To understand our society we must first know about our history, says Charles Esche in his opening speech. Knowledge is crucial to understand certain things, so not only must we know our own history, we also need to understand the history of other countries around us. This is why in today’s panel there were three international guests who all presented their projects. In a packed auditorium curator Tone O. Nielsen (Denmark) starts with the presentation of her project ‘Rethinking Nordic Colonialism’ (A Postcolonial Exhibition Project in Five Acts). According to her the Nordic countries have very little memory of their colonial history. In this project she wants to investigate whether it’s possible to find the roots of the nationalistic and xenophobic tendencies that are present in Nordic society today. The project contained an art exhibition, a public event, a film program and a DVD that was made afterwards.
The second speaker of today was Erden Kosova - who held his speech in a Fenerbahçe football shirt. Kosova is an art critic from Istanbul. He mostly repeated his statement that he also made yesterday and that you can find at this blog called ‘Het belang van onafhankelijk gemaakte kunst’. He is a bit disappointed because “Turkish art fails to get in contact with the public and it never challenges the body or mind of the audience”.
The third and final speaker was Galit Eilat from Israel. Her presentation was about different exhibitions. One of them was about ‘forbidden games’. Visitors could play computer games where Palestinians fought Israelis and visa versa. She is frustrated because most Israeli artist are occupied by the government. She also thinks that Israel is an island because it has so much cultural differences with the countries around it.
These three speakers not just want to show something to an audience, they mostly want to create a dialog. They want people to talk to each other so that we can define what the problems in today’s society are. In that way art might be a solution.