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grafisches Element

Of Many Worlds!

Editor: Gülsen Bal »


Open Systems is pleased to present its first quarterly online Issue 1, January 2013, which focuses on what formulates an understanding relative to the “exhibition making” while exploring what constitutes the potency of critique within art. More precisely, what are the possible determining potentials that shape the current creative practices in which several models co-exist? And furthermore, what kind of collaborations and anticipations can this bring upon? This also entails us to look into the current discussions on the relevancy subject of some partial responses to the question of what comes after critique, the historical septicity of the moment. In this respect there is a need to look into new institutionalism and its criticality.

This entails us to question the need for making all those changes visible that reframe the way in which practices are embodied in the shifting contemporary struggle. “One of the strong possibilities of art today is,” as Brian Holmes argues, “to combine theoretical, sociological or scientific research with a feel for the ways that aesthetic form can influence collective process, so as to de-normalize the investigation and open up both critical and constructive paths” by trading on the double edge in its new engagement with the “recent »participatory shift« in the arts”, where this shapes the notion of (be)coming communities. In her refreshing article “Participatory Art,” Suzana Milevska discussed specifically the articulation of “Aporias of »we«,” envisioning that “two additional contradictions are at work in participatory art practices:

• the limits of participatory and relational theories of art in the light of a postcolonial critique of art and cultural institutions

• the inclusion/exclusion binary and the tension between its social and political definitions in different contexts (e.g. liberal democracy and transitional societies).“

Obviously this provides an examination of what designates the power reversal which operates in this situation. The impact of this on creative practice is significant since this indicates the new forms of complexity, yet which would allow collective process and multiplicities to remain decentralised and relational. A crucial strategy in this context involves an intricate understanding of the notions of “Aporias of »we«” and of subjects to whom the capacity is realised. The impact this has on creative practices is therefore far-reaching and embarks upon an ontology of multiple worlds which lead to a recreation and a reinvention of the subject itself at a multiplicity of locations and multiple belongings.

As was suggested, one way to begin approaching this is to think in terms of the “political”, and where this positively implies a critical openness to the pluralism of political thought itself, which is expressed through the creation of what Deleuze and Guattari would call a new political subjectivity. The primacy of a critical approach stresses a question and that poses itself slightly differently: why is it important to argue that the arts should be seen as a unity of forms of the political in creating a sustained breach for critical inquiry?

In his articulation, Simon Sheikhin states that, and I agree, “we need to acknowledge that we are all working politically, albeit with different politics. And the second thing is this: for those of us who think we have so-called leftist politics, the challenge is to make different articulating forms of articulation. What is necessary is to articulate the difference of these kinds of politics from the “politics as usual“, and to develop the methods that clarify these positions.“

The reader consequently presents a cross-section of the approaches that populate the ongoing debate about, on the one hand, how and in what terms curating functions as a critical cultural practice, and on the other, what methodologies and histories exist with which we can critically analyse curatorial work today.

supported by:

ERSTE Foundation
MA 7 – Interkulturelle und Internationale Aktivitäten
Stadt Wien - Film, Kino, Neue Medien

Collaboration with:

Istanbul Bilgi University

grafisches Element