Saturday, May 12, 2018, 1 pm
Art / Politics

Rosemarie Trockel, Jacques-Louis David © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018
Conference with Boris Buden, Catherine David, Hans Haacke, Alfredo Jaar, Trevor Paglen, Alexandra Pirici, Kerstin Stakemeier, Hito Steyerl, Adam Szymczyk, Klaus Theweleit, Rosemarie Trockel, and Franciska Zólyom

The conference Art / Politics by Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) explores the diverse questions and strategies that determine the relationship between art and politics. It examines concrete examples of the politicization of artistic practice as well as the general possibilities of political art. The presentation of artistic approaches as well as theoretical and curatorial positions is intended to provide a comprehensive picture of political practice in the art field.

In the light of political and social crises, expectations of art are growing: it is expected to react to grievances and ask itself whether and how it can be politically effective. Already in the course of the 20th century avant-gardes, numerous artistic approaches evolved that considered art from a political standpoint. Whether the attempt was made to dissolve the separation between art and life or to critically examine the institution, the change of prevailing conditions was always at the forefront. The central question to what extent art can not only address the crises of its time, but also influence their resolution, remains relevant to this day.

Postcolonial, feminist and queer approaches play a particularly important role in the current debate. Equally on the agenda are the critical questioning of the increasing economization of the art market, Eurocentric perspectives and globalization. At the same time, the question arises to what extent art can position itself independently of the economic and social processes and structures that it criticizes. How can art create political spheres of action? How can socio-political problems not only be depicted, but how can an active part be played in dealing with them? How can artistic practice represent and create a counter-consciousness? How does it succeed in establishing new patterns of thought and viewing habits?

At the conference
Art / Politics, artists, theorists and curators of different generations will present their particular practices and then discuss them together. This provides an insight into current artistic political approaches and a space for negotiating fundamental questions of the connection between art and politics.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Welcome address
Marius Babias, director n.b.k., und Michael M. Thoss, managing director Allianz Kulturstiftung

Ghosts – Übergänge in Zwischenwelten*
Klaus Theweleit
Cultural theorist, Freiburg

Über die Schwierigkeit des Eigensinns*
Franciska Zólyom
Director Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig, Curator German Pavillon, 58. Venice Biennial 2019

moderated by
Boris Buden (cultural theorist, Berlin)

It is Difficult**
Alfredo Jaar
Artist, architect and filmmaker, New York

Re-membering and the Body as Technology**
Alexandra Pirici
Artist, Bucharest

moderated by
Kerstin Stakemeier (Professor for art theory and art education, Akademie der Bildenden Künste Nürnberg)

Poetics and Politics**
Catherine David
Deputy director Musée national d´art moderne – Centre Pompidou, Paris, artistic director documenta X (1997), Kassel

How Does It Feel (to Be a Problem)**
Adam Szymczyk
Artistic director documenta 14 (2017), Athens and Kassel

moderated by
Boris Buden

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité – für alle*
Hans Haacke
Artist, New York

Invisible Images**
Hito Steyerl, filmmaker and author, Berlin, and Trevor Paglen, artist, Berlin and New York

moderated by
Kerstin Stakemeier

* in German language
** in English language

Free admission
No registration possible, space is limited

A documentation of the conference is available on DVD at n.b.k.