Susan Kelly


A Performative Investigation into the Micropolitics AND Topologies of the Concurrent Constituencies of Europe

Susan Kelly investigated the contradictions and possibilities that emerge when concurrent jurisdictions are discovered, performed, or repurposed.

Kelly writes about this project: “It begins by looking at the local topologies of simultaneous jurisdictions that underlie the seemingly self-evident integrity of maps and spatially designated ‘units of governance’ in several locations, including Tyrol. Etymologically, [juris-]diction means to declare. To claim a jurisdiction is to declare the law, to speak it, to announce it to be so. Legal terms such as ‘jurisdiction’ and ‘constituency’ refer to both spatial units of governance—territories around which a line is drawn—and to groups of people. Do these bodies and ‘units’ simply coincide with the bio-political regimes that count, parse, divide, include and exclude? What are the daily micropolitical relations, desires and patterns of movement of those who inhabit such jurisdictions? What forms can record these spaces topologically (e.g., through properties of convergence, connectedness and continuity) rather than topographically? Would it be possible to make visible a geography of orientations, directions, entries and exits?”

European charters on regional autonomy and minority languages have been discussed not only in the contested peripheral Euro spaces of Northern Ireland and former Yugoslavia, but also in the Tyrol region in the ‘center’ of Europe. Could more complex territories and histories such as these challenge the alarming growth of right wing discourses of nationalism, anti-immigration and protectionism in so-called ‘Austerity Europe’?”

At Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen, Susan Kelly combined speech and sound, drawing and different kinds of performative research to understand and record the production of the aforementioned tacit spatial topologies, movements and directions.

Susan Kelly held a lecture at the Institute for Architectural Theory at the University of Innsbruck in the 2012 summer semester, in the context of the seminar Jurisdictions: Experiments in the Topographies and Topologies of Tyrol. Kelly also presented her work and working methods at Julia Prager’s seminar Literary Theories—Publics at the Institute of Languages and Literatures, Department of Comparative Literature, University of Innsbruck.

Susan KELLY is an artist, writer and educator currently living in London. She writes, does performances, public artwork and installations and is a lecturer in Fine Art and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Susan Kelly works independently and collectively with the Micropolitics Research Group, the Carrotworkers’ Collective and the Precarious Workers Brigade. Over the last ten years she has worked in Belfast, New York, Toronto, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Krasnoyarsk, Tallin, Zagreb, Innsbruck and elsewhere.