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Creative politics and political creativity

On the occasion of the exhibition War Games by Martha Rosler & Hito Steyerl at the Kunstmuseum Basel, this series of events will explore interventions in the arts and humanities that are intensely critical and fun, politically creative and creatively political, espousing queer-feminist, postcolonial and intersectional perspectives. As Steyerl proposed,

If politics is thought of as the Other, happening somewhere else, always belonging to disenfranchised communities in whose name no one can speak, we end up missing what makes art intrinsically political nowadays: its function as a place for labor, conflict, and…fun—a site of condensation of the contradictions of capital and of extremely entertaining and sometimes devastating misunderstandings between the global and the local.

In short, we focus on what art is best at: to inspire us to think, see and feel otherwise.

This involves rethinking the notions of intervention and critique as well as analyzing prevailing discourses on identity, migration, integration and globalization. We theorize interventions, endorsed or unendorsed, authorized or illicit, as performative acts of critique, politics, and activism with a potential to subvert the status quo. Interventions in the arts and humanities enable new encounters and can lead to (unlikely) coalitions in the struggle for justice. Yet interventions can also incite censorship and other coercive measures. Our event series aims to explore the myriad forms of the art of intervention while setting out to shed light on the potentiality of art as intervention.

Written by Bilgin Ayata, Dominique Grisard, Andrea Zimmermann

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