Is Another World Possible? The Politics of Utopia in Contemporary Art Exhibitions

Tj Demos


The essay considers recent art exhibitions in relation to radical political claims. These include: Utopia Station (2003-), organized by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Molly Nesbit, and Rirkrit Tiravanija; the Van Abbemuseum’s “Forms of Resistance” (2007), curated by Will Bradley, Phillip van den Bossche, and Charles Esche; and the 2009 Istanbul Biennial, organized by the Zagreb-based collective WHW (What, How and for Whom? ). The essay provides a close reading of these three exhibitions, and considers their political context as set within the terms of neoliberalism, asking what capacity do art exhibitions have in providing creative alternatives to advanced capitalism, ways of alliance-building, and connecting to and advancing the emancipatory potential of historical and present social movements.

Palabras clave

exhibitions, contemporary art, politics, anti-capitalism, social movements, aesthetics

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