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Jiri Kovanda at Symposion in Birmingham

22 OCTOBER 2011, 7 PM, THE STUDIO AT FAIRBRIDGE, 79 WARWICK STREET, BIRMINGHAM B12 0NH. Czech artist Jiri Kovanda will take part in the Symposion project, an evening of performance curated by Boris Ondreicka (Slovakia), with a line up of international artists, theorists and musicians responding to Symposion, a philosophical text by Plato, concerned with the genesis, purpose and nature of love. Symposion is a central happening to the third bi-annual visual art festival called The Event hosted by Birmingham Contemporary Art Forum.


Featuring live acts by JIRI KOVANDA (Czech Republic), CLEMENTINE DELISS (Germany), KARL HOLMQVIST (Sweden & Germany), MARIA LINDBERG (Sweden), EMILY ROYSDON (USA), MARK KOZELEK (USA), RASHA SALTI (Lebanon & USA), RUTI SELA  (Israel) and JAN VERWOERT (Germany).

Symposion is the title of one of the most fundamental texts in the history of philosophy written by Plato, but also describes a form of discursive gathering, which was an important social institution in Ancient Greece. 

Plato's Symposion (385-380 BC) “concerns itself at one level with the genesis, purpose and nature of love. Love is examined in a sequence of speeches by men attending a symposium, or drinking party. Each man must deliver an encomium, a speech in praise of Love (Eros)”.

Curator Boris Ondreička proposes the SYMPOSION project as a return to those origins. He has invited artists, theorists and musicians to deliver an encomium, a speech in praise of Love, in a format or medium which best suits their practice. 

During a single evening those encomiums will be delivered to the audience and collectively discussed in the context of special stage-set which is produced as a result of collective creativity.

The project will be accompanied by a SYMPOSION brochure which includes Plato's full text and a page for each contributing artist.