the emancipatory
potential of
cultural practice

TEH Meeting 81
WUK, Vienna

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Strategies for in-between spaces

What is radical democratic art education?

Workshop with Nora Sternfeld


Staircase 1, Museum

In the recent years exhibitions are increasingly presented as spaces of action and ‘contact zones’. Mary Louise Pratt and James Clifford use the term contact zone to describe social spaces where diverse social and cultural positions come into contact and have to coexist – more or less conflictually – and be negotiated. But since the idea of the exhibition as a contact zone is rarely implemented, Sternfeld poses the question how can the mediation of art be conceived as a process of gathering and negotiation.

On the basis of project examples by the independent office trafo.K (Büro für Kunstvermittlung und kritische Wissensproduktion), Sternfeld introduces approaches, strategies, and potential pitfalls at the interface between knowledge production and education for discussion with the participants: How does the mediation of art manifest in such a contact zone? How can it not just perpetuate the established social standards – their exclusions and neoliberal invocations? Indeed, it is not imaginable without conflicts. What can be learned in the in-between space, however, is the joy of not just rehearsing the same power relations but collectively entering into a radical democratic debate about why the conditions are the way they are, with the knowledge that there are also alternatives.