Reading L’Internationale: what is weak power and is it useful today?
Amidst the dysfunctional attempts of the artistic production and dissemination sphere to mobilise ourselves politically against far-right populism, the group of museums forming a confederation under the umbrella of L’Internationale suggests that they are finding an alternative. These museums - Moderna galerija, Ljubljana; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Barcelona; Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, Antwerp; SALT Istanbul and Ankara, and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven - propose ‘a space for art within a non-hierarchical and decentralised internationalism, based on the values of difference and horizontal exchange among a constellation of cultural agents, locally rooted and globally connected.’ Rather than developing a manifesto or caucus, these institutions promote forms of collectivity, exchange and discursivity as tools for cultural change: actions that dissipate conventional forms of power and at the same time might be seen to usher in the creativity of neoliberalism.
Already in 1944 Adorno and Horkheimer proposed the political weakness of the cultural industries as a negative effect, yet amidst the confusions of oppositionality at work today, does the weakness of L’Internationale’s claim have any radical use? What is this methodology of weak power and can it counter physical and economic fascisms? Further, if L’Internationale is weak, what can we speculate about our own networks?
Dr Andrea Phillips is PARSE Professor of Art at the Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg. Andrea lectures and publishes widely on the economic and social construction of publics within contemporary art, the manipulation of forms of participation and the potential of forms of political, architectural and social reorganisation within artistic and curatorial culture.
Dates & times
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|30 Jan 2017||5:30pm - 7:00pm|
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