TransAct 16

TransAct statement

Radical anti-racism is necessary. A diffuse, unreflected distancing from fascism is not enough. Everybody distances themselves from National Socialism. Making a demon out of National Socialism makes it something 'completely different' with which nobody has anything in common. Only racism which is directly identified with National Socialist vocabulary is taboo. It is, however, necessary to confront the development, the causes, the complex economic, political and ideological connections, the aesthetic staging and the fascination of fascism. Only in this way is it possible to differentiate and analyse Austrian right-wing populism with its fascist characteristics and its stage-management. A double strategy is necessary: resistance to this government but also a rejection of EU-conform racism. 

Artists and art theorists have an important function such as the analysis of images in art and in the media and to show how difference is produced and presented as completely natural, whether it be difference between the sexes or social or ethnic difference. Analysis of media presentation of right-wing populist politics is also necessary – Haider would not exist without television. The job of those working in the fields of art and culture in a capitalist society, in which for individuals it is obviously only a question of money and for states a question of saving, is however also to open up other dimensions.

Daniela Hammer-Tugendhat
Art historian