52nd International AICA Congress Germany 2019
Art Criticism in Time of Populism and Nationalism

A Project by AICA Germany in cooperation with the German Federal Cultural Foundation


REGISTRATION for extra-activities during pre-congress and congress

* pour le français dérouler vers le bas * para español scroll abajo *


The whole AICA Germany organizational team is preparing some extra activities during the pre-congress and congress days, which are:

30.09, 3pm: guided tour of Kolumba Museum, Köln

01.10, 10am: short trip to Krefeld Haus Lange, Esters, and K20/21 in Düsseldorf [for those who aren't involved in Committees Meetings]

02.10, 10am: tour of the galleries in the Belgischen Viertel, Köln

03.10, 1pm -2.30 pm: guided tour in the collections of the Hamburger Bahnhof Galerie, Berlin

03.10, 8pm: visit of the exhibition "Summer of love - art, fashion and rock and roll" at Palais Populaire, Berlin

If you like to join one of several of these activities, we are kindly asking you to let us know in advance in order to help us organize them smoothly.

👉 Please, RSVP to kostek.szydlowski@gmail.com BEFORE SEPTEMBER 25th




Toute l'équipe d'organisation de l'AICA Allemagne prépare des activités supplémentaires pendant les journées pré-congrès et congrès. Les voici:

30.09, 15h00 : visite guidée du Musée Kolumba, Cologne

01.10, 10h : court voyage à Krefeld Haus Lange, Esters, et K20/21 à Düsseldorf [pour ceux et celles qui ne sont pas impliqué.e.s dans les réunions des commissions].

02.10, 10h : visite des galeries du Belgischen Viertel, Cologne

15h10, 13h00-14h30 : visite guidée dans les collections de la Hamburger Bahnhof Galerie, Berlin

15h10, 20h : visite de l'exposition "Summer of love - art, mode et rock and roll" au Palais Populaire, Berlin

Si vous souhaitez participer à une ou plusieures de ces activités, nous vous prions de nous le faire savoir à l'avance afin de nous aider dans l’organisation.

👉 Veuillez confirmer votre présence à kostek.szydlowski@gmail.com AVANT LE 25 SEPTEMBRE.




Todo el equipo de organización de AICA Alemania está preparando algunas actividades adicionales durante los días de pre-congreso y congreso, que lo son:

30.09, 15.00 horas: visita guiada al Museo Kolumba, Colonia

01.10, 10am: viaje corto a Krefeld Haus Lange, Esters, y K20/21 en Düsseldorf[para aquellos que no están involucrados en las reuniones de los comités]

02.10, 10.00 h: visita de las galerías del Viertel de Belgischen, Colonia

15.10-13.30: visita guiada a las colecciones de la Hamburger Bahnhof Galerie, Berlín

15.10 h, 20.00 h: visita de la exposición "Summer of love - art, fashion and rock and roll" en el Palais Populaire, Berlín

Si desea participar en una o más de estas actividades, por favor háganoslo saber con anticipación para ayudarnos con la organización.

👉 Por favor, RSVP a kostek.szydlowski@gmail.com ANTES DEL 25 DE SEPTIEMBRE




Before July 27th: members 80 €, guests 100 €
After July 27th: members 100 €, guests 120 €
Students: 35 €
The AICA International Secretariat (3 persons), AICA International Office (1 person), Chairs of AICA International Committees (10 persons), speakers and special guests are exempted.

Participation to the post-programme Berlin October 6th and 7th 2019:
All attendants (AICA members, their guests and invited persons) pay the fee of 70 € and hotels accommodation. Those 70 € will be used for meals and transports.


Thereafter registration will be possible at the congress by cash.

For the transfer from Cologne to Berlin, we offer the possibility to book your reservation with us at the price of 70 €. Owner of a Deutsche Bahncard should by their trip individually.
We encourage you to book as early as possible, as the 3rd of October is a National Holyday and the prices for trains and rooms may raise soon.

In Cologne:

Coellner Hof, Hansaring 100, 50670 Cologne 80 € per night

In Berlin:
Our Congress Hotel in Berlin is the famous Ellington Hotel, close to the Ku’damm, where Duke Ellington used to play. It is a four star hotel which concedes a special rate to participants of the AICA Congress.
Ellington Hotel BERLIN, Nürnberger Strasse 50-55 | 10789 Berlin
Price 118 Single / 148 Double Breakfast included
Please note that hotel rooms are reserved for us only until July 11th. After this date, registration will be open to public and the prices may raise.

