TransAct 17

TransAct statement

We live in times that make thinking in big concepts difficult or even impossible. The current politicisation has rattled fixed categories – including concepts such as 'art' and 'politics'. Perspectives must be developed which take up resistance against the ÖVP and FPÖ and formulate the question about the correct and appropriate government – about a government that neither divides the population (state racism) nor acts as the executive arm of global capital. However, the government comes from the people. State racism corresponds to the wish of the majority of Austrians and Europeans to create privileges for themselves by excluding the poor. To this end the people and global economic institutions are entering completely new coalitions. It is a question of nothing less than the rediscovery of what is social.

Before the arrival of the current politicisation, artistic practices that made explicit social references such as paying attention to the unemployed or refugees were seen as politically committed. Today we understand the dialectic that consists of social cuts on the one hand and a symbolic political representation of matters of concern for the social state on the other. Because of this horrible dialectic, interest in aesthetic autonomy has grown – in artistic practice that does not serve the dominant standards of good sense. However, how can artistic practices that diverge from these standards flow into the process of giving social meaning? In our view, it is by not looking for autonomy in art but in its effect.

Ruth Noack, Roger M. Buergel, Curators of the exhibition "Dinge, die wir nicht verstehen" (Things We Don't Understand)