reading group


24.01.23, 6:30pm, INCOMPLETE READING GROUP #14
reads "Racial Indigestion. Eating bodies in the 19th Century," 2012 by Kyla Wazana Tompkins

20.12.22, 6.30, INCOMPLETE READING GROUP #13
reads "Factory of Tears" (2008) and "Music for the Dead and Resurrected" (2020) by Valzhyna Mort

29.11.22, 6.30, INCOMPLETE READING GROUP #12
reads "A Lesbian Appetite" (1988) by Dorothy Allison & "Feed" (2019) by Tommy Pico

25.10.22, 6.30 pm, INCOMPLETE READING GROUP #11
reads texts by Tabea Blumenschein, Hilka Nordhausen, and Rabe perplexum

27.09.22, 6.30 pm, INCOMPLETE READING GROUP #10
reads poetry by Ocean Vuong and Audre Lorde

28.06.22, 6.30 pm, INCOMPLETE READING GROUP #9
reads from Maggie Nelson's "On Freedom"

31.05.22, 6.30 pm, INCOMPLETE READING GROUP #8
reads Rosi Braidotti

26.04.22, 6.30 pm, INCOMPLETE READING GROUP #7
reads Sonia Mehra Chawla and Fahim Amir

29.03.22, 6.30 pm, INCOMPLETE READING GROUP #6
reads Heike Geißler

reads Simone Weil, moderated by Jan Erbelding in cooperation with the reading sessions in the programme of I Did Not See It Coming

25.01.22, 6.30 pm, INCOMPLETE READING GROUP #4
reads Melissa Broder and Lynne Tillman

20.12.21, 6.30 pm, INCOMPLETE READING GROUP #3
reads Donna J. Haraway and Paul B. Preciado

16.11.21, 6.30 pm, INCOMPLETE READING GROUP #2
reads Patricia Reed "The Valuation of Necessity", 2021

reads Octavia E. Butler's "Speech Sounds", 1983

The INCOMPLETE READING GROUP invites everyone to engage in open exchange in a democratic space to explore different text(ual form)s and thereby grow beyond the limitation of solitary reading as well as arouse a multi-perspective approach to the writings. Reading the text in advance is recommended but not required for participation. Printed copies will be available at the gathering and excerpts of the text will be read together to support open discussion. The reading group meets monthly at Lothringer 13 lokal starting in October 2021. 
For access to the text and further information on the reading group, please email Further dates are communicated here and on social media soon.

January 24, 2023, 6:30pm
"Racial Indigestion. Eating bodies in the 19th Century," 2012 by Kyla Wazana Tompkins

December 20, 2022, 6.30 pm
reads "Factory of Tears" (2008) and  "Music for the Dead and Resurrected" (2020) by Valzhyna Mort.

The prose writer, poet, translator and lecturer Valzhyna Mort was born in Minsk in 1981 and moved to the USA in 2006. In 2005, her first volume of poetry "Ja tonen'kaja jak tvae vejki" (in English: I´m as thin as your eyelashes) was published. In 2007, the second volume "Tränenfabrik" (Tear Factory) appeared - first in Swedish, then in English, and was translated into German in 2008. It was followed by "Crossword" in 2013 and "Music for the Dead and Resurrected" in 2021. She writes in Belarusian and in English. In addition to her writing, she translates from English and Polish.

Her work focuses on memories of her Belarusian childhood, the sorrow and beauty in this, for most readers, unknown country. Mort deals a lot with the Belarusian language. She herself learned it relatively late. During the Soviet Union, Russian dominated, and even in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, Belarusian was by no means a written or cultural language, but rather the language of the poorer and rural population. With the end of the Soviet Union, the country turned back to its own language, which was also kept alive through oral tradition. The writer was born into this period, which was characterized by linguistic and cultural ambiguities and contradictions. Valzhyna Mort reflects this in her work and lets us learn more about Belarusian life and its language.

November 29, 2022, 6.30 pm
reads "A Lesbian Appetite" (1988) by Dorothy Allison & "Feed" (2019) by Tommy Pico.

October 25, 2022, 6.30 pm
reading texts by Tabea Blumenschein, Hilka Nordhausen, and Rabe perplexum
Tabea Blumenschein (1952-2020), Hilka Nordhausen (1949-1993), and Rabe perplexum (1956-1996) acted ex-centrically in several senses: outside the center of attention, deviating from social norms and often from institutionalized art. Their work transcended the narrow boundaries of genres and modes of expression: Hilka Nordhausen, for example, founded the off-space Buch Handlung Welt, which was a bookstore, art space, and social contact zone. Tabea Blumenschein worked as a performer, designed costumes for film and theater, and left behind a body of drawings and paintings. Rabe perplexum realized performances and actions in public space in Munich in association with friends and confidants, painted and was one of the early digital video artists. 

