FREEDOM



“One can aestheticize the world – and at the same time act within it. In fact, total aestheticization does not block political action; it enhances it. Total aestheticization means that we see the current status quo as already dead, already abolished. And it means further that every action that is directed towards the stabilization of the status quo will ultimately show itself as ineffective – and every action that is directed towards the destruction of the status quo will ultimately succeed. Thus, total aestheticization not only does not preclude political action; it creates an ultimate horizon for successful political action, if this action has a revolutionary perspective” (Groys, 2014) [1]


Within the contemporary artworld, activism-oriented art has become increasingly dominant. As if contemporary art’s objective was to protest, from one side, and to create a spectacle, from the other. Furthermore, censorship is still a barrier for a significant minority of contemporary artists today.
The phenomenon of critical art or, to use the late 20th century definition, Institutional Critique (IC), is something which has its main origin in what can be referred to as a call for freedom. Initiated in the 1960s as artists’ critique of the institutions of art, and then expanded throughout the 1980s and 1990s by curators and museum directors within the institutions themselves, IC nowadays acts directly on the real, as a practice of social production centred on resistance. IC’s development happens in conjunction with the notion of ‘limitation’, which we are constantly confronted with, on a both geographical and socio-political level. In terms of freedom of movement and expression, for instance, many countries and governments still limit, restrict and oppress their citizens in a variety of different ways. In other words, IC today does not relate exclusively to art, but becomes a political stand fully performed in the public realm, be it physical or virtual.
With its preview coinciding with the UK general election on the 7th of May 2015, in this chapter of LIMITACTION the artist and the curatorial team explore the notion of Freedom from the context of the Window Space, and its position on the edge of the City of London.

Curated by Miriam La Rosa

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[1] Groys, B., (2014), ‘On Art Activism’, in e-flux (http://www.e-flux.com/journal/on-art-activism/, Accessed: January 1, 2015)