[artinfo] (fwd) Populism

Janos Sugar sj at c3.hu
Tue Apr 5 19:09:41 CEST 2005


11. May - 04. September 2005

Kunstverein Frankfurt
Frankfurter Kunstverein
Markt 44
60311 Frankfurt
fon +49 (0)69 / 2193140
post at fkv.de

Opening: Tuesday, May 10, 7.30 p. m.

  Populism has many different faces. Many 
different things can be called populism for very 
good reasons. We may not necessarily agree on the 
meaning of the term populism. And maybe the term 
populism should not necessarily have only one 
meaning. The usefulness of a term with different 
meanings resides in the fact that it may hint at 
family resemblances between different phenomena 
called populism. Therefore, in any project on 
populism, it might soon appear that the 
contributors - artists, academics, writers and 
other intellectuals - will use the word in many 
different ways. (Dieter Lesage, Populism and 
Democracy, 2005 in Populism Reader, to be 
published April 2005).

In spring 2005 NIFCA, the Nordic Institute for 
Contemporary Art, launches Populism, an 
exhibition project in four European cities 
exploring the relationships between contemporary 
art and current populist cultural and political 

The Populism project tries to formulate concrete 
spaces for experience, reflection, and discussion 
linked to a contemporary political and cultural 
phenomenon that is as complex as it is 
widespread. There is little doubt that populist 
movements gain large parts of their persuasive 
power from their ability to play on affects and 
desires that are supposedly exempt from the 
procedures that mark official democratic 
politics. At this level an art exhibition can 
provide a space that differs from that of other 
public forums. The point of departure is the idea 
that the affects and desires that characterise 
populist politics are not necessarily separate 
from the ones that find expression in the sphere 
of art. Key questions are how forms of populism - 
whether left wing or right wing, progressive or 
reactionary - promote themselves and their quest 
for mass appeal through a stylistic and aesthetic 
consciousness. The political imagination of 
visual art can get involved in these economies of 
signs and desires, and address current cultural 
discussions through proposals for other 
directions for democracy.

  Populism includes new works and projects by 
around 40 international artists and artist 
groups, bringing together challenging works in a 
multitude of artistic strategies. The exhibitions 
take place in parallel at the following venues:

  The Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius. Opening April 8 through June 4
  National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, 
Oslo. Opening April 15 through September 2
  Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Opening April 29 through September 4
  Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt a.M. Opening May 10 through September 4

  The Populism exhibitions are accompanied by two books:

  The Populism Reader is an anthology that 
comprises twenty texts on the various aspects of 
populism, written by political scientists, 
journalists, art historians and activists. Among 
the contributors are Chantal Mouffe, Ernesto 
Laclau, Brian Holmes, Ingo Niermann, Audrone 
Zukauskaite, Marius Babias, David Trads, Ina 
Blom, Bart Lootsma, Niels Werber, Piotr 
Piotrowski, Lars-Erik Frank and others. The 
Populism Reader is illustrated by Atelier van 

  The Populism Catalogue includes documentation of 
the four exhibitions along with an anthology of 
short stories by Matias Faldbakken, Liam Gillick 
and other authors.
  The books have introductions by the curators and 
are designed by M/M (Paris). Editorial 
co-ordinator: Eva May. Editorial committee: 
Vanessa Joan Müller, Marita Muukkonen, Jill 
Winder. Documentation: Andrea Stappert. 
Publisher: Lukas & Sternberg, Berlin/New York.

  Furthermore, a tabloid exhibition guide - The 
Populist - in English and the local languages 
will be available for free at the different 
  During 2005 lecture programs on populism are 
planned in a number of European cities in 
connection with the Populism project. In addition 
media partners in each country will be 
highlighting issues in relation to the project's 

  The exhibition does not aim to illustrate its 
theme through populist art°±. Instead, the 
artists in the exhibitions deal in different ways 
with populist sentiments and ideologies of our 
time, through sub-themes such as: the mass media 
projection of politics; market populism and the 
cultural industries; group and corporate 
identities; representations and spaces of °?the 
people°±; law, order and security; religious and 
moral controversy; nationalism and xenophobia. 
While some artists strive to find positive 
populisms beyond demagogy and give a voice to the 
dispossessed, others explore alternative 
strategies of representation and organisation as 
a critique of the populist promise.

  Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa
  Fatma Akinci
  Petra Bauer
  Bernadette Corporation
  Marc Bijl
  Jakob Boeskov
  Martin Le Chevallier
  Phil Collins
  Minerva Cuevas
  Jeremy Deller
  Dias & Riedweg
  Gardar Einarsson & Matias Faldbakken
  Esto TV
  Anita Fricek
  Jens Haaning & Superflex
  Russell Haswell
  Henry Vlll´s Wives
  Henrik Plenge Jakobsen
  Susanne Jirkuff
  Amar Kanwar
  Per Kirkeby
  Matthieu Laurette
  Jani Leinonen
  Erik van Lieshout
  Annika Lundgren
  Cildo Meireles
  Jean-François Moriceau & Petra Mrzyk
  Sarah Morris
  Begoña Muñoz
  Roman Ondak
  Kirstine Roepstorff
  Willem de Rooij
  Julika Rudelius
  Stig Sjölund with Ronny Hansson, Jonas Kjellgren and Birgitta Tholander
  Otto Snoek
  Sean Snyder
  Temporary Services
  Milicia Tomic
  Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas
  Wang Du

  Documentary on Thomas Hirschhorn's project 
Swiss-Swiss Democracy by Nicolas Trembley

Curators: Lars Bang Larsen, Cristina Ricupero and Nicolaus Schafhausen.

  Board of institutional advisors: Ina Blom from 
the Department of art History IAKK, University of 
Oslo, Leontine Coelewij from the Stedelijk Museum 
in Amsterdam, Lolita Jablonskiene from the 
Contemporary Art Information Centre in Vilnius, 
Gavin Jantjes from The National Museum for Art, 
Architecture and Design in Oslo, Maaretta 
Jaukkuri from the Faculty of Architecture and 
Fine Arts, Norwegian University of Science and 
Technology, Trondheim, and Vanessa Joan Müller, 
Frankfurter Kunstverein.


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