In the personal notes, letters to friends and poems that we would like to read with you, they critically, sometimes doubtfully, sometimes provocatively dealt with their respective social positions, attributions and the function of their artistic production. 
Reading with us are Ergül Cengiz, Burcu Dogramaci and Angela Stiegler, co-curators and initiators of the exhibition project "Eccentric 80s. Tabea Blumenschein, Hilka Nordhausen, Rabe perplexum und Kompliz*innen aus dem Jetzt". They will share with us their intensive examination and encounter with the artists of the 80s. 


September 27, 2022, 6.30 pm
reading poetry by Ocean Vuong and Audre Lorde
In its 10th edition, INCOMPLETE READING GROUP turns its attention to poetry for the first time, reading selected poems by Ocean Vuong and Audre Lorde.

Ocean Vuong is a poet, writer, and professor of Creative Writing at NYU. Vuong came to Hartford, Connecticut (USA) from Saigon, Vietnam when he was two years old. After "Night Sky with Exit Wounds," 2020, he recently published his second collection of poems "Time is a Mother," 2022. Vuong reflects topics of queerness, social class, violence, and desire, among others.

Audre Lorde (1834 - 1992) was an activist and writer. “I am a Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet.”— this is how Lorde described her identity. The daughter of Caribbean immigrants to the United States spent her childhood in Harlem—a neighborhood of New York City. She attended Catholic schools and began writing poetry at the age of eight. After graduating from high school, Lorde attended Hunter College from 1954 to 1959, graduating with a bachelor's degree in library science. She earned her master's degree from Columbia University in 1961. Audre Lorde's poems were published regularly in anthologies and literary journals as early as the 1960s. Lorde was active in the women's and civil rights movements and for homosexual rights. Her first volume of poetry, "The First Cities," was published in 1968. She also taught English literature and co-founded "Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press"—a publishing house for female BPoC writers. In 1994, Lorde published the collection of poems, "Die Quelle unserer Macht," which she compiled shortly before her death in Berlin.November 16, 2021, 6.30 pm


March 29, 2022, 6.30 pm
reads exzerpts from Heike Geißler's „Die Woche“
Heike Geißler, born in 1977 in Riesa, became known to a wider audience with her reportage novel "Saisonarbeit" (Spector Books, 2014), in which she tells of a holiday job at Amazon. Her novel "The Week" is about an unusual week in Leipzig that consists only of Mondays. The text, which is repeatedly written in the "we" form, formulates resistance and at the same time lists (linguistically) its difficulties. It gets to the heart of why it is so difficult for "us" to resist: having grown up with the promise of advancement and liberation of the 1990s - especially for women, à la you can have everything, children and a career and a functioning relationship, democracy as a matter of course, someday (residential) property, great holidays, a super body on top - we have long since found ourselves in a society of decline.

April 26, 2022, 6:30 pm
reads Sonia Mehra Chawla and Fahim Amir
from June 2022 THE AGENCY presents the project N U R T U R Æ L at Lothringer 13 Halle with works by Kanako Azuma, Sarah Doerfel, Nile Koetting and the performance SOLASTALGIA by THE AGENCY.  N U R T U R Æ L looks into a not-too-distant future in which the precariousness of survival for various forms of life is once again palpable. How might a poetics of relations with the earth be tested, beyond a centring of the human or the living?

Taking up these questions, on Tuesday 26 April at 6.30pm we would like to share with you an excerpt from Fahim Amir "Pig and Time. Animals, Politics, Revolt" and the essay "The Non-Human Touch. What Values Can Emerge from Ruined Landscape?" by Sonia Mehra Chawla.
Sonia Mehra Chawla (born 1977 in Kolkata, India) studied Fine Arts at the College of Art, Delhi University. She works as an artist, photographer and researcher and follows an interdisciplinary approach. In her art, she primarily explores the themes of identity, nature, ecology, sustainability and environmental protection. In her essay "The Non-Human Touch. What Values Can Emerge from Ruined Landscape?" from 2020, she conducts artistic research based on the ruins of Cramond Island, a Scottish defence site from the Second World War. The focus is on the diverse life forms that inhabit the intertidal zones.
Fahim Amir (born 1978 in Iran) is a philosopher and artist living in Vienna. He has taught at universities and art colleges in Europe and Latin America and his work deals with the transitions between natural cultures and urbanism, art, performance and utopia, colonial historicity and modernism. "Only a madman would claim that animals are political. That madman is me," says Fahim Amir about his book "Pig and Time. Animals, Politics, Revolt", published in 2018 by Edition Nautilus. In it, he develops an alternative narrative of history in which animals are freed from romanticisation and victim status and become powerful political actors.

