Cruz’s demoCRACY (2010) consists of a typical voting scene: a ballot box and two piles of ballots on each side of it. The ballots have a question addressed to the potential voter: “Would You Like To Participate?” Three possible answers are given: “Yes”; “No”; and “None of The Above”. What is not made clear is on what the viewer would be voting on. In addition, there are no pens available and the ballot box doesn’t even have a slot where one could insert the ballot. Alluding to the mixed feelings of hopelessness expectation of change through the electoral process, the artist examines issues of civic participation and citizenship in liberal democracies.
THE UNSURPASSABLE HORIZON
by Filipa Oliveira + Miguel Amado
who are a Lisbon-based curatorial team that started out in 2004 with the programming of different alternative spaces in Lisbon. They have organized series of solo shows by Portuguese emerging artists that have stirred up the city’s traditional art scene. They have been working internationally since 2009, having shifted their focus from conventional exhibition formats to critically engaging, participatory projects informed by the relationships of aesthetics and ethics within artistic practice.
“The Unsurpassable Horizon” is a project organized for NO SOUL FOR SALE. This project brings together works by Carla Cruz, Ruth Ewan, Runo Lagomarsino, and Lotte Lindner & Till Steinbrenner. The works on view respond to, comment, and speculate on the potential of the communitarian ideal in contemporary society. This project thus addresses the social fabric in which both artists and non-profit organizations/curatorial collectives operate, considering the public sphere as an arena of individual participation in the collective future.
In one of the most acknowledged books by the French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, The Inoperative Community (1982), he sets himself the task of redefining community beyond a cultural, economic and political dimension. To be operative, the community needs a substance, a sense of communion, and this is the intellectual framework that shapes “The Unsurpassable Horizon”. These artists deal with community as something that either has been disintegrated or that is in a process of rebuilding. Their practice thus reflects the entropic current state of affairs that Nancy encapsulates with his reference to the contemporary “unsurpassable horizon” of political, economic, and cultural regimes.
MAL: No Soul For Sale // Elephant In The Room // Fair Pay For Artists