We would like to start this brief editorial emphasizing one of Adorno‘s most persistent ideas: that an artwork is the place of the non-identical, impossible to be dominated and subsumed. This is precisely what gives art its irreducible value, in a world in which everything tends to be instrumentalized and homogenized.
However, the question that arises is: Can art remain a place for resistance, for criticism and opposition without ending up being neutralized and aestheticized? Artist, critics, curators, academics, philosophers, theoreticians, spectators – the artworld in general, is in need of answers to the political problems created by the ones who look for ways to curtail our social and individual rights, the ones who seek to polarize and divide our society even further with their racist, homophobic and misogynist discourses, the ones who also deny the risk of environmental problems.
After some decades of use and abuse of political correctness, this is the world we are facing right now, again. Realpolitik did not come into being just now, it has been established a while ago and seems to be staying for good.
Political Art, Activist Art and Art in general might need to evade the parameters and the temptation of the society of spectacle and of entertainment, in order to avoid being neutralized and aestheticized. If this scenario is inevitable, there has to be another way to read and confront the relation existing between art and politics in order to give answers, to criticize, resist and promote change.
Now, more than ever, the priority is to defend what is left of the democratic values. The current return of realpolitik is part of its endless comeback. However, this time it is not a coincidence that this return is based on the rise of right wing populists, with their post-truth discourses and alternative facts.