May 31, 2022, 6:30 pm
reads Rosi Braidotti a.o.
from June 2022 THE AGENCY presents the project N U R T U R Æ L at Lothringer 13 Halle with works by Kanako Azuma, Sarah Doerfel, Nile Koetting and the performance SOLASTALGIA by THE AGENCY. N U R T U R Æ L looks into a not-too-distant future in which the precariousness of survival for various forms of life is once again palpable. How might a poetics of relations with the earth be tested, beyond a centring of the human or the living?
On Tuesday, 31 May, at 6.30 p.m., we would like to continue the deepening of the themes negotiated in the project with a text by the philosopher Rosi Braidotti, who is one of the most important representatives of so-called posthumanism. Together we will also read some of the main terms from the "Posthuman Glossary (Theory in the New Humanities)" edited by her and Maria Hlavajova in 2018, such as "Animal", "Animism" or "The Commons".

Rosi Braidotti, born in 1954 in Latisana, Italy, is professor emerita of philosophy at Utrecht University and an expert on feminist theory, post-structuralist approaches and posthumanism. The text we have chosen is well suited as an introduction to her thinking and to posthumanist theory. It was published in 2016 in the series "Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte", APuZ for short, by the Federal Agency for Civic Education on the topic of "The New Human".

June 28, 2022, 6:30 pm
reads Maggie Nelson "On Freedom" , 2021
The essay "Riding the Blinds" from Maggie Nelson's recent book "On Freedom. Four Songs of Care and Constraint" was an important reference for the research during the development of N U R T U R Æ L by THE AGENCY and we are particularly pleased that Sofie Luckhardt from THE AGENCY will read with us and talk about the relevance of the text for the development of the project. The US-American author Maggie Nelson, born in 1973, combines different stylistic levels in her writing. She brings prose and poetry together with theory and art criticism and often writes along the lines of her own biography. Themes of art, philosophy, aesthetic theory, feminism and female desire, sexual violence and queerness are central to her work. Nelson became known to a wider audience through her widely acclaimed book "The Argonauts" (2017), in which she recounts the testosterone therapy and double mastectomy of her partner Harry Dodge, as well as her pregnancy with their child together.October 26, 2021, 7.30 pm

January 25, 6.30 pm
reads Melissa Broder and Lynne Tillman

Lynne Tillman is author of several novels and short stories as well as a cultural and art critic. Her short story ‘The Dead live longer’ appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of the American magazine n+1. In it, a first-person narrator recalls her former friend, now deceased, and their difficult mother-daughter relationship.
Melissa Broder is a poet and author who became known for her Twitter account ‘So Sad Today,’ from which a volume of essays emerged.  Following her first novel, ‘Pisces,’ the second, titled ‘Milk Fed,’ was published in 2021. In it, Rachel, an anorectic, non-religious Jewish woman, sets a break from contact with her mother. Maternal longing, the role of faith, lust and dependency experience a different perspective in the relationship with Miriam, and all the control over it that was thought to be secure begins to waver. 

December 14, 2021, 6.30 pm
reads Donna Haraway und Paul B. Preciado

Donna Haraway is a university professor with research interests in (nature) history of science and women´s studies. In her text "Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the 1980's", she creates the figure of the cyborg, among others, in which she collapses traditional binaries such as human versus animal, human versus machine, and man versus woman, thereby opening up new spaces of possibility.
Paul B. Preciado works as a writer, theorist, and curator. In his exploration of sexual politics, Preciado considers sexuality as technology and, from there, elaborates counter-narratives to gender/sex, sexual practices, as well as sexual identities, vehemently opposing the binary gender system.

16 November 2021, 7:30pm
reads excerpts from Patricia Reed's Essay "The Valuation of Necessity", 2021

As a reflection on a techno-social configuration of world, the essay "The Valuation of Necessity" explores questions of coexistence within the context of today's planetary transformations. Starting from the complex concept of necessity as a social invention, Reed examines cosmological frameworks and related valuation systems that also shape the use and abuse of technologies. Patricia Reed works as an artist, writer and designer in Berlin. Her recent writing has appeared in Pages Magazine, Glass Bead Journal, The New Normal, Construction Site for Possible Worlds, e-flux Journal, Making & Breaking, Para-Platforms, and e-flux Architecture. She also co-authored Xenofeminist Manifesto (2015) as Laboria Cuboniks, which was reissued by Verso Books in 2018.

26 October, 7:30pm
reads Octavia E. Butler´s "Speech Sounds", 1983

Octavia E. Butler's (1947-2006) texts first appeared in science fiction anthologies in the 1970s.The author's work deals with the apocalypse as everyday life, coexistence and interdependence, as well as technologies, always with the claim of social development and the overcoming of social, cultural and economic inequalities. In her short story “Speech Sounds,” people's ability to communicate is limited due to a pandemic and is told through the eyes of protagonist and survivor Valerie Rye. 

Reference project/s
Helin Alas, Bik Van der Pol, Viltė Bražiūnaitė & Tomas Sinkevičius, Barbara Kapusta, Robert Keil, Judith Neunhäuserer, Nina Radelfahr
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Exhibition N U R T U R Æ L with works by Kanako Azuma, Sarah Doerfel, Nile Koetting and THE AGENCY.  … Premiere of the performance SOLASTALGIA with Challenge Gumbodete, Liina Magnea and Kate Strong on June 23, 6pm.
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