Statement by Helmut Draxler

Art is not a private affair that then has to be brought into the public sphere. Rather, the public is always already present when private life exposes itself as such. The subject can assert itself both privately and artistically only in the framework of a public representation of subjectivity that it relates to itself. Thus, it does not enter a different and alien space; this other space has already always entered in the form of recognition rituals, symbolisations and standardisations and is present as what the subject allows to be recognised in itself as being both identity and difference. The subject is rooted in the dichotomy that its specificity can be perceived only through generality and its identity only through difference. It fails categorically in both directions and can become neither really subjective nor truly objective; however, it can experience itself in the difference between identity and difference and attach this secondary difference to another interface. For the public sphere has long since ceased to be a common space permeated by reciprocal recognition processes. Instead, the public sphere is split into intersubjective, interobjective and internormative dimensions as well as by medial, institutional and urban structures. In this sense, the public sphere functions like a broken mirror which can no longer offer the subject a consistent space for its symbolic projections. Art is the symbolic mode for dealing with this deficiency, and therefore museum in progress is progressive not because it gives art and the subject a new purpose, but because it makes the constitutive dimension of the divided public sphere explicit and creates a space that allows the self-assertion of artistic subjectivity to appear in an exemplary way under fractal conditions.