Other recommendations:
Motel One Berlin-Upper West, Kantstr. 163-165 · 10623 Berlin (close to Ellington Hotel)
Actual price (17th June 2019) 90,50 € / per night incl. Bio-breakfast (11,50 €)

IBIS Budget Berlin Alexanderplatz, Mollstraße 30 · 10249 Berlin
Actual price (17th June 2019) 59,00 € / per night plus 7,50 € for breakfast

Important addresses in Cologne
Kunsträume der Michael Horbach Stiftung, Womrser Str. 23, 50677 Köln
Hansasaal im Historischen Rathaus, Rathausplatz 2, 50667 Köln
Museum Ludwig, Heinrich-Böll-Platz, 50667 Köln
Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln, Peter-Welter-Platz 2, 50676 Köln

Congress adresses in Berlin:
Hamburger Bahnhof, Invalidenstraße 50-51, 10557 Berlin
Berlinische Galerie, Alte Jakobstraße 124, 10969 Berlin (Kreuzberg)
Palais Populaire, Unter den Linden 5, 10117 Berlin


52nd International AICA Congress Cologne/Berlin, 1–7 October 2019


TUESDAY, 01 Oct., Cologne

Michael Horbach Stiftung, Wormser Straße 23, 50677 Köln, Tel. 0221 – 2999 3378

from 08.30 am onward registration for the 52nd International AICA Congress
members 100 euro /others /120 euro /students 35 euro

09.00 am – 05.00 pm meetings of AICA International Committees 
01.00 pm – 02.00 pm lunch break

10.00 am - 05.00 pm 
Special programme
 for members not involved in committees 
bus excursion to Krefeld Haus Lange & Esters and to Düsseldorf K20/K21
Please book under AICA2019cgn@gmail.com

05.30 pm 
Reception at the town hall 
Hansasaal in the historic town hall, Rathausplatz 2, 50667 Köln Altstadt

06.00 pm 
Museum Ludwig
guided visit to the exhibtiion Transcorporealities auf Englisch

07.00 pm 
Guest at Museum Ludwig
Host: Uta M. Reindl, Vicepresident AICA Germany
Welcoming addresses by
Yilmaz Dziewor, Director of Museum Ludwig
Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen, Minister of Culture and Science of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia
Lisbeth Rebollo Gonçalves, President AICA International
Danièle Perrier, President AICA Germany

Award ceremony "Prize for Distinguished Art Criticism" of AICA International
conferred to Walter Grasskamp for his life's work as art critic and author
Laudatio: Julia Voss

artistic programme
I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly
lecture performance by Dieuwke Boersma & Vanja Smiljanić
#Elf 100% 
audiovisual installation by Jürgen Stollhans
fee 10 euro for non registered congress participants

WEDNESDAY, 02 Oct., Cologne

Michael Horbach Stiftung, Wormser Straße 23, 50677 Köln, Tel. 0221 29993378

from 08.30 am onward registration for the 52nd International AICA Congress
09.00 am – 12.00 am AICA board meeting 
12.00 am – 02.00 pm lunch break

10.00 am 
Special programme
 for members not involved in committees 
visits to Galleries in the Belgian Quarter, Temporary Gallery, Kölnischer Kunstverein

from 13.30 pm 
(Kunsthochschule für Medien/Academy of Media Art), Filzengraben 2, 50676 Köln, Aula
02.00 pm – 06.00 pm General assembly of AICA International (for all AICA members)

07.00 pm
Guest at KHM (Academy of Media Arts, Cologne) Auditorium
Prelude to the congress,Hans Ulrich Reck, Director of the Academy 
Populism, Time and the Avant-Garde, lecture by Nina Power talking to Aneta Rostkowska, Director of the Temporary Gallery
Epilogue, Sabine Maria Schmidt, Vicepresident AICA Germany
fee 10 euro for non registered congress participants


THURSDAY, 3. Oct., Transfer from Cologne to Berlin

Transfer from Cologne main station to Berlin main station
08.44 am - 01.05 pm ICE 555

Optional for those who are earlier in Berlin
01.00 pm - 02.30 pm Hamburger Bahnhof invites to a guided visit of the Collections in English
please book by writing to kostek.szydlowski@gmail.com

