A Prior #14Modernity


A Prior Magazine is a contributor to this year’s [2007] documenta12 magazines project – an open source collaborative project between over 90 on- and off-line (art)publications. A Prior’s two issues of this year take their cue from the conceptual outlines of the documenta12 project. A Prior also took the occasion to extend its activities, exchange articles and organise seminars and educational sessions.


Chèr Pourquoi Pas?Sven Augustijnen
Who killed Patrice Lumumba? And who murdered his alleged murderer? What was the role of journalist Pierre Davister? Sven Augustijnen’s investigative and elaborative project on (post)colonial events and media in both Congo—a former Belgian colony—and Belgium, recalls the thin lines between truth and fiction, the manipulation of words and data, power structures and media. Based on magazine and archived articles, real and fictional interviews the project also features an extensive series of covers from the 1960s reviews Pourquoi Pas? and Spécial. Jan Verwoert elaborates on the ‘Practical Surrealism’ Augustijnen’s work.

Re-visiting SolarisDeimantas Narkevicius
Narkevicius reconsiders Solaris—the enigmatic Tarkovsky film adaptation in 1971/2 of the novel by futurologist Stanislaw Lem. An extensive text by writer Jean-Pierre Rehm and a conversation between Narkevicius and Larissa Harris, discuss Narkevicius’ mastery in addressing the contemporary and (recent) past, in the context of the wrangling of the economic and the socio-cultural condition, specifically in the former Eastern Bloc.

Königsberg / KaliningradJoachim Koester
Koester travelled to the city of Königsberg / Kaliningrad together with curator and writer Anders Kreuger and literary scholar Claudia Sinnig and discovered that Kant’s beloved hometown (and Hannah Arendt’s birthplace) was now covered with shopping malls and other marks of post-communist, capitalist influence. Koester elaborated his project The Kant Walks with new photographs for A PRIOR and produced a new series of photographs: Kaliningrad is Full of Holes. With reflections on Königsberg / Kaliningrad by Dieter Roelstraete, Anders Kreuger and Claudia Sinnig.


I Am Alive and You Are Dead…
Curator and writer François Piron elaborates on the inherent tensions and contradictions of modernity starting from Glass Architecture—a manifesto written by the German poet Paul Scheerbart in 1910—and subsequently on the production of errors as an interpretative methodology or, what modernity could have been if….