9 Scripts from a Nation at War

Fellowship Project Presentation Mon 17 Sep 2007 6.30PM-8.30PM The New School, Tishman Auditorium
66 West 12th Street
Admission: $8, free for all students, New School faculty, staff, and alumni with valid ID
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Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Ashley Hunt, Katya Sander, and David Thorne will present their recent collaborative project 9 Scripts from a Nation at War, currently on view at Documenta12 in Kassel, Germany. 9 Scripts was realized within the context of the artists' Vera List Center for Arts and Politics Fellowship at The New School.

It will be presented in a conversation with Thomas Keenan (director, Human Rights Project; Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, Bard College), introduced by Carin Kuoni (director, the Vera List Center for Art and Politics).
9 Scripts from a Nation at War is a video project that responds to conditions and questions that have arisen since March 2003, taking the U.S. context as an initial point of view. While this date marks the beginning of the invasion of Iraq by U.S. military forces, the conflict reaches backwards and forward in history and memory, as a
"long war" that has few, if any, boundaries.

The work is structured around a central question: How does war construct specific positions for individuals to fill, enact, speak from, or resist?

9 Scripts from a Nation at War considers the processes by which we are positioned as certain kinds of "individuals" in relation to war—artists, soldiers, students, prisoners, detainees, citizens, Iraqis, Europeans, Americans, and so on. A student or a detainee or a journalist is formed not only in relation to political and ideological conditions, but also by the agency of the individuals themselves, always struggling in response to how they are positioned.

In its current incarnation, 9 Scripts from a Nation at War is presented as a constellation of videos. Each video stages the speaking of a script. The figures who speak—a veteran, a student, a citizen, an actor, a blogger, a lawyer, a journalist, an interviewer—are performed by actors and non-actors alike, some re-speaking their own words, others learning the words of others. These stagings allow inquiry into the recording, reporting, learning, and understanding of the present moment, and reflection upon how we account for ourselves within it.

Sharon Hayes, Ashley Hunt, Katya Sander, David Thorne, and Andrea Geyer have been working together as artists, organizers, researchers, and writers on and off and in varied ways for the last eight years. 9 Scripts from a Nation at War expands the scope and methods of their previous collaborations and marks the first time they have worked together as a group of five.

9 Scripts was developed, in part, during a Vera List Center Fellowship and supported by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School.