‘Network map of artist and political inclinations’ & ‘Open Call’, 7th Berlin Biennale @ KW, April 26th, 2012
In November 2010 Artur Żmijewski announced a call to artists from all over the world, asking them to send in artistic material as part of the research of the 7th Berlin Biennale. In addition to the standard information usually requested in such a call (documentation of art works and projects, CVs, etc.), it included the following addition, which generated attention in and of itself: as the research also focuses on the question of whether artists consider themselves to be political, please inform us about your political inclination (e.g. rightist, leftist, liberal, nationalist, anarchist, feminist, masculinist, or whatever you may identify yourself with) or whether you are interested in politics at all.
The call was published in various languages. The Berlin Biennale ultimately received over 5,000 submissions in reaction to the Open Call and all these artist were represented in a graphic which is shown in the Biennale under the name of “Network map of artist and political inclinations” and you can see below. Also all the dossiers are standing in various shelves in the same room as the graphic.
In response, we invited all those who sent materials to become artists of the digital venue of the Berlin Biennale. Together with Berlin-based media activist and writer Pit Schultz it was developed ArtWiki, a digital art library based on the model of Wikipedia, which is a sustainable project that will continue into the future. It aims to present artists as political and social entities, to lay open the artistic resources of our society and abandon the typical curatorial stance of a politics of selection and exclusivity. Furthermore, art representation on the Internet has been strongly dominated and positioned by market speculation and financial interests, and artists are often hesitant to upload their work for fear of it being misappropriated or even stolen. ArtWiki is the tool through which there is the desire to extend the Biennale exhibition and create an open, not-for-profit platform for information exchange for artists, their activities, and their political standpoints, to show today’s spectrum of artistic attitudes. ArtWiki is also a form of social contract, which is about free exchange of information and trust—something very unusual in times when the art system is based on fully controlled access to art works, images, and even ideas. Text by Joanna Warsza
ArtWiki went public on April 26, 2012 – the opening day of the 7th Berlin Biennale. www.artwiki.org