Registration : members 100 euro / others 120 euro / students 35 euro
from 2.30 pm onward at Hamburger Bahnhof, Invalidenstraße 50-51, 10557 Berlin

CONGRESS OPENING, HAMBURGER BAHNHOF, BERLIN - Under the patronage of the German Commission for UNESCO
Invalidenstrasse 50-51, 10557 Berlin

03.30 am – 04.45 pm 

Welcoming addresses by 
Udo Kittelmann, Director of the National Galerie Berlin
Hortensia Völckers, Artistic Director of the German Federal Cultural Foundation
Lisbeth Rebollo Gonçalves, President AICA International

Danièle Perrier, President AICA Germany: Art critisicm. its tasks - its crisis
Jacques Leenhardt: On the History of the German AICA

05.00 pm – 06.15 pm
Panel 1 
Nuances of Populism: Political and Cultural Dimensions
Oliver Marchart: Populism and Anti-Populism
Ana Teixeira Pinto: Social Sadism as Free Speech
Host: Jörg Heiser

06.30 pm – 07.50 pm 
Panel 2 
The Humboldt Forum and its “Cultural Heritage” 
Arlette-Louise Ndakoze: Vom Mausoleum zum Momentum | Die Akte der Artefakte in Humboldts Forum
Thomas E. Schmidt: Decolonization and German cultural policy. Why it is so complicated to give art back
Sarah Hegenbart: A Cabinet of Wonders with Respect of the Failure of Multidirectional Memory Politics
Host: Jörg Heiser

08.00 pm 
Palais Populaire
Visit of the exhibition summer of love - art, fashion and rock and roll and reception. 
Please register to kostek.szydlowski@gmail.com

FRIDAY, 04 Oct., Berlinische Galerie, Berlin
Alte Jakobstraße 124-128, 10969 Berlin

10.00 am – 11.00 am
Panel 3 
Art Criticism & Society
Harry Lehmann: Art Cticism in Times of Political Polarization
Kolja Reichert: The Autonomy of Art is Not the Autonomy of the Artist. Chances for Art Criticism in a Society of Singularities
Host: Catrin Lorch

11.10 – 12.10 p. m. 
Panel 4 
The Public and the Popular
Paul O’Kane: The Carnival of Popularity – Wresting the Popular from Populism
Franck Hermann Ekra: "On the Wings of Freedom": Trans-African Routes. The New Manifestations of Contradiction.
Host: Alexander Koch

12.30 – 01.30 p. m. 
Panel 5
Art Criticism and Gender
Miguel Rivas Venegas: "Yihadismo de Género": Anti-Feminist Lexical Arsenals of Spanish National-Populism
Belinda Grace Gardner: RE/WRITING HISTORY. Art Criticism as a Vehicle of Change in the Era of #MeToo
Host: Elke Buhr

02.45 am – 03.45 pm
Panel 6
Arts and Politics Between Avant-Garde and Propaganda
Marek Wasilewski: From self-defence to counterattack, how the populists in Poland reclaimed the language of contemporary art
Sarah Wilson: CROWDS AND POWER - Two Polish Artists in London
Host: Catrin Lorch

04.00 pm – 05.00 pm 
Panel 7
Art Criticism in Eastern Europe (Hungary, Poland)
Maja & Reuben Fowkes: Democracy in on the Defensive: East European Art Criticism in the Era of Illiberal Globalisation 
Malgorzata Stepnik: Vox Populi – Politicians as Art Critics
Host: Liam Kelly, Chair of the Congress Committee AICA international

05.30 pm – 07.00 pm 
Roundtable on Political Censorship and its Impact on Art and Art Criticism
with Hernán D. Caro, Erden Kosova, Vivienne Chow, Delaine Le Bas
Host: Rafael Cardoso

SATURDAY, 05 Oct., Berlinische Galerie, Berlin
Alte Jakobstraße 124-128, 10969 Berlin

10.00 am – 11.00 am
Panel 8
Artistic and Critical Practices and their Public Voice
Julia Voss: Art & Activism
Mischa Kuball & Gregor Lersch: Populism vs Democracy and Social Media. And other Disasters
Host: Norman L. Kleeblatt

11.15 am – 12.45 pm 
Panel 9
Art Criticism and/as/against Judgement
Thomas Edlinger: What do you need? On the Relationship of Empathy and Critique
Florian Arnold: Design and Punishment. Design Criticism in Times of Web Formatted Satire 
Claudia Roßkopf & Anna Moskvina: Rez@Kultur: Processes of Online Reviewing
Host: Ellen Wagner

