“Truth is Concrete": this sentence was emblazoned over Bertolt Brecht’s desk in his Danish exile. A constant reminder in times of extreme political turbulence never to forget the reality around us. How can art play a role in social and political struggles? Can it be a tool with which to shape the world rather than just a reflection of it?
Following steirischer herbst festival’s twenty-four hour, seven-day marathon camp of the same name, Truth is Concrete: A Handbook for Artistic Strategies in Real Politics takes the possibility of concrete truth as a working hypothesis for both art and activism, and looks for direct action and concrete knowledge. For an art that not only represents and documents but engages performatively in specific political and social situations. And for an activism that not only acts for the sake of acting but searches for intelligent, creative means of self-empowerment.
Ninety nine entries describe very different tactics and strategies, written by practitioners from all over the world, mapping the broad field of engaged art and artistic activism in our times. Additional essays focus on the philosophy and modalities behind the many struggles to make this world a better place.
Essays by Stephen Duncombe & Steve Lambert, Alanna Lockward, Florian Malzacher, Chantal Mouffe, Gerald Raunig and Jonas Staal A Conversation with Etcetera, Nato Thompson and WHW Drawings by Dan Perjovschi. Original contributions by Jonathan Allen, Udi Aloni, Corina L. Apostol / Artleaks, Hector Aristizábal, Saki Bailey / Teatro Valle, Artúr van Balen / Tools for Action, Katherine Ball, Andy Bichlbaum / The Yes Men, Reverend Billy & The Church of Stop Shopping, Leah Borromeo, Andrew Boyd, Tania Bruguera, Santiago Cirugeda / Recetas Urbanas, Collective Authorship, Corrupt Tour, Gabriella Csoszó / FreeDoc, Minerva Cuevas, Neil Cummings, Diedrich Diederichsen, Charles Esche, Noah Fischer, Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius / raumlaborberlin, Sérgio Miguel Franco / Pixadores, Andrea Fraser, Isabelle Fremeaux, Christine Gaigg, Ganzeer, Federico Geller, Guillermo Gómez-Peña / La Pocha Nostra, Marina Gržinić, Núria Güell, Erdem Gündüz, Hans Haacke, The Haircut Before The Party, Stefano Harney, Carl Hegemann, Justin Hoffmann, Khaled Hourani, Iconoclasistas, The Institute for Human Activities, International Institute of Political Murder, Janez Janša, Khaled Jarrar, Jeudi Noir, Anna Jermolaeva, John Jordan, Janice Kerbel, Jisun Kim, Omer Krieger, the laboratory of insurrectionary imagination, Kalle Lasn / Adbusters, André Lepecki, Lexxus Légal, Lawrence Liang, Liberate Tate, Geert Lovink, Matteo Lucchetti, Lucifer / Church of Kopimism, Oliver Marchart, Leónidas Martín, Joana Mazza / Observatório de Favelas, Tomislav Medak, Thomas Meinecke, Jasmina Metwaly / Mosireen Collective, Antanas Mockus, Jean-Luc Moulène, Rabih Mroué, Michal Murin, Marina Naprushkina / Office for Anti-Propaganda, Neue Slowenische Kunst, Occuprint, Robyn Orlin, Ahmet Öğüt / The Silent University, Sibylle Peters, The Pinky Show, Srđa Popović / CANVAS, Public Movement, Raivo Puusemp, Richard Reynolds, Irit Rogoff, Ned Rossiter, Philipp Ruch / Center for Political Beauty, Yekaterina Samutsevich / Pussy Riot, Florian Schneider, Frank Apunkt Schneider / monochrom, Susan Schuppli / Forensic Architecture, Shared Inc., Inna Shevchenko / Femen, Gregory Sholette, Stevphen Shukaitis, Toma Sik, Kostis Stafylakis / Kavecs, Mladen Stilinović, Kuba Szreder, Claire Tancons, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Ultra-red, the vacuum cleaner, Dmitry Vilensky / Chto Delat, Marina Vishmidt, Joanna Warsza, WochenKlausur, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Jacob Wren, Stephen Wright, Kàddu Yaraax, Wu Yuren, Salam Yousry and Slavoj Žižek, et al.
Sternberg Press, 2014. Hardcover, 16 x 22 cm, 336 pages, black and white and colour pages throughout. ISBN 978-3-943365-84-9
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