Opinion | L'Internationale Online
Of Cats and Canary Birds: Statement in Support of Lunds Konsthall
It has come to our attention that Lunds konsthall in Sweden is threatened with closure since local politicians called for its "reconstruction". As directors of the European institutions in L'Internationale confederation, we want to express our concerns about this. Cultural policy involves different axes of responsibility. There is the tension between culture at large, on one hand, and societal development as articulated by the arts, on the other. Both poles are important.
Imagining a Culture Beyond Oil at the Paris Climate Talks
Mel Evans and Kevin Smith of Liberate Tate
Museums have a specific role to play in opening up dialogue around our active response to the prospect of climate change, which would be to try and prevent the worst impacts from unfolding. Museum directors hold the key to significant decisions around buildings, curating, learning programmes – and funding. Right now, too many large cultural institutions around the world allow oil sponsors to brand their entranceways, their catalogues and their events. For the oil companies this provides a valuable social licence to operate, a guise of social acceptability masking the harmful impacts of the fossil fuel industry.
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Opinion | Clémence Seurat
Fiction is a Worlding. Post 5
The agreement reached at the close of COP21 on 12 December finally appears to reflect the magnitude of climate change and sets a very ambitious goal: to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Implementing the actions required to attain this target will prove more difficult, because the agreement does not indicate a pathway to follow, address the state of global trade or even mention fossil fuels, whose role in the environmental devastation at hand is abundantly clear.
Glossary of Common Knowledge | MG+MSUM
Agitational Visual Language | Geo-politics
For the referential field Geo-politics of the Glossary of Common Knowledge the narrator Tzortzis Rallis, currently a PhD student at London College of Communication, presented the term "agitational visual language", which is "used to support grassroots movements that emerged in response to this economic and social crisis. [...] The term is used as an attempt to examine both geopolitical characteristics, as well as common visual elements in the pattern of social movements that have arisen in Greece and other parts of the world in the recent years."
Theorising More-Than Human Collectives for Climate Change Action in Museums
Fiona R. Cameron
Museum scholars, professionals and artists can progress real-world and scholarly change by undertaking what I call a series of "ecologising experimentations" that have the potential to re-work the possible relations between things and people via new types of museum practices and ways to conceptualise artworks.
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Climate Risks, Art, and Red Cross Action. Towards a Humanitarian Role for Museums?
Pablo Suarez
What can museums and artists do to help address the humanitarian consequences of climate change? The best answers, of course, can only emerge from the art community itself. At the practical level there can be new or revised disaster management plans and the obvious task of reducing the carbon footprint of art-related endeavours. At a deeper level, museums, artists and other stakeholders in the world of culture could help humanity by creating exhibits, installations, and other initiatives aimed at helping us all see the climate issue with new eyes.
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Opinion | Gigi Argyropoulou
On the Political Turn. PART 2
What might be the emergent forms of the dissensual, as re-configurations of artistic and political practice? Engaging with such question while resisting easy answers we might begin by thinking about actions and practices that seek to intervene within a specific reality, through precarious operations. Emergent, impotential practices appear from within the strictures of a "here and now" and resist functioning as an artistic outcome. Practices that cannot simply be considered as artworks or even forms of political opposition.
Late Subatlantic. Science Poetry in Times of Global Warming
Ursula Biemann
Art has a role to play in making these processes perceptible in a way that scientific data cannot. Art can send imaginative narratives across the abstract register of the scientific voice. How weather, ice and microorganisms mediate the world is turned into something visible and audible, and hopefully comprehensible.
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Opinion | Clémence Seurat
Fiction is a Worlding, Post 4
Art Not Oil, an initiative formed by various associations including Liberate Tate, speaks out against the links between the oil industry and cultural institutions, calling on the latter to uphold their responsibilities. The group gathered at the Louvre Museum on 9 December to demand that the institution cut ties with two of its financial backers, fossil-fuel conglomerates Total and Eni.
Aesthetics of the State? A report on the conference NSK from Kapital to Capital at Moderna galerija, Ljubljana
Nick Aikens
In Slovenia and Eastern Europe, Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) has come to be identified, or over-identified to use Slavoj Žižek's term to describe how NSK positioned itself in relation to state ideology, with the 1980s and the break up of Yugoslavia. Specifically the work, reception and subsequent historicisation of NSK should be considered in the context of the proliferation of alternative culture in former Yugoslavia, the emergence of the concept of civil society and its complex relation to the state.
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A Misunderstanding: Ines Doujak's Not Dressed for Conquering / HC 04 Transport and Differences of Scale
Pablo Lafuente
This misunderstanding is, simply, the act of privileging the curatorial and institutional frameworks as the location where meaning is enunciated and articulated in contemporary art. Perhaps this is a curatorial habit (a professional 'class' interest made into a universal concern), perhaps it is a response solicited by the historical privilege assigned to the artist-author as framework, possibly there are other forces at play.
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Opinion | Gigi Argyropoulou
On the Political Turn. PART 1
Might then the artistic experimentations of the so-called social and/or political turn be viewed as useful exercises of political and civic intervention? Or might we argue that such practices have been incorporated into the system as an extended new set of values, attitudes and structures reaffirming what Boltanski and Chiapello have argued often happens to artistic practice and critique? How might such attempts redefine the role and the potential of performance practice in the political field?
