Episodes in the History of the “Maker of Fact”

Wednesday, 4 October 2017, 6:00pm - 8:00pm, IWM library

When looking amazed today at the seemingly sudden melting away of the solidity of brute facts, it might be instructive to look attentively at the ideas and practices of the artistic avant-garde in the first third of the twentieth century. Their persecutors, the Stalinist ideologues, the socialist realists, and the interrogators, prosecutors, executors, who defeated and murdered them – despite all appearances – learned from them, used their ideas, and followed those imperatives that may help us to make sense of the pervasive distrust in facts.”The rule and criterion of Truth is to have made it” – argued Giambattista Vico. According to the “factographers”, practical reason causes the things it knows; what is true and what is made (up) converge, are interchangeable, are the same.

Isván Rév is Professor of History and Political Science at the Central European University (CEU), Budapest and director of the Open Society Archives, one of the largest Cold War and human rights archives in the world.  He is past winner of the Right for Livelihood award (the alternative Nobel Prize) of the Swedish Parliament. He was one of the initiators of the Open Access movement. He was a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, a research fellow at the Getty Center in Los Angeles and at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. In 2016-2017, he was a visiting professor at Berkeley, In 1995 he was the recipient of the New Europe Prize. He is a member of the OSF Global Board. His many publications include “Retroactive Justice – Prehistory of Post-Communism” (Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, 2005).