Exhibition, Symposium
30 Oct 2009

How Dangerous is the Ir-rational?

Doomed to a constant oscillation between the realms of the Unknown and the illusion of meaning, we advance regressing. Echoing various other scholars, the American philosopher William James marked ‘the recesses of feeling the darker, blinder strata of character’ as the only places in the world in which ‘we catch real fact in the making’. Yet, instead of curiously exploring what cannot be known, we push it further away enveloped with fear and anxiousness. The ‘darker strata’ regularly produce angst, aversion, or awe. In this one day symposium, scholars and artists will shed “light” on what has been relegated to the sphere of unreason: magic, the irrational, spectrality, the daemonic. Who is afraid of the irrational? What is ‘magic philosophy’ and who needs it?  How much reason is reasonable?

18:30 Keynote by Michael Taussig

Michael Taussig’s work investigates commodity fetishism, the impact of colonialism, shamanism and folk healing, slavery, terror, mimesis, magic, and colour, to name only a few of his areas of interest.  Since his first book, The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in Latin America in 1980, to his most recent publication What Colour is the Sacred? in 2008, the Columbia University Professor has combined fieldwork and theory in a unique genre of “ficto-criticism.” In this talk Michael Taussig will address the notion of fear in combination with the ir/rational.

20:00 Opening of the photo exhibition by Cara Judea Alhadeff


ICI Berlin
(Click for further documentation)


Cara Judea Alhadeff
Sladja Blazan
Jesse Bransford
Fabio Camilletti
Sabine Sielke
Brigitte Weingart
Michael Taussig

Organized by

Sladja Blazan
ICI Berlin
In cooperation with the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung

In English

First published on: https://www.ici-berlin.org/events/dangerous-ir-rational/
Rights: © ICI Berlin
Cite as: How Dangerous is the Ir-rational?, exhibition and symposium, ICI Berlin, 30 October 2009 <https://doi.org/10.25620/e091030>