B∃SETZT: Discourse on Art, Politics and Aesthetics

PLATFORM3: B∃SETZT– Discourse on Art, Politics and Aesthetics :: International Video Call — Deadline: June 1, 2012.

PLATFORM3 – Spaces for Contemporary Art is a unique, progressive art location in Munich. Since March 2009 it has been offering space for local as well as international exhibitions and discourse projects. It is a production location as well as experimental field for artists, young curators and culture managers.

In the summer of 2012 PLATFORM3 is organizing a series of events on the topic of occupying strategies in art. Besides lectures by experts and panel discussions, there will also be a screening on the topic of art in urban space.

Occupying is no longer exclusive to Wall Street, but has spread across the entire globe as a “silent” expression of protest. Between the cornerstones of politics, society and business, the Occupy movements mark a new way of practicing democracy in the public arena. These have now made their way into the sphere of art, as can be witnessed most recently by the Occupy protests at MoMa New York, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi or the Pirate Camp Venice.

Yet what effects does this occupying have on artistic forms of expression? Is this establishing a new, artistic aesthetic of criticism? How is art taking up public space? How is it influencing urban or social infrastructures by doing this? With BESETZT, PLATFORM3 would like to get to the bottom of all these questions. Therefore the Call for Videos is being issued to ALL city strollers who have discovered something special on this topic in their city. The submissions should focus on the urban, public surroundings, in the sense that artistic occupying strategies create interfaces with the everyday, thereby yielding new perspectives. These insights into various cities and countries illustrate the most diverse strategies with which art and creativity occupy their space.

What: Short film, filmed with a cellphone camera (max. 3 minutes / 5 MB)

How: The submitted videos will be compiled into a ca. 60-minute projection, which will be premiered in the main exhibition space at PLATFORM3 on July 11, 2012. All submissions selected for the film will be mentioned by name in an accompanying publication. One chosen author will receive 150 as well as space for a text contribution in the publication.

Those interested should send the original video with a film trailer (author, title, city) by June 01, 2012 to contact [at]

Please include a short description (max. 300 words) of the city and the type of artist occupation being filmed.

Also see:


JANUARY 01, 2012 TO DECEMBER 31, 2012

In all our 2012 projects, PLATFORM3 attempts to break apart the widespread theory of the passive spectator – not through preprogrammed participation, but rather through various strategies of making public the genesis of a project. In this way the audience is no longer an unpredictable variable appearing at the conclusion of the artistic production process, but an integrative component of every artistic project – whether exhibition, performance or lecture series.

The “fourth wall” exists in theatres, and in museums works are separated from visitors by barriers, vitrines and security guards. Strategies – both spatial and symbolic – to overcome the barriers to the viewer shape the 20th and beginning of the 21st Century: artists as well as institutional agents and curators actively seek an encounter with the audience, even if this does not always take place on an equal footing or under egalitarian conditions.

The viewer, respectively the audience, is and remains the unpredictable variable in every artistic project: with the selection of specific artistic positions, or names of curators as well as by means of the exhibition context, it is possible to anticipate the perception of the audience to a certain degree. In the face of the artwork, however, the individual, the actual exhibition visitor remains incapable of being influenced – and is in advance unreachable. How they approach the work, with which means they grasp it, is always an experiment. Works, according to French writer Alain Robbe-Grillet, can also be read against the intention of the author. This is especially true for all contemporary art which is dedicated to more experimental, aesthetic forms and that breaks from the genre principle.

Would it not therefore be interesting to include the audience right from the very beginning? From the very conception of the project, to generate interest in the public, to seek an exchange with those who will later appear behind the fourth wall, behind the barriers, as a visitor?

However, the general direction of art during the modern period is – surprisingly – initially the opposite: with the increasing professionalism of artists as well as through the structural organisation of the “artworld” (P. Bourdieu, A. Danto) as a relatively hermetic system, little by little the spectator is ousted from the production context. Through strategies of participation and relational aesthetics (N. Bourriaud), the viewer is now increasingly making a comeback once again.

The return of the viewer is, however, not what it seems: the viewer, according to Jacques Rancière, was never physically or intellectually ‘absent’. In fact viewing is not a strictly contemplative moment. Someone who sits in a chair and follows an artistic act is not automatically behaving in a passive way. So perhaps viewers do not have to be freed from their apparent rigidity through emotionally charged messages and offensively formulated invitations at all. On the contrary: Seeing is always an active, individually shaped act to perceive and analyse reality. From the entirety of his impressions and associations, references and experiences, the observer construes his/her most personal visual experience. Limiting it to viewing is not sacrificing the analysis of meaning. In the opposite way, the imperative of taking part does not guarantee the active involvement of the viewers with what is happening.

Participation takes many forms – participative art projects are simply the most obvious, most widespread of them all today. In all PLATFORM3 projects in the year 2012 the viewer as individual, and the audience as the entire public, is therefore the origin of an artistic idea, not just its target.

May 9, 14:54
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