James Prapaithong

Royal College of Art, London | June 2022

In 2013 Žižek tweeted “The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.” A loose paraphrasing of Antonio Francesco Gramsci, translated into English via a French mistranslation of the original Italian. Both the quote itself and its journey from the Prison Notebooks to Žižek’s twitter speak to the overwhelming lack of centre in contemporary discourse.

The RCA as an institution takes pride in its ability to train future leaders in art and design; what does leadership mean when rapid shifts in technology, politics and environmental catastrophe guarantee an ever- worsening crisis of authority? Is there a cultural responsibility to become the midwives of the new, or can that only be achieved after first becoming monsters?

A critical discussion organised by the students of MA Contemporary Art Practice with presentations by Dr Josephine Berry and Sophie J Williamson, chaired by Professor Chantal Faust and graduating student Laura Nicholson.


Image: James Prapaithong