A group exhibition of a project that connotes the current political zeitgeist of Europe. An on-going research on the possible realtionships between art practices and populist aesthetics. The space here is interpreted as a sui generis political bureau, immersing the show in an ambivalent environment where the works can be seen as elements belonging to a political party office where a campaign is being prepared. Curated by Matteo Lucchetti.
a cura di Matteo Lucchetti
Alterazioni Video, Heman Chong, Luigi Coppola, Danilo Correale, Foundland, Nicoline van Harskamp, Steve Lambert, Oliver Ressler, Anna Scalfi Eghenter, Société Réaliste, Jonas Staal, Superflex.
Kadist Art Foundation a Parigi ha il piacere di presentare «Enacting Populism in its mediæscape», una mostra a cura di Matteo Lucchetti a seguito della sua residenza curatoriale presso la fondazione.
Enacting Populism è un progetto in corso sulle possibili relazioni tra pratiche artistiche ed il mediascape populista che connota l’attuale zeitgeist politico europeo. Presso la fondazione il progetto si produrrà in una mostra che avrà luogo negli ultimi due mesi di campagna elettorale per le elezioni presidenziali francesi, in uno spazio espositivo interpretato come fosse la sede di un partito politico sui generis. In questo modo la mostra risulta immersa in una dimensione ambivalente, a cavallo tra la sede di partito e una mostra d’arte contemporanea, dove i lavori degli artisti possono facilmente essere interpretati come elementi appartenenti ad una campagna politica in corso.
Il progetto espositivo focalizza sui cambiamenti occorsi nell’immaginario politico collettivo europeo degli ultimi ventanni, pesantemente influenzato dalle retoriche populiste, i cui leader e agitatori hanno spesso capito precocemente l’evolversi delle rappresentazioni della figura dei politici e del discorso politico nello spazio mediatico. Quando infatti, con la fine della guerra fredda, le grandi narrazioni ideologiche hanno cessato di dare forma alle agende nazionali, i partiti occidentali hanno progressivamente cominciato a riflettere questo cambiamento con l’appiattimento delle loro posizioni all’interno del dibattito pubblico, cominciando a rispondere unicamente alla causa della globalizzazione dei mercati in senso capitalista. Da quel momento l’azione politica ha allentato il suo naturale agonismo democratico, finendo per trasformare i programmi politici in contratti con gli elettori.
Il filosofo Ernesto Laclau è stato uno tra i primi a riconoscere all’elemento populista una dimensione inerente a qualsiasi regime democratico, riconoscendolo nella sua prospettiva storica e non soltanto come un fenomeno attuale delle destre. Laclau stesso afferma: «le politiche democratiche richiedono la costruzione dell’idea di ‘popolo’, sulla base di uno o più significanti vuoti, così come di un antagonismo tra ‘noi’ e ‘loro’». Le strategie visive che occupano quotidianamente lo spazio mediatico per produrre senso di appartenenza, prevalentemente orientate verso idee di esclusione e basate su finte narrazioni che definiscono quel significante vuoto che è il ‘popolo’, non vanno considerate unicamente come produzioni distorte dei nostri tempi: queste possono invece essere anche un materiale da decostruire, così da offrire rappresentazioni esemplificative delle nostre democrazie contemporanee. Nella dinamica proposta da «Enacting Populism» si vogliono sia rendere visibili le costruzioni estetiche implicate nella creazione di consenso, sia diventare propositivi sul piano delle narrazioni estetiche, cercando la possibilità di creare interferenze all’interno del mediascape contemporaneo. In questo le pratiche artistiche in mostra trovano nuove potenzialità nel creare un impatto sull’immaginario politico corrente, sviluppando, inoltre, una prospettiva storica sulla nostra percezione del populismo. Utile questa a generare strumenti di consapevolezza nel quotidiano interpretare la nostra partecipazione ai processi di democrazia rappresentativa.
La fase di ricerca di Enacting Populism è iniziata verso la fine del 2010 ad Anversa, dove ha prodotto una residenza per artisti (AIR Antwerpen) seguita da panel di discussione presso Extra City, Antwerp.
a project by Matteo Lucchetti
with: Alterazioni Video, Heman Chong, Luigi Coppola, Danilo Correale, Foundland, Nicoline van Harskamp, Steve Lambert, Oliver Ressler, Anna Scalfi Eghenter, Société Réaliste, Jonas Staal, Superflex.
Kadist Art Foundation is pleased to present Enacting Populism in its mediaescape, an exhibition curated by Matteo Lucchetti, following his residency at the Foundation.
Enacting Populism is an on-going project on the possible relationships between art practices and the populist mediascape that connotes the current political zeitgeist of Europe. At Kadist Art Foundation this project will develop into an exhibition that will take place during the last two months of the presidential elections campaign in France. The space here is interpreted as a sui generis political bureau, immersing the exhibition in an ambivalent environment where the works can be seen as elements belonging to a political party office where a campaign is being prepared.
The show is focusing on the European populism that has heavily influenced the public imagery on politics for the last twenty years. Its leaders and agitators understood at an early stage the shift that occurred both in portraying the figure of the politician and in the role of the political discourse in the mediascape. In fact, when political ideologies ceased to give shape to the political agendas, with the end of the Cold War, the Western parties started to progressively mirror this ending with the flattening of their positions in the public debate, starting to respond only to a general capitalism discourse about a global market that needed to find its way. From that point the political action softened the natural antagonism of democracy, thus creating a lack of opposite and distinct political projects. This situation left space for a popular frustration to arise and consequently demagogues articulated it. Therefore those who understood how the space of politics worked slowly moved from being representative to openly playing with its representation in the media.