Opinion | Vivian Ziherl
Notes from the 2015 Federal Senate Inquiry on the Arts, Brisbane
Vivian Zihierl sat in on the Australian Senate Inquiry into the Impact of the 2014 and 2015 Budget decisions on the Arts and discovered why it is that artists and 'individuals' can and should make policy their business. She was keen to understand what was to become of the proposed $104million cut to the Australia Council for the Arts, and the establishment of a controversial new Arts Ministry discretionary fund titled the National Programme for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA).
RESOURCES
Decolonising Museums
L'Internationale Online
Decolonising Museums is the second thematic publication of L'Internationale Online; it addresses colonial legacies and mindsets, which are still so rooted and present today in the museum institutions in Europe and beyond.
The Invisible and the Visible. Identity Politics and the Economy of Reproduction in Art
Nav Haq
The discourse of 'identity politics' in art for a long time has looked highly redundant, and for very good reasons too. With some exceptions, it was something that had rather stifled aesthetic limitations, with its clichéd images of the self or the body holding forth a marginalised status – a kind of figurative portraiture of one's "otherness" if you like. 'Identity politics' art, arguably, may even have caused more problems than it set out to resolve.
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The Dutch VOC mentality. Cultural Policy as a Business Model
Mirjam Kooiman
Around 2010 Dutch institutions as the Rotterdam's Wereldmuseum and Amsterdam's Tropenmuseum and National Maritime Museum (Scheepvaartmuseum) that have a collections with links to the Dutch colonial history, all suffered severe budget cuts. These cuts appear to be linked to a renewed insistence on defining Dutch identity and a disquieting indifference towards some of the darker moments in the country's history.
De Nederlandse VOC-mentaliteit. Cultuurbeleid als business model
Mirjam Kooiman
Sinds de harde bezuinigingen op cultuur in 2010 zijn het Wereldmuseum (Rotterdam), het Tropenmuseum en het Scheepvaartmuseum (Amsterdam) in zeer slechte staat. Dit zijn alle drie instellingen met collecties met wortels in het koloniaal verleden van Nederland. Deze ontwikkeling lijkt in verband te staan met een hernieuwde drang tot definiëring van de Nederlandse identiteit en vertonen tekenen van een verontrustende onverschilligheid jegens een aantal zwarte bladzijdes uit de vaderlandse geschiedenis
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Catch Me, If You Can!
Nana Adusei-Poku
For the past two decades, educational and cultural institutions have tried to counter white privilege by initiating diversity policies aimed at "inclusion" and "equal opportunities". In this text Adusei-Poku points out the role of time as a political tool to reproduce a hegemonic education system. The argument she makes is that there is no "catching up" which calls the decolonisation of state institutions and their education system into question.
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The Noise of Silence or ¿Por qué no te callas? (Why don't you shut up?)*
Ines Doujak
This censorship of this work constituted a denial of the history which the work explores: the continuum of colonialism from the past to the present, specifically that of Spain in Latin America, and the involvement of Nazis in the sub-continent's era of dictatorships. In Spain, history itself is still repressed. Demanding to be heard, the voices of the dead of the Civil War demanding to be heard were in effect censored by the right wing People's Party government in 2011 when it abolished the Office of Victims of the Civil War and the Dictatorship, which coordinated the exhumation of the remains of those who disappeared.
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"I guess you guys aren't ready for that yet... but your kids are gonna love it" - PART 1
Ana Bigotte Vieira
Through an investigation in three works this text investigates the limits of public space and collective agency in Portugal's 1980s, having the public sphere as an imagined community and inquiring into something that can be thought of as commons: common memories of common practices, memories and practices that can become part of a common imaginary and help illuminate a certain repertoire of actual practices.
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The Culture of Coloniality
Daniela Ortiz
The fact that cultural institutions do not express any resistance to culture being used to reinforce xenophobic and racial segregation practices by means of the discourse of integration makes it impossible to imagine how a process of decolonisation could take place simply through exhibitions, debates and talks that regularly appear in their programmes of activities.
La Cultura de la colonialidad
Daniela Ortiz
En un contexto de extrema violencia colonial como el que vive actualmente la población migrante y refugiada en Europa, preguntarse por descolonizar el museo puede ser útil y necesario pero también corre el riesgo de ser una pregunta completamente fuera de contexto y hasta ofensiva si no se plantea como uno de los elementos principales de discusión la actual situación que impone el sistema de control migratorio europeo a las personas provenientes de las ex-colonias.
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Institutional Fever in China
Colin Siyuan Chinnery
Of all art forms, visual art is the most marketable while being censored the least. That means contemporary art enjoys the most creative freedom while providing the biggest financial reward for supporters. In contrast, cinema is censored heavily by the government, music has no copyright protection, and experimental theatre and dance have no way to pay back supporters.
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Collecting Life's Unknowns
Clémentine Deliss
If, today, mass collecting for ethnographic museums has necessarily come to a standstill, which institutions today are still able to place a purchase on life's unknowns? What might a contemporary ethnographic collection look like? Has the acquisition of life's unknowns shifted from the earlier speculative and occult interests of ethnographers and their museums to the rising market in globalising collections of contemporary art?
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