Pil and Galia Kollectiv

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Pil and Galia Kollectiv's MPhil/PhD Art research project

Art in the Age of its Dissolution: Beyond the Democratic Paradox

We are London based artists, writers and curators working in collaboration.

Our work addresses the legacy of modernism, exploring the promises and ruins of the avant garde discourses of the twentieth century. It deals with the way these failed utopias operate in the context of a changing landscape of creative work and instrumentalised leisure. We are interested in the relationship between art and politics, and the role irony and belief play in its current articulation. We often use choreographed movement and ritual as both an aesthetic and a thematic dimension, juxtaposing consumerism and religious ceremonies to find the underlying rites and convictions of a secular, post-ideological society.

Our joint dissertation deals with the relationship between art and democracy. It considers the relevance for art of political theory, focusing on the work of Jacques Ranciere, Chantal Mouffe, Paolo Virno, Franco Berrardi and Slavoj Zizek. Our dissertation explores the contradictory demands of equality and freedom, a paradox within democratic discourse discussed by political theorists from Alexis de Tocqueville to Carl Schmitt.

We look at specific calls for the democratization of art in avant garde, Situationist and conceptual art, in light of the debates surrounding democracy within post-foundational political theory and post-autonomist discussions of immaterial labour. Through our research on overidentification, we aim to find a new way of describing the relationship of art and politics that goes beyond irony, and beyond the democratic paradox.

Pil and Galia Kollectiv's website