At the current documenta a politicized art is booming. Yet it is precisely this that has sparked a vehement criticism: the documenta, it is said, instrumentalizes injustice out of a longing for the morally correct. So does committed art merely legitimize its institutions? Does it soothe the conscience of an audience that confuses viewing with action? Does it even serve artists to enhance the economic value of their work? What can and should politically motivated art do?
Astrid Mania is professor of art criticism and art history of modernism at the HFBK Hochschule für Bildende Kunst Hamburg and freelance art critic (including Süddeutsche Zeitung and Artforum International).
Lecture to the exhibition “Dejima. Concepts of inclusion and exclusion“.