12.45 pm – 01.15 pm 
Film presentation
Stefan Römer: ReCoder of Life
presented by Sabine Maria Schmidt

02.30 pm – 04.00 pm
Panel 10
Art Criticism and/as/against Discrimination
Sabeth Buchmann & Isabelle Graw: The Critique of Art Criticism
Julia Pelta Feldman & Antje Stahl: The Sacrifice of Freedom – On Moral Criticism
Host: Elke Buhr

04.15 am – 04.45 pm 
Awards Ceremony “Incentive Prize” of AICA International, presented by Sophie Allgårdh, Chair of Award Committee

05.00 pm – 06.15 pm 
conclusion panel
The Crisis of Autonomy and the Future of Art Criticism
Kolja Reichert discusses with Wolfgang Ullrich

06.15 pm
Danièle Perrier: conclusion and thanks 

07.30 pm
Farewell Party
Crazy Holidays, Performance by Andrea Marioni
and musical conclusion arranged by Klaus Mabel Aschenneller


SUNDAY, 06 Oct., Berlin

10.00 a. m. 
Topographie des Terrors, Niederkirchnerstraße 8, 10963 Berlin

11.00 a. m.
Gropius Bau, Niederkirchnerstraße 7, 10963 Berlin
guided visit of the exhibition Walking through walls

12.30 p. m. 
lunch break at Beba Restaurant, with its vertical gardens with vegetables from all over the world (Gropius Bau)

03.00 p. m.
KOW Gallery, discussion with Alexander Koch

04.30 p. m. 
Thomas Schulte Gallery, Charlottenstraße 24, 10117 Berlin
Visit of the exhibition Quartet, Idris Khan

05.45 p. m. 
Konrad Fischer Gallery, Neue Grünstraße 12, 10179 Berlin
Rudolf Polansky/Franz West-Ausstellung von Haubrok and
Carl Andre

07.00 p.m. 
BDI (Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie), Breite Str. 29, 10178 Berlin 
art window with the installation of Oezlem Guenyol and Mustafa Kunt

07.30 p. m. 
Kewenig Gallery

MONDAY, 07 Oct., Berlin

09.30 a. m. 
studio visit at Heba Y. Amin, Glogauerstrasse 6, 10999 Berlin-Kreuzberg 

11.00 a. m.
Sprüth Magers Gallery, Oranienburger Str. 18, 10178 Berlin
Hanne Darboven 

12.30 p. m. 
lunch at Clärchens Ballhaus

02.00 p. m. 
N.B.K. (Neuer Berliner Kunstverein), Chausseestraße 128-129, 10115 Berlin
visit of the exhibition 1989–2019: Politics of Space in the New Berlin and meeting Candice Breitz 

04.30 p. m. 
SAVVY Contemporary - The Laboratory of Form-Ideas

06.30 p. m.
Julia Stoscheck Collection, Leipziger Straße 60, 10117 Berlin
welcome drink and guided visit through the exhibition Horizontal vertigo: Wangshui

Welcome to the 52nd International AICA Congress, a project by AICA Germany in Cooperation with the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

The Congress will take place from October 1st – 7th October 2019 in Cologne and Berlin.

The Highlight in Cologne will be granting the Prize for Distinguished Art Criticism to a well-known art critic in Germany at Museum Ludwig in Cologne. The first two days in Cologne are dedicated to the administrative tasks of AICA International. If you want to join the congress in Cologne and are not involved with commissions as well as the administration council, you will be able to register for visits at prominent regional galleries and institutions. (only if there are at least 8 participants) Guests are welcome.

On Thursday morning, (Oct. 3rd) we will take the rapid train ICE at 8.44 a. m., which arrives at 1.05 p. m. at Berlin main station. Please book your reservation asap, as there are no other good connections in order to arrive in Berlin in time for the beginning of the congress at 3.30 p.m.

The opening ceremony of the congress itself will take place on October 3rd at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin. On the 4th and 5th the congress will be hosted by the Berlinische Galerie.The Congress theme Art Criticism in times of Populism and Nationalism addresses some virulent issues concerning the role of art criticism from different points of views.

