Participation (Documents of Contemporary Art)
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The desire to move viewers out of the role of passive observers and into the role of producers is one of the hallmarks of twentieth-century art. This tendency can be found in practices and projects ranging from El Lissitzky's exhibition designs to Allan Kaprow's happenings, from minimalist objects to installation art. More recently, this kind of participatory art has gone so far as to encourage and produce new social relationships. Guy Debord's celebrated argument that capitalism fragments the social bond has become the premise for much relational art seeking to challenge and provide alternatives to the discontents of contemporary life. This publication collects texts that place this artistic development in historical and theoretical context.
Participation begins with writings that provide a theoretical framework for relational art, with essays by Umberto Eco, Bertolt Brecht, Roland Barthes, Peter Bürger, Jen-Luc Nancy, Edoaurd Glissant, and Félix Guattari, as well as the first translation into English of Jacques Rancière's influential "Problems and Transformations in Critical Art." The book also includes central writings by such artists as Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica, Joseph Beuys, Augusto Boal, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Thomas Hirschhorn, and Rirkrit Tiravanija. And it features recent critical and curatorial debates, with discussions by Lars Bang Larsen, Nicolas Bourriaud, Hal Foster, and Hans-Ulrich Obrist.
Copublished with Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
psyche is extended'). It is not enclosed in a form - although its whole being touches against its singular limit - but it is what it is, singular being (singularity of being), only through its extension, through the areality that above all extroverts it in its very being - whatever the degree or the desire of its 'egoism' - and that makes it exist only by exposing it to an outside. This outside is in its turn nothing other than the exposition of another areality, of another singularity - the same
spectator into a conscious agent in the transformation of the world. We know the dilemma that weighs upon this project. On the one hand, understanding alone can do little to transform consciousness and situations. The exploited have rarely had the need to have the laws of exploitation explained to them. Because it's not a misunderstanding of the existing state of affairs that nurtures the submission of the oppressed, but a lack of confidence in their own capacity to transform it. Now, the feeling
unreadability. Therefore, the combination of these two forces necessarily takes the form of a realignment of heterogeneous logics. If collage has been one of the great techniques of modern art, it is because its technical forms obey a more fundamental aesthetico-political logic. Collage, in the most general sense of the term, is the principle of a 'third' aesthetic politics. Prior to mixing paintings " newspapers, oilcloth or clock parts, it mixes the strangeness of the aesthetic experience with
participation and to the creative inventions of spectators. A pavilion, one of those used these days for industrial exhibitions (how more interesting they are than anaemic little art shows ! ), would be ideal for such a purpose - it would be an opportunity for a truly efficient experience with the people, throwing them into the creative participatory notion, away from the 'elite exhibitions' so fashionable today. This experience should range from the 'givens' that have already been produced, the
independent of state influence. Just as there must be an educational system independent of state influence. From this 1 attempt to develop a revolutionary model which formulates the basic democratic order as people would like it, according to the will of the people, for we want a democracy. It is part of the fundamental law: all state power comes from the people. The area of freedom - not a free area - I want to emphasize this, because they are always being interchanged; people say Beuys wants a