Porto Design Biennale, Porto, Portugal | Website
MONSTROUS DESIGNS: A PERFORMATIVE CONFERENCE — THE OLD MONSTERS HAUNTING THE NEW MILLENNIUM
CURATOR/ANA TEIXEIRA PINTO
Writing from his prison cell circa 1930, the Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci described the institutional crisis of his time as a political hiatus. “The old (system) is dying and the new cannot be born”. In this interregnum, Gramsci added “a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” The sentence was later rendered into English as: “The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters”. This rather loose translation became wildly popular in the aftermath of Brexit and Donald Trump’s US election victory because it seems to perfectly capture the present condition.
The aim of the present conference is to examine the old monsters haunting the new millennium, and to ask whether the multitude of eerie creatures feasting on Capital’s decaying flesh appeared by accident or by design.