»exploit the power that is yours through your right to self-determination!« joseph beuys, 1970b
joseph beuys’s »straßenaktion« [street action] of 1971 in cologne chimed with the aims of a younger generation that self-confidently demanded the opening-up of society. beuys sympathized with their revolutionary stance, particularly their ideal of direct democracy, which he supported with his »straßenaktion«. he felt it was worth fighting for direct democracy as a form of political coexistence, which would see the power to make decisions no longer the preserve of elected representatives but rather the outcome of widespread participation in a daily discourse.
fifty years later, this idea is still topical. the exhibition »the catalyst« thus examines whether and how, in our current situation – an era of global complexity and digitization that is changing almost all areas of life – new forms of political coexistence can be developed, indeed, whether democratic values are in fact immutable? these questions will be examined on the basis of contemporary artistic positions – sometimes explicitly, sometimes implicitly.
curated by anna czerlitzki