Ernesto Laclau was one of the first to acknowledge to populism a dimension inherent to any democratic regime, looking at it through a historical perspective and not just as a right wing party phenomenon. As Laclau states,“democratic politics requires the construction of a ‘people’ on the basis of one or more empty signifiers as well as an antagonism between ‘us’ and ‘them’ “ .
In order to create alternative, cheap and fictional feelings of belonging, or rather in order to ‘construct’ that empty signifier that is ‘the people’, the visual strategies that take place on a daily basis in the media might not only be seen as completely distorted productions of our times. Instead, they can also be considered as materials that can be easily deconstructed, so as to offer a clearer vision on what democracy looks like today. The process of enacting populism, to make the aesthetic strategies embedded in the creation of a visible consensus, comes together with interferences put at play with the mediascape. Here, the artistic projects find new potentialities to impact the contemporary imagery on politics as seen in the works produced for the show. Moreover, developing a historical perspective on the idea we have on populism, generates tools through which an awareness is created, and consequentially a potentiality for change, in our ways to re-think the meaning of participation as a fundamental act for democracy.
The research phase of this project started at the end of 2010 in Antwerp. Then it evolved as an artist residency (AIR Antwerpen) followed by the organization of an artist panel discussion (Extra City, Antwerp).
About Matteo Lucchetti, curator in residency at Kadist from September 2011 to February 2012.
Matteo Lucchetti (born 1984) is an art historian, independent curator, and critic.
After completing his studies in Contemporary Art History at the University of Florence he received an MA in Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies at NABA - New Academy of Fine Arts of Milan. During 2010 he has been researcher in residence at BAK, in Utrecht, with which he has collaborated as editor for the five year long project Former West. His curatorial projects include: Practicing Memory - in a time of an all-encompassing present (Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, 2010; DEPO, Istanbul, 2012). He is co-curator with Judith Wielander of the Visible project, initiated by Fondazione Pistoletto with Fondazione Zegna.
Screening made in collaboration with Le Peuple qui manque (FR)
Le Peuple qui manque is a curatorial structure and a video and film distributor initiated in 2005 by Aliocha Imhoff & Kantuta Quiros.
For Enacting Populism they will present a selection of films by Tania Bruguera, Frédéric Moser & Philippe Schwinger, Carey Young, Martin Le Chevallier.
Publication by Lupo&Burtscher (IT)
Angelika Burtscher and Daniele Lupo
published by Kadist Art Foundation and Mousse Publishing
Discussion between Ernesto Laclau (AR) & Davide Tarizzo (IT)
date and venue to be confirmed
Please confirm your attendance by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Born in 1935 in Buenos Aires, Professor Emeritus at Essex University, he is considered as one of the the leading representatives of contemporary political philosophy in Latin America and the United States. Author of several essays such as On Populist Reason (Verso, London, 2005).
In On Populist Reason, Ernesto Laclau focuses on the construction of popular identities and how “the people” emerge as a collective actor. Skillfully combining theoretical analysis with a myriad of empirical references from numerous historical and geographical contexts he offers a critical reading of the existing literature on populism, demonstrating its dependency on the theorists of “mass psychology” such as Taine and Freud. He demonstrates the relation of populism to democracy and to the logic of representation, and differentiates his approach from the work of Zizek, Hardt and Negri, and Ranciere. On Populist Reason is an essential reading for all those interested in the question of political identities in present-day societies.
Professor of moral philosophy at the University of Salerno and of political philosophy at the University of Naples «The Oriental». He is a scientific Secretary of philosophy to the Italian Institute of the Human sciences (SUM) of Naples. He is the co-director of the international review Política Común. His domains of study are the relations between philosophy and psychoanalysis, «politics»(«policy») and its pathologies in modern times.
Panel discussion and performance, Saturday February 18, 11am - 1.30pm at Mains d’Oeuvres
Mains d’Oeuvres - Salle Star Trek : 1, rue Charles Garnier 93400 Saint-Ouen
With: Alterazioni Video, Heman Chong, Luigi Coppola, Danilo Correale, Foundland,
Oliver Ressler, Anna Scalfi Eghenter, Société Réaliste, Jonas Staal and Yves Citton.
Luigi Coppola proposes On The Social Metamorphosis, a new work sprung from a collaboration with the Belgian eco- nomist and antropologist Paul Jorion. Starting from a section of the famous blog of the latter, the two have worked on a text that gathers the propositions written by visitors of the blog, that collectively participated in the creation of a “realist utopia” - as the title of the section recites. Here the users were invited by Jorion himself to suggest their own ideas about the economical crisis and the subsequent crisis of democracy. Coppola stages this new script through the structure of the classical greek choir, so as to articulate a parallelism of demands and propositions around the issues raised in the text. While the figure of the hero/leader is absent, the voice of the choir, here interpreting the so-called ‘people’, is empowered by the use of neutral masks.
Yves Citton is professor of French Literature of the 18th Century at the Université de Grenoble-3 and a member of the UMR LIRE (CNRS 5611). He recently published Mythocratie. Storytelling et imaginaire de gauche (Paris, Éditions Amsterdam, 2010). He co-directs the journal Multitudes and writes regular chronicles in the Revue Internationale des Livres et des Idées.
01 42 51 83 49
Press Conference, Thursday February 16, 11 am at Kadist Art Foundation:
On this occasion, the Italian collective Alterazioni Video, following the French presidential election campaign, will make a specific intervention regarding their work Le President.
Matteo Lucchetti, curator of the exhibition, will offer a tour of the exhibition and a breakfast buffet will be served.
Opening reception: Friday, February 17 from 6 to 9 pm.
Kadist Art Foundation
19 bis - 21 rue des Trois Frères 75018 Paris
Access Stations: Anvers (2), Abesses (12)
From Thursday to Sunday, from 2pm to 7pm
or by appointement.