discourse to engage with contemporary anti-colonial, queer, and trans/feminist theories and politics.
This seminar is taught by Paul B. Preciado and is a collaboration between the Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA) and documenta 14’s Public Programs. It is addressed to ASFA students as well as to all participants of documenta 14’s Open Form Societies, academics, and activists interested in political theory, body politics, feminism, and trans and queer studies.
Thursday February 16, 2017
Session 1: The Necropolitical Body. Blood, Sperm, and Sovereignty
Friday February 17, 2017
Session 2: The Biopolitical Regime and the Invention of Sexual Difference. Private Milk and Public Water
Saturday February 18, 2017
Session 3: The Pharmacological Body. Technofluids, Sexual Capital, and Porn Data
Paul B. Preciado is a philosopher, curator, and transgender activist, and a leading thinker in the study of gender and sexual politics. An Honors Graduate and Fulbright Fellow, he earned his MA in Philosophy and Gender Theory at the New School for Social Research in New York where he studied with Agnes Heller and Jacques Derrida. He holds a PhD in Philosophy and Theory of Architecture from Princeton University. His first book, Contra-Sexual Manifesto (2000, English edition forthcoming in 2017) was acclaimed by critics as “the red book of queer theory” and became a key reference for European queer and trans activism. He is the author of Testo Junkie. Sex, Drugs and Biopolitics (2013) and Pornotopia (2014), for which he was awarded the French Prix Sade de l’essai. He was head of research of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA) and director of the museum’s Independent Studies Program (PEI). He is currently Curator of Public Programs of documenta 14. Preciado lives and works in Athens.