Temperatures is a cooperative year-long program by Bonner Kunstverein, Kunstverein München and Kunstverein Nürnberg, with events including talks, readings, concerts, and performances expanding the digital space within the existing infrastructures of the three institutions.
The sixth event, “Dim to Dark”, on Tuesday, October 26, 7 pm CET, takes the form of a lecture (Online and on site at Kunstverein Nürnberg) with cultural theorist and writer Ana Teixeira Pinto.
In his often quoted 1991 essay „Lessons on the Analytic of the Sublime“, Jean-Francois Lyotard narrated the experience of the sublime as a violent sexual assault, in which the faculty of the imagination is “violated, exceeded, exhausted.” One could perhaps dismiss Lyotard’s penchant for metaphors that naturalize sexual violence, as the idiosyncrasies of one single author, but leaving this jarring passage aside, the “free play” of faculties is already implicitly gendered in Kant’s account of the sublime. The sublime also has a hidden racial dimension. Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful (1757), the first theorization of the sublime, identifies blackness with the themes of darkness and terror, via the example of a young boy whose vision had been newly restored just to be “struck with great horror at the sight” of a black woman’s body.
The aim of the present talk is to remove the sublime, and adjacent aesthetic categories like the exotic or the grotesque, from their pristine post-Enlightenment lineage – a history of aesthetic ideas that purport to exist without any messy ground-level entanglements at sites of imperial extraction or expansion – and examine the disturbing conflation of embodied and encultured experience that the discourse of philosophical aesthetics engenders as an ideological process at work.
Ana Teixeira Pinto is a writer and cultural theorist based in Berlin. She is currently a guest professor at AdBK Nürnberg and a theory tutor at the Dutch Art Institute. Her writings have appeared in publications such as „Third Text“, „Afterall“, „e-flux journal“, „Manifesta Journal“, or „Texte zur Kunst“. She is the editor of a forthcoming book series on the antipolitical turn, to be published by Sternberg Press, and together with Kader Attia and Anselm Franke, she is currently organizing the conference and podcast series The White West: Whose Universal? taking place at the HKW, Berlin, in November 2021.
The lecture will be in English. It will be accessible in situ at Kunstverein Nürnberg in adherence to 3G regulations, as well as online, for free and without registration via the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86175584804?pwd=aWlrTUdnNFpHanR2TTdqYWEwUmg1QT09
 Jean-François Lyotard, Lessons on the Analytic of the Sublime, Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1994, p. 180.
 Burke, A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, p. 74.