We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings,
we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the website. Learn more about out privacy policy


08 - 28/06/2015

press release
Gallerypress release

When we ask about the future of democracy in the world , one of the main trends today represent those who are calling for the establishment of a " cosmopolitan democracy " and " cosmopolitan citizenship " as a result of universalization of the Western interpretation of democratic values ​​and the realization of the western understanding of human rights . According to this approach , it is the way in which he could come democratic global governance .

Artistic Activism and Agonistic Spaces

I submit that to grasp the political character of those varieties of artistic activism we need to see them as counter-hegemonic interventions whose objective is to occupy the public space in order to disrupt the smooth image that corporate capitalism is trying to spread, bringing to the fore its repressive character. Acknowledging the political dimension of such interventions supposes relinquishing the idea that to be political requires making a total break with the existing state of affairs in order to create something absolutely new. Today artists cannot pretend any more to constitute an avant-garde offering a radical critique, but this is not a reason to proclaim that their political role has ended. They still can play an important role in the hegemonic struggle by subverting the dominant hegemony and by contributing to the construction of new subjectivities. In fact this has always been their role and it is only the modernist illusion of the privileged position of the artist that has made us believe otherwise. Once this illusion is abandoned, jointly with the revolutionary conception of politics accompanying it, we can see that critical artistic practices represent an important dimension of democratic politics. This does not mean, though, as some seem to believe, that they could alone realize the transformations needed for the establishment of a new hegemony. As we argued in Hegemony and Socialist Strategy[8] a radical democratic politics calls for the articulation of different levels of struggles so as to create a chain of equivalence among them. For the ‘war of position’ to be successful, linkage with traditional forms of political intervention like parties and trade-unions cannot be avoided. It would be a serious mistake to believe that artistic activism could, on its own, bring about the end of neo-liberal hegemony.

Chantal Mouffe