Oliver Ressler

Oliver Ressler, What Is Democracy?, 2007–09, eight-channel video installation and wall text, Collection National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST), installation view, ANTIDORON. The EMST Collection, Fridericianum, Kassel, photo: Jasper Kettner

“What is democracy?” is not one question, but two. On the one hand, the question relates to conditions of the current, parliamentary representative democracies that are scrutinized critically in this project. On the other hand, the question traces different approaches towards an idea of what a more democratic system might look like and which organizational forms it could take.

“What is democracy?” was the question put to numerous activists and political analysts in eighteen cities around the world: Amsterdam, Berkeley, Berlin, Bern, Budapest, Copenhagen, London, Melbourne, Moscow, New York, Paris, Rostock, San Francisco, Sydney, Taipei, Tel Aviv, Thessaloniki, and Warsaw. The interviews were recorded between 2007 and 2009. Even though all interviewees were asked the same question, the result was a multiplicity of different perspectives and viewpoints from people living in nation-states that are usually labeled “democracies.”

—Oliver Ressler

Posted in Public Exhibition

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