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Launch & Conversation: The Readymades
6 September @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
‘Freedom to Move’: A reading by John Holten followed by an open discussion with Darko Dragičević
Please join us for an evening of reading, discussion and drinks to mark the re-issuing of The Readymades.
As the novel tells the story of a group of artists who move across Europe, dealing with travel restrictions and prejudice, as well as by our own experience of travelling to London for this occasion, we thought to frame the evening with a look at the concept of Freedom of Movement in Europe, who benefits and loses from it – and like the many Serbian artists in the novel – what it means to not be in the European Union.
When first published The Readymades won universal acclaim by those who managed to acquire a copy, being dubbed one of ‘the best Irish novels of the last decade.’ It tells the story of a collection of friends who took part in the Yugoslavian wars of the 1990s, before going on to become celebrated artists. It recounts their loves, their struggles and the weight of history as they blaze a trail across Europe. Its publication came with a number of interventions in the world by The LGB Group, the art group Holten created in the novel, with work created in collaboration with Serbian artistDarko Dragičević.
Having mostly existed as an extended fiction project within the contemporary art world, The Readymades received less attention and readership in the literary world than it deserved, leading Rob Doyle to declare, ‘One of the most remarkable novels of recent years, The Readymades has been read by relatively few people.’ Its republication sees a novel whose story and characters take on the very forces so pertinent today: the reemergence of nationalism, civil war, refugees and the need for art to challenge any and all prejudices and preconceived notions of what it means to be an individual.
John Holten is a novelist, artist and occasional curator. His first novel The Readymades was published in 2011 by Broken Dimanche Press, which he co-founded in Berlin in 2009. It was followed up the novel Oslo, Norway in 2015. Holten has collaborated with many visual artists on texts and publications in recent years. He has been awarded Literature Bursaries from Arts Council of Ireland, most recently in 2017.
Darko Dragičević is a Belgrade-born, Berlin-based visual and performance artist, film director and teacher. His interdisciplinary projects and cross-media collaborations have been presented and awarded internationally. Dragičević teaches at institutions such as ZZT Centre for Contemporary Dance/HfMT Cologne, DOCH – School of Dance and Circus/Stockholm University of the Arts, Tanzquartier Vienna, Folkwang University Essen and Y-Institut/Hochschule der Künste Bern. He is commissioning editor of the Practice series for Goethe-Institut Serbia. First edition titled Failure as Practice was published in March 2019.