Intercapillary Spaces - 25th October

An evening of politics, poetry & the fictions of modern love
Danny Hayward, Jennifer Cooke, Reina van der Wiel and Felicity Allen

7.00pm, Thurs 25th Oct
Parasol Unit, 14 Wharf Road, N1 7RW
Arrive early to view the exhibition of sculptures by Bharti Kher
Tickets: £5/£4 conc


Danny Hayward:

‘How to be Dominated, or, Night Thoughts on Poetry and World History’

The talk will attempt to specify a category of writing that wishes not only to contest the ownership of the category of the popular, but which wants actively to ownthat category. In its first parts it will offer a polemical history of its central category for the previous two centuries of capitalist development, from Schiller via Wordsworth to Brecht, before proceeding to a more speculative discussion of contemporary writing that wishes to seize (and not merely to gain) popularity from the interests for whom popularity is a synonym of turnover. Setting itself in equal opposition to Adorno's view of "high" and "low" culture as two torn halves that will not be added together, and the profitable therapeutics of anything goes, the talk will argue that a contemporary communist popular culture can only function as a comedy of domination instated at the level of syntax, prosody, and narrative. Broadly speaking, the talk will claim that the poetic writing, if it wishes to maintain some relation to historical development, must learn how to work with its own domination.
In conclusion, and with a view less towards the operationalisation of the category than towards its collectivisation, the talk will use the category of a comedy of domination to guide some readings of what it takes to be failed and successful poems.
‘Love is.... very fictional’

Jennifer Cooke, Reina van der Wiel and Felicity Allen
To mark the forthcoming book edited by Jennifer Cooke, Scenes of Intimacy (Continuum, 2013), Cooke will be joined by two contributors to the volume to discuss how love is.... very fictional. Felicity Allen will talk of how 19th century love shapes present desires, then Jennifer Cooke will discuss with Reina van der Wiel new theories of relationality and how they try to by-pass some of the problems of modern love.

Biographical Notes

Felicity Allen is an artist, writer and educator. Her current work includes a dialogic portraits series in prose and watercolour. As guest scholar at the Getty Research Institute (2011-2012) she reviewed Nahnou-Together, a social art project with artists and young people from Amman, Damascus and London between 2004 and 2010. Two books came out in 2011: Education(MIT/Whitechapel Documents of Contemporary Art) and Your Sketchbook Your Self (Tate). She has been involved in gallery education for the last two decades, most recently leading the education department at Tate Britain (2003-10).

Jennifer Cooke is Lecturer in English at Loughborough University. She is the author of Legacies of Plague in Literature, Theory and Film (Palgrave, 2009) and has published articles on modernism, psychoanalysis, contemporary poetics, and Hélène Cixous. She is currently writing a monograph about intimacy, affect and innovative writing in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and is editor of a special issue of Textual Practice entitled Challenging Intimacies: Legacies of Psychoanalysis (2013).
Danny Hayward is a poet and polemicist based in London. His Two Essays: Best and Worst in Poetry / Perfect Capitalism was published by Veer Books in 2012. His poetry is published inVierSomes 000, also from Veer in 2012.

Reina van der Wiel is a visiting lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London. She is the author of the forthcoming Twentieth-Century Literature and Aesthetics of Trauma: Virginia Woolf and Jeanette Winterson (Palgrave, 2014), and has also published on Jeanette Winterson and Frida Kahlo. Her current research focuses on intimacy, solitude, and a ‘poethics’ of care in twentieth- and twenty-first century poetry, philosophy, and psychoanalysis.


Booking is advised. Tickets can be booked through Parasol Unit by phone or email. To book your ticket please contact Charlotte Hale on / 020 7490 7373 ext. 20.

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