Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Collective Creativity

Exhibition: "Collective Creativity: Common Ideas for Life and Politics" - Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kassel - 01 / 05 / 2005

Collective Creativity focuses on specific kinds of social tensions that serve as a common axis around which various group activities are being organized. It is interested in different emancipatory aspects of collective work, where collaborative creativity is not only a form of resisting the dominant art system and capitalist call for specialization, but also a productive and performative criticism of social institutions and politics. Which strategies are taken by collectives in public space? Which alternative forms of “sociability” are generated? In which ways do they occupy and change the system and the conditions of production and representation? How do they affect the social order?

Collective Creativity does not see group activity solely in terms of the scope and efficiency of tools used in attempts to change the sociopolitical situation; it also traces the paradox of self-sufficient enjoyment in group work, which inevitably overcomes and betrays its own instrumentality and use value. The interest in the specific politics of collective creativity is not restricted geographically, but it does seem to be especially interesting from the perspective of the “New Europe” and in the context of other geographical points with similar “troubles with modernism” and tradition of artists self-organizing.

Although the context of the exhibition is defined by complex intersections of contemporary and historical perspectives, as well as by cultural and geo-political parallels and divergences of different localities, the exhibition does not attempt a homogenous and finished “history” of collective artistic creativity. It rather offers a certain “collective and subjective” vision, very much based on the cultural terrain in which the reading of modernity as the unique and homogenous cultural capital of the West is very problematic.

While insisting on the heterogeneity of the idea of collectivism in different contexts and different group stages and dynamics, the exhibition does not endeavor to enter into historical taxonomy of the long tradition of collectivity in art. Instead, by insisting on the potential of a proverbial “white cube” exhibition to articulate a critical discourse, “Collective Creativity” encompasses several prominent group positions as referential points and investigates operative modes and strategies that are actively resonant in the present, with emphasis on parallels, “substantial repetitions” and diverse forms of artistic archives.

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