Denise Ferreira da Silva & Valentina Desideri, Poethical Readings/Intuiting the Political

The Showroom


A poetics can take you only so far without an h. If you’re to embrace complex life on earth, if you can no longer pretend that all things are fundamentally simple or elegant, a poetics thickened by an h launches an exploration of art’s significance as, not just about, a form of living in the real world. That as is not a simile; it’s an ethos. Hence the h. What I’m working on is quite explicitly a poethics of a complex realism.

– Joan Retellack, Poethical Wager, 2003 

What if, instead of providing a resolution, a direct answer, or a definite interpretation, a reading helped us to navigate the complexity of existence – attending to both its actual and virtual moments – its different positions, relationships and layers that also constitute us? Every reading exposes possibilities, reveals blockages, and shifts perspectives. Beyond the principles of non-contradiction and identity, readings design a space where multiple articulations of situations and events coexist without the imposition of a single meaning or direction.

Drawing from each other’s practices Denise & Valentina come together in a studio for poethical readings. Their studio experiments with reading tools inspired by well-known and newly-designed practices – such as the Tarots, Political Therapy, Palmistry, Fake Therapy as well as Reiki, Astrology, and Philosophy. Belonging to the kind of knowing Walter Benjamin calls intuitive faculty and Carl G Jung names creative thinking, these reading tools assemble images: Reading as imaging, in their practice, consists in an assembling that exposes and navigates the complex context constituting the situation, event, or problem that concerns a person or collective at a given moment and place. As such, it aims at expanding the horizon of interpretation, that is, to open up possibilities and unsettle realities.


Public Event: Intuiting the Political
Friday 10 July

A performed, open, public conversation about how we might think politics from the position of intuition.

Poethical Reading Sessions (booking strictly required):

Thursday 9 July:
Session 1 10.15-11am
Session 2 11.15am-12pm
Session 3 1.15-2pm
Session 4 2.15-3pm
Session 5 3.15-4pm

Friday 10 July: 
Session 1 10.15-11am
Session 2 11.15am-12pm

Each session can be booked by an individual or small group (5 people max).

The person or group should come to the session with a political question to be read. A ‘political question’ is any problem, issue, or situation that has a political dimension and that is experienced directly by the person. There is no need to come with a well-defined question. For ‘the question’ can also come up during an initial reading and it can be further narrowed or expanded when addressed by other tools. It may be something that bothers or preoccupies you, regardless of whether it is primarily lived out on a practical, personal, ideological, conceptual or existential level.