Populism shapes the contemporary media landscape and the field of art as well as cultural criticism. There are many discussions about the removal of controversial works of art and the influence of the #MeToo debate in the art. Ethical evaluation criteria are implemented, where women artists* consciously make provocative or seemingly naïve cultural appropriations with their works and actions. But where and how far do limitations of artistic freedom of expression go? What does the clash between the ethical and aesthetic say about our understanding of politically "responsible" art and „responsible“ art-critical approaches?

Our congress is dedicated to the possibilities of critical commitment for art as a socially embedded yet aesthetically free form of expression.

It is based on a diversity of points of views and provides moderated discussions after each presentation or after two controversial lectures. We want scientists, artists, authors, journalists to have their say and actively involve the audience. Not only the lectures, but also the resulting discussions will be recorded in the congress files.

Our programme currently envisages asking first about nuances in the conceptual understanding of populism in culture and politics, discussing populist lines of argument in the context of post-colonialism and investigating the effects of populism and nationalism in art-critical practice on the basis of case studies - both nationally and internationally. The thematic complex of censorship will also be introduced to the congress in reports by colleagues from various countries. The last day will be devoted to methods and formats of art criticism that may be considered as experiment in a special way by addressing or involving their audience. It will also deal with the role of (digital) distribution and the instrumentalization of art criticism in connection with the opening and closing of democratic public spaces.

From the 39 applicants who answered the call for papers, our international jury has selected 11 participants. We are looking forward to having long discussions with them and speakers invited and hope that you will get involved in these debates.

1–7 October 2019
Cologne – Berlin

A project by AICA Germany in cooperation with the German Federal Cultural Foundation
Also published on AICA Germany website: http://www.aica.de/52nd-international-aica-congress/index.html

Congress Theme
Due to globalisation, migration and ecological problems, critical voices and politicised statements get more and more popular in this world. The increase of nationalism and the rejection of alien cultures, guided by fear and uncertainty due to real threats like civil wars and terrorist attacks, are part of this. Artists pay more and more attention to phenomena like these, the politically motivated focus of investigation thereby poses a particular challenge for art criticism. The curatorial practice of major events and exhibitions like the Manifesta, the biennials and the Documenta show us the reactions of artists.

What effects do such developments have on art criticism and its traditional evaluation criteria? How can we adequately discuss questions concerning the aesthetics in political contexts or rather politics in aesthetics? And how does art criticism react on art positions differentiating from the political context?

Besides these problems, art criticism today faces the challenge of an art scene influenced by pop culture and commercialism more than ever before. Boundaries of art forms disappear, the interaction of artistic practice and activities alien to art has to be addressed increasingly.

Can art criticism still offer orientation? How does art criticism position itself between a “winner-takes-all” art market, institution critical exhibition formats and theoretical standards? This concerns its role and autonomy in and towards the media which seems to let the art critical discourse in the diversity of opinions fall into decay and which scarcely gives art critics any prospect of professional survival in the digital age.

It is questions and problems like these which we want to address at the congress. We hope to find answers on the future social role of art criticism, and in this context an appropriate approach towards pluralism and the social challenges in the field of art.

CALL FOR PAPERS | Congress 2019 (CLOSED)

Download Call for papers in English
Download Appel à communication en français
Download Convocatoria de papel en español

Populist tendencies, regardless of their colour, characterise the contemporary media landscape and the field of art and cultural criticism. Discussions about the removal of controversial works of art or the infiltration of the "Me Too" debate into the art discourse take their place in reporting. Ethical evaluation criteria are brought into the field, where male and female artists consciously make provocative or seemingly naive cultural appropriations through their works and actions. But where and how does the border to the curtailment of artistic freedom of expression run? What does the course of disputes between ethical and aesthetic fronts say about our understanding of politically "responsible" art and art-critical approaches that seem "appropriate" to this art.

The 52nd International AICA Congress is dedicated to the possibilities of critical engagement with art as a socially embedded yet aesthetically free form of expression. If simplification no longer serves to convey complex contexts and turns into the simplifying rhetoric of those who address their audience with the aim of defending their own claims to power, popularity becomes populism. How can art criticism help to shape spaces of seriously divided public spheres and thus assume a central role in social processes? How can it accept the challenge of dealing sensitively with political questions and self-confidently intervening where political correctness threatens to restrict the freedom of art and art criticism?

