27 Aug What about Activism? & Conflictual Aesthetics
With the rise of New Tyrants who likely pervert the law for their own interests, each of us is affected when it comes to advocate our seemingly not-that-self-evident democratic values. As a result, artists and art institutions started to – voluntary or not – rethink their role, responsibility and power within the cultural ecosystem. But what exactly is hidden behind buzzwords as activism, political art and artistic protest? Two recently published books by Sternberg Press will bring certainly more light into this complex and versatile discourse – without diluting it. While ‘What about activism’ is both an open call for action and a critical intervention of what curatorial activism can mean in the broadest sense as well as in a most practical way, Oliver Marchant’s ‘Conflictual Aesthetics’ argues why art is per se political, going through different arts genres and their inherent potential for reactionary protest. So whether you need a tool kit coming along as a compendium of more than 20 manifestos written by Steven Henry Madoff, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Nicolas Bourriaud and plenty more or an overview of the political within arts, embedded in a broader and different geared art history, which goes hand in hand with the political realms, you will definitely find in both Sternberg publications some answers, ideas and projects on how to do anything – but remain silent!