Speaking Difference

Vivian Rehberg, in offering a final comment on the 2nd FORMER WEST Research Congress, takes up the potential role of art as being that which can speak truth. In light of what has happened so recently in Tunisia, and what is happening now in Egypt, she reminds us: “As those who are not actively participating actively wait to see what happens next, one thing is certain: unlike news outlets and politicians jostling for positions of influence at this crucial moment, art does not need to be diplomatic, nor should it be diplomatic, to speak the truth. At least that’s the word on the streets.”

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  1. From Jens Hoffman’s review of the 29th Sao Paulo Biennial in Frieze:

    “Given the bleak state of our plant–ecological catastrophes, rampant social inequality, armed conflicts and other human-made disasters–to avoid addressing politics would seem a dreadful sin for any enlightened and socially conscious individual. I wonder, however, where an artist or curator’s commitment to radical politics and social change really begins and ends. More often than not, they seem to start at the entrance of the gallery and end at the exit. And do we really need a gallery space to be told something we can read in the newspaper?…I would propose that the idea of real social and political change, should we really be asked to take it seriously, must be taken further than a polite display of artworks.”

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