In order to be heard and to position art as an expression of society rather than as a luxury good and financial investment, the intervention of critique in cultural-political debates about "populist" decisions by influential actors seems unavoidable – with a view to international developments as well as to one's "own front door". What other power does art criticism have in dealing with neo-nationalism, racism and discrimination? What path does it take in the debate about colonialism and the associated calls for reparation? How can it position itself in the field of tension between identity politics and criticism of identity politics?

We observe that populism has become part of our daily business not only in politics, but also in artistic practice. It can be the subject of artistic criticism, but it can also be used as a strategy that promises to attract attention to a position by one-sidedly inclining towards a certain political alignment or by deliberately choosing polarising forms of representation. But how can art criticism find formats to react to such art?

How criticism can remain independent when a large part of the precariously working freelancers are dependent on every job seems like a mystery. The economic necessity of constantly finding paying clients may be a possible reason why many critics are increasingly writing about popular or even populist themes and exhibitions. The contributions are intended to differentiate which manifestations of populism become relevant for art criticism, how exhibiting institutions or critics present themselves in a "populist" manner, and what role the uncritical adaptation to an assumed majority taste plays in the cultural sphere.

The concern of the Congress is to enter into conversation about art, its conditions and possible consequences, thinking and speaking openly to oneself and others without having to submit to censorship or attention-economic necessities – a Congress, which dedicates itself to this thematic field through democratic-theoretical, art-scientific, journalistic and artistic approaches.

The following topics can be addressed:

  • the concept and history of populism, particularly in the cultural field

  • art criticism as a reaction to populist tendencies in (cultural) politics

  • interaction and conflicts between ethical and aesthetic approaches in art and art criticism

  • the tension between freedom of expression and political correctness

  • censorship, iconoclasm and terror as strategies of cultural populism

  • effects of populism, Neo-Nationalism and censorship in art critical practice challenge of critique through populism as a topic and style of artistic practice

Art critics, creative artists and scholars are invited to submit proposals for a 20-minute contribution and, if possible, to assign them to one of the listed topics.

Please send your abstract (max. 2000 characters) in English and optionally also in German, French or Spanish with a short biography (and a statement on the Congress topic in one sentence, approx. 600 characters in total) including a portrait photo and corresponding copyright information to Marja-Terttu Kivirinta (mtkivirinta@mac.com) by 7 April 2019.

The Notification about acceptance of contributions can be expected at the beginning of May 2019. If the proposal is accepted, the abstracts and biographies with photos will be used online and in print as part of the publicity work of the Congress. The speakers will be accommodated during the Congress days.


Les tendances populistes, de quelque couleur politique qu’elles soient, déterminent le paysage contemporain des médias dans les domaines de la critique d’art et de la culture. Les polémiques concernant le retrait d’œuvres d’art controversées et l’intervention du débat « me too » dans le champ artistique se sont imposées dans les bulletins d’information. Les critères d’évaluation ethnique tentent de s’imposer, là où les artistes s’approprient dans leurs œuvres des valeurs culturelles, ingénument ou avec l’intention de provoquer. Mais où et comment tracer les limites de la liberté artistique ? Que disent toutes ces polémiques entre adeptes de l’ethnicité et de l’esthétique sur notre compréhension d’un art « responsable » et d’une approche de la critique d’art qui puisse paraître politiquement « adéquate » ?

Le 52e Congrès International de l’AICA s’interrogera sur la possibilité d’une approche critique de l’art qui l’insère dans le contexte social tout en le laissant néanmoins libre dans la réalisation esthétique. Le caractère « populaire » se transforme en populisme lorsque la simplification cesse de servir la communication de relations complexes et tombe dans la rhétorique réductrice de ceux qui s’adressent à leur public dans le but de défendre leurs propres ambitions de pouvoir. Comment la critique d’art peut-elle participer à l’élaboration d’un espace public diversifié pour une société profondément divisée et ainsi s’assurer un rôle central dans la construction de la société ? Comment peut-elle relever le défi d’aborder avec sensibilité les débats politiques et d’intervenir avec autonomie et confiance lorsque le « politiquement correct » menace de restreindre la liberté artistique et celle de la critique d’art.

