Frieze London – IIIC discussion events

Mira Calix and Goshka Macuga collaborate on a series of discussion events during and at the Freize Art Fair, London

Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle – Booth B21 – Frieze London – Regent’s Park NW1

5/10/16 – 11.00 – 12.30 (VIP / Preview day)

7/10/16 – 14.00 – 16.00

8/10/16 – 14.00 – 16.00


In a letter written in 1931, Albert Einstein invites Sigmund Freud to a frank exchange of views on the destructive nature of humankind…

“I am convinced that almost all great men who, because of their accomplishments are recognized as leaders, even of small groups, share the same ideals. But they have little influence on the course of political events. It would almost appear that the very domain of human activity most crucial to the fate of nations is inescapably in the hands of wholly irresponsible political rulers.

Political leaders or governments owe their power either to the use of force or to their election by the masses. They cannot be regarded as representative of the superior moral or intellectual elements in a nation. In our time, the intellectual elite does not exercise any direct influence on the history of the world; the very fact of its division into many factions makes it impossible for its members to co-operate in the solution of today’s problems. Do you not share the feeling that a change could be brought about by a free association of men whose previous work and achievements offer a guarantee of their ability and integrity? (…) It seems to me nothing less than an imperative duty!” Albert Einstein

Extracted from the publication, ‘Why War?’ – a correspondence between Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein.

The scientist was at the time a leading member of an organisation known as the International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation, founded in 1926 to act as an advisory body for the League of Nations, which aimed to promote intellectual exchange between international scientists, researchers, teachers, artists and other cultural figures. A fragmented Europe caught between two wars provided purpose for the idea of the Institute, which later disintegrated, as Europe seemed to find peace in its union.

At this year’s Frieze Art Fair (London) and in the spirit of the original International Institute of Intellectual Co-operation, artists Mira Calix and Goshka Makuga will host an open forum made up of colleagues and contemporaries with a variety of experiences and expertise in science, politics, architecture, the environment, social justice, urban planning and the arts, with the purpose of freely exchanging ideas with the purpose of formulating a cohesive Agenda for a future committee meeting.

In the wake of the recent UK referendum vote to exit the EU and the potential dissolution of the extraordinary levels of co-operation the union has afforded us, global mass displacement and widespread civil war (to name but a few issues), we again face significant international instabilities. In order to deal with these, do we require a greater diversity of expertise than is offered by the current political structure and agenda? Aspiring to reinvigorate the idea and ethos of the Institute, Calix and Macuga have invited the participants to consider the urgent issues of the day, which can often feel overwhelming in their sheer number and complexity. 2016 could be said to have been the most dramatic and, for some, virulent of years in memory – and this has compelled the artists to create a forum for active reconsideration of the existing order of society.

At the end of the Frieze sessions, Goshka and Mira will review the newly created Agenda. Led by this and the areas addressed, they will confer with the group, utilising their extended peer-to-peer network, they will invite more participants, creating further events, with the continued emphasis on a practical outcome and the spirit of co-operation that was so integral to the original committee, it was included in its name.

The material generated by the group will be published as an open source document, attributable to the participants as a group. Though the foundation of this new committee lies with Calix and Macuga, they wish to share the guardianship.