Thursday, May 7, 2009

all the usual suspects

Options for radical art practices in heterogeneous social space

A symposium by the Festival of Regions 09 -
Normality at the Subversive Fair in Linz
Congress language: English
May 16, 2009, 11 a.m. — 8 p.m.Hafenhalle 9, Hafenbecken 3, Linz, Austria

with Alejandra Aravena, Marina Gržinić, Ruth Noack, Gerald Raunig, Dmitry Vilensky and Stephen Wright
Moderation of the final panel: Stefan Nowotny
Concept and organization: Martin Krenn

Radical social practices and interventions in art question social norms. The spectrum ranges from co-operative, socially committed and participatory projects through to politically symbolic, provocative actions. An extended concept of art, subversive techniques and testing the so-called 'freedom of art' are deployed in this context, usually strategically.
The situation becomes political especially when the concern is in establishing a relationship between artists and project participants which requires an inversion of power relations that is aimed at redistributing resources and the implementation of equal rights for all. The spectrum of participation stretches from occasional encounters with residents and passers-by through to collaboration with theorists, activists and political groups. If the relationship between artists and participants is radically thought through and implemented, then both strategic alliances and political relationships are possible. This leads to a critical concern with the relationship itself and simultaneously establishes a specific way of acting.
Due to the current financial and economic crises, radical practices in art find themselves in a special situation because they are accompanied by a crisis in normality. Fractures and gaps occur in existing power relations and patterns of thought. These openings offer new targets for radical artistic interventions. Thus the configuration of power relations around which society is structured could itself be at stake in the sense of being the subject of an "agonistic struggle" (Chantal Mouffe). This is especially true where society is conceived of as a heterogeneous social space in which opposition should not be suppressed but can become productive.
The symposium Normality in [the] Crisis will engage with options and traps of political practices in art, locate them within art history and discuss the potential of the numerous feminist, anti-racist and anti-capitalist projects of recent years within the context of current social upheavals.

Festival of Regions 09
Subversive Fair
Normality in [the] crisis

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