L’intervention de la critique d’art dans les débats politico-culturels concernant le « populisme » d’acteurs influents est inévitable afin de se faire entendre et de positionner l’art en tant qu’expression de la société plutôt que comme produit de luxe et bien d’investissement – et ceci en regard de l’évolution de la situation sur le plan international et « devant sa porte ». Quelle influence la critique d’art peut-elle avoir dans les débats sur le néo-nationalisme, le racisme et la discrimination ? Que propose-t-elle dans les débats sur le colonialisme et les appels à la restitution d’œuvres patrimoniales et aux réparations liées à l’histoire coloniale ? Comment s’affirme-t-elle dans le champ de contraintes entre une politique identitaire et la critique de celle-ci ?

Nous observons qu’il n’y a pas qu’en politique que le populisme fait partie du quotidien. Il s’infiltre aussi au sein de la pratique artistique – comme objet de critique artistique, mais aussi comme stratégie. Comment la critique d’art peut-elle trouver des formats qui permettent non seulement un jugement de valeur sur ces formes artistiques, mais encore de focaliser l’attention sur la relation entre l‘art et le contexte politique ?

Comment la critique d’art peut-elle être autonome, alors qu’une grande partie des indépendants vivent dans des conditions précaires et sont obligés d’accepter n’importe quelle commande, c’est un mystère. La nécessité économique de trouver constamment de nouveaux commanditaires pourrait bien être la cause expliquant pourquoi de plus en plus de critiques d’art écrivent sur des thèmes et expositions populaires, voire populistes. Les diverses contributions chercheront à distinguer quelles manifestations populistes sont pertinents pour la critique d’art, pourquoi des lieux d’exposition et certains critiques se présentent de façon « populiste », et quel rôle l’adaptation peu critique à un goût supposé majoritaire joue dans la sphère culturelle.

L’intention du Congrès d’entrer en conversation sur l’art, sa contextualisation et les suites qui en découlent, tout en restant ouvert de pensée et de parole envers soi-même et les autres, sans égards à la censure et à des nécessités d’ordre économique – c’est le sens de ce Congrès dédié aux aspects théoriques de la démocratie, de l’histoire de l’art, des approches journalistiques et artistiques.

Les thèmes suivants seront abordés :

  • populisme – notion et historique, en particulier dans le contexte de la critique d’art)

  • réactions de la critique d’art face aux tendances populistes en politique (culturelle)

  • interaction et conflits entre une approche éthique et esthétique de l‘art et de la critique d’art

  • prise de position entre la liberté d’expression et le politiquement correct

  • censure, iconoclasme et terreur face aux stratégies d’une culture populiste

  • effets du populisme, du néo-nationalisme et de la censure sur la critique d’art

  • le populisme comme thème et style de la pratique artistique, défit pour la critique d’art.

Les critiques d’art, artistes et intellectuels, scientifiques et académiciens sont invités à présenter leur proposition pour une contribution de 20 minutes et si possible de la placer dans l’un des thèmes proposés.

Nous vous prions d’envoyer un résumé de 2.000 caractères (maximum) en anglais – avec l’option d’y joindre le texte original en allemand, en français ou en espagnol – une courte biographie incluant en une phrase un énoncé sur la thématique du Congrès (pas plus de 600 caractères en tout) et un portrait photographique avec mention de droit d’auteur s’il y a lieu à Marja-Terttu Kivirinta (mtkivirinta@mac.com) d’ici le 7 avril 2019.

La notification d’acceptation des contributions est prévue pour début mai 2019. Si la proposition est acceptée, les résumés, biographies et le portrait photographique seront publiés en ligne et imprimés dans les documents de présentation du Congrès. Le séjour des intervenants sera pris en charge durant le Congrès.


Las tendencias populistas – sean del color que sean – determinan al paisaje contemporáneo de los medios de comunicación y al campo del arte y la crítica cultural. Las discusiones acerca del retiro de controvertidas obras de arte o la permeabilidad del discurso del arte para con el debate “Me Too” se imponen en la agenda noticiosa. Los criterios de evaluación ética son llevados al plano en el que las y los artistas ejecutan apropiaciones culturales que son provocadoras de manera consciente o aparentemente ingenua. Pero, ¿por dónde y cómo es trazado el límite que separa a esto de la reducción de la libertad de expresión artística? ¿Qué es lo que esta seguidilla de debates – que oscilan entre frentes éticos y estéticos – puede expresarnos acerca de nuestra concepción del arte y sobre la crítica de arte “responsable” políticamente y “adecuada”?

