Syndrome of the Present

Syndrome of the Present is a research-based art project that generates and facilitates collective thinking between artists and scholars from diverse disciplines in order to analyse the political, historical and sociological conditions that shape our present time. The project thus orientates itself around a series of questions about the essence of sovereignty and the boundaries of the political act, the threshold between political theology and religious politics, political imagination and rhetoric, the constitution of the ‘non-citizen’, and the dispersion of information and ideology through the evolution of media.

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The project’s current stage, unfolding over the years 2018 to 2019, consists of four travelling seminars taking place across site-specific geographies: Thessaloniki (GR), Izmir and Istanbul (TR), Amsterdam (NL), and Recife (BR). These locations retrace a historical past in which a messianic fever emerges parallel to catalytic developments in scientific and philosophical understanding. Two protagonists come forth: the self-proclaimed ‘messiah’, Sabbatai Zevi, and Baruch Spinoza, the philosopher commonly believed to be the ‘first man in Europe without religion’. By unfolding the propositions, controversies and narratives surrounding these two figures, the seminars provide fertile ground for drawing parallels with the contemporary global events in the socio-political sphere.

In the forthcoming period, the project will manifest a series of public events, culminating in a series of exhibitions in 2019. To read further about the project’s participants, click here. To read about forthcoming and previous events, click here.