Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mareike Dittmer about : art trends: tired of participating?

Mareike Dittmer
Editor Frieze d/e, Berlin

Mareike Dittmer

Asking people to participate in art calls to mind Bartleby’s mantra “I would prefer not to.” If exhibitions are events that incorporate viewers like festivals of emotions yet also demand complicity, social compatibility, and maximum attention—then distance is my preferred alternative. However, the principle of evanescence as performance interests me a lot, although it, too, relies on participation in a social context. Perhaps this is because, as opposed to ephemeral installations and situations, calculated participatory spectacles allow for coincidences and thus produce an ambiguity dedicated to the moment. Ultimately, though, the question of the pros and cons of participation—like so many other things—can only be assessed based on a concrete work and for that particular work.

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