Alfredo Jaar’s work considers some of recent history’s most traumatic events and the implications of how these are communicated. For Touched, he presents two works that reflect on the legacies and status of humanist thinking and the ongoing problems of how to articulate, document and commemorate human suffering.
Comfortably furnished for lounging, and painted in rallying red, The Marx Lounge is situated conceptually between a library reading room and the seamier environs of a public boudoir. As the plethora of recent symposia, publications and exhibitions attests, Karl Marx’s pivotally influential ideas continue to be recalibrated. In part, this can be attributed to the current economic crisis, but it also reflects wider discussions within contemporary cultural and critical theory that seek to fundamentally interrogate and rethink the capitalist system. Responding to this upsurge of interest, The Marx Lounge presents a platform for audiences to access an extensive archive of reading material focusing on Marx’s political, economic, humanitarian and philosophical ideas.
The Marx Lounge includes recent publications provided by the UK’s primary radical publishing company, Verso Books, and copies of The Communist Manifesto translated into the minority languages of Liverpool. Activating the work is a lively discursive programme of talks and discussions by leading thinkers in the field and an accompanying poster campaign on public sites around the city. The Marx Lounge is a complete experiential environment where audiences can sit, read, speculate and come to their own conclusions on the relevance and viability of Marx’s ideas today.
Source: Liverpool Biennial International Festival of Contemporary Art, 2010 Guide