Learning from Athens: gestures of multi touch, 2017

We are working with artists who are acutely aware of and concerned about our situation today, so their work is a response to this condition, though it doesn’t always necessarily take the form of an overt political statement. A work is an extension of the conditions of life, not their illustration.(1)

From the beginning, documenta 14 was a political statement, starting with the announcement of not only taking place in Kassel, but in Athens as well. Immediately, the contemporary hegemonic art discourse’s binary codes lay open all about: in our heads, in conversations and ideas, and nothing could be thought about, criticized and liked that didn’t refer to those codes.
Since the first documenta – 1955, in post war Germany, on the most eastern border of the German West – politics were more or less inherent in almost all editions (a direction getting more intense with Catherine David’s documenta 10), but now it’s being argued like never before: if, and to what extent art can (is supposed to, or must) be political; and in my opinion, the question is now finally becoming obsolete. Quite on the opposite, no art can now be not political, and there is the extremely exciting hope that a revolution within the Artworld has started to take place, which leaves the market and ‘art as a commodity’ dull and tedious, and is replaced by art as a form of social practice, generating agency with the potential to enhance many lives.
The most important question is, how can the so-called West get rid of its self-certainty and not be trapped in re-colonializating practices? Numerous discussions throughout all social media, since documenta opened in Athens, have shown that this will not happen soon, thus, some questions arise: Is it ever going to happen? What effort does it need to take place - what forms of de-privileging could actually function?

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