press release

Contemporary art as a platform to explore contemporary social and political issues: the new exhibition at the Centre for Contemporary Culture Strozzina, in Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, entitled Declining Democracy. Rethinking democracy between utopia and participation (23 September 2011—22 January 2012) presents the diverse artworks of twelve international contemporary artists. Their works put together through this exhibition create a reflection on the values, contradictions and paradoxes that typify today’s society. The show further addresses the possible declinations of the principles of democracy, which recently is being challenged more and more.

The exhibition was born out of a consideration of the contemporary international situation. While the financial meltdown in 2008 triggered deep social unrest in Western countries, a new sense of revolutionary political utopia, different from, yet parallel to developments in Europe, appears to have gained a foothold in the countries of North Africa and the Middle East. Numerous groups of citizens in those countries are fighting to achieve the basic values of participation in political life.

The artworks on display will consider such themes as the clash between the individual and the community, the growing gap between the average citizen and the political classes, the power and influence of economic lobbies and mass media, the issues surrounding immigration and the refusal of civic and political rights. At the same time, they investigate potential forms of democratic participation enabled by innovations in communication technologies, which have given people new tools with which to broadcast and share opinions.

In keeping with the CCC Strozzina’s mission to reflect events in contemporary society, Declining Democracy. Rethinking democracy between utopia and participation aims to create a platform for critical reflection and debate, without seeking conclusive answers or definitive solutions.

Declining Democracy is a project devised by CCC Strozzina with the scholarly contribution of Piroschka Dossi (curator and author), Gerald Nestler (researcher and artist), Christiane Feser (curator and artist) and Franziska Nori (director of the CCCS).

Artists: Francis Alÿs (Belgium/Mexico), Michael Bielicky & Kamila B. Richter (Germany), Buuuuuuuuu (Italy), Roger Cremers (The Netherlands), Democracia (Spain), Juan Manuel Echavarría (Colombia), Thomas Feuerstein (Austria), Thomas Hirschhorn (Switzerland), Thomas Kilpper (Germany), Lucy Kimbell (United Kingdom), Cesare Pietroiusti (Italy), Artur Żmijewski (Poland).

only in german

Rethinking democracy between utopia and participation
Kuratoren / Berater: Piroschka Dossi, Gerald Nestler, Christiane Feser, Franziska Nori

Künstler: Francis Alÿs, Michael Bielicky & Kamila B. Richter, Buuuuuuuuu , Roger Cremers, Democracia , Juan Manuel Echavarria, Thomas Feuerstein, Thomas Hirschhorn, Thomas Kilpper, Lucy Kimbell, Cesare Pietroiusti, Artur Zmijewski