El 52º Congreso Internacional de la AICA se enfoca en las posibilidades de la discusión crítica en torno al arte como forma de expresión que se aloja en lo social y que, sin embargo, es forma de expresión estéticamente libre. La popularidad se vuelve populismo cuando la simplificación deja de servir a la comunicación de relaciones complejas y cae en la retórica reductora de aquellos que se dirigen a su público con el fin de defender sus propias ambiciones de poder. ¿Cómo es que la crítica de arte puede participar en la formación de una esfera pública diferenciada de forma seria y, así, asumir un rol central en los procesos sociales? ¿Cómo puede aceptar el desafío de abordar de manera sensible las cuestiones políticas y, con autonomía y seguridad, cumplir con su función cuando la corrección política amenaza con restringir la libertad del arte y de la crítica de arte?

La intromisión de la crítica en los debates de política cultural en torno a las decisiones “populistas” de actores influyentes parece inevitable para que este sea escuchada y para posicionar al arte como expresión de la sociedad – y mirando a los desarrollos internacionales como también a aquellos que se dan “en casa”.

Más allá de esto: ¿cuál es el poder que la crítica de arte tiene en el debate en torno al neo-nacionalismo, el racismo y la discriminación? ¿Cuál es la vía que propone en el debate sobre el colonialismo y con sus llamados al resarcimiento y la reparación? ¿Cómo puede posicionarse en el punto crítico entre políticas de identidad y la crítica a estas mismas?

Hemos podido observar que el populismo se ha vuelto parte del día a día – no solo en la política, sino también en la práctica artística, pudiendo llegar a ser tanto objeto de crítica por parte del artista y su obra, como también pudiendo ser usado como una estrategia. 

La pregunta en este sentido es: ¿cómo debería reaccionar al respecto la crítica del arte?

Hasta el día de hoy, el dilema es si la crítica puede seguir siendo independiente en momentos en los que una gran parte de los autónomos que trabajan bajo precarias condiciones depende de cada encargo que recibe. La necesidad económica, la búsqueda constante de clientes que paguen son motivos posibles por los cuales muchos críticos escriben con más ahínco acerca de temas y exposiciones que gozan de popularidad o que son llanamente populistas.

Diferentes ponencias intentarán diferenciar cuáles son las manifestaciones del populismo y cuáles son relevantes para la crítica de arte; cómo es que los centros de exposiciones o los críticos se comportan de manera “populista” y cuál es el rol que juega la adaptación poco crítica del ámbito cultural a lo que se supone es un gusto mayoritario.

El tenor del Congreso será el iniciar conversaciones acerca de arte, sus condiciones y consecuencias posibles; al mismo tiempo, poder pensar y hablar de manera abierta para consigo mismo y con los otros. El Congreso se concentra en aproximaciones tanto periodísticas y artísticas como desde la teoría de la democracia y los estudios del arte.

Los siguientes campos temáticos pueden ser abordados:

  • Concepto e historia del populismo, en especial en el área cultural

  • La crítica de arte como reacción a tendencias populistas en la política (cultural)

  • Interacción y conflictos entre aproximaciones éticas y estéticas en el campo del arte y en el de la crítica del arte.

  • Punto crítico entre la libre expresión de opinión y la corrección política

  • Censura, iconoclasia y terror como estrategias de un populismo cultura

  • Efectos del populismo, el neo-nacionalismo y la censura en la práctica de la crítica de arte

  • El populismo como tema y estilo de la práctica artística, desafío para la crítica de arte

Las y los críticos de arte, artistas, intelectuales, científicos y académicos están invitados a presentar propuestas de ponencias de 20 minutos y, dentro de lo posible, categorizarla en uno de los campos temáticos mencionados en esta lista.

Por favor envíe su resumen (no más de. 2,000 caracteres) en inglés, así como – opcional y adicionalmente – en alemán, francés o español junto a una biografía breve y un Statement de una oración que se relacione con el tema del Congreso. Incluya a su postulación una foto de retrato con las normas de Copyright correspondientes y envíe su postulación hasta el 7 de abril de 2019 a Marja-Terttu Kivirinta (mtkivirinta@mac.com).

A comienzos de mayo del 2019 se comunicará la resolución de las ponencias aceptadas.

En caso de que la propuesta sea aceptada, los resúmenes y biografías con foto serán usadas en línea y de forma impresa en el marco de la difusión del Congreso.

Se dispondrá de alojamiento para las y los ponentes durante las fechas del Congreso.

Updated on 24 June 2019.