the emancipatory
potential of
cultural practice

TEH Meeting 81
WUK, Vienna

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Practical utopias and dissident vectors

Art and Politics – A Relationship

Lecture and discussion with Maren Richter


Staircase 1, Museum

‘Art’ and ‘politics’ have always had a vibrant and sometimes virulent relationship. But how do artists currently respond, reflect, or define the political and the artistic in a time of multiple crises – political, social, environmental, or aesthetic?

The lecture outlines some essential mechanisms of society at large and introduces artistic projects that suggest the idea of using artistic skills, tools, tactics, and strategies to resist the acceleration of capitalism and an apparent ‘there is no alternative’ attitude. Even though the artists may refer to historical practices of the 60s or 70s (like interventions and performance), a critical and methodological view on organisational forms of politics and social movements becomes central in order to frame the interconnectivities between the bio-, cosmo-, socio-, political, legal, economic, and imaginary.

Especially after 2008 artists respond (so it seems) with different concepts of temporality, spatial production, structures and senses of collectiveness, and of ‘doing’, as they are arguably preoccupied with a growing recognition of mechanisms, which shape the ‘now’ in more direct and urgent ways.