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Wanting to highlight his critique of Israel as a militaristic society with no place for art and culture, artist Tal Adler created “Pettek”. With other artists and activists he wished to register Pettek as a real party in Israeli politics and run for the parliament – the Knesset, in the elections. His intention was to interfere and obstruct the political game. He believed that by inserting Pettek into the election campaign first, and to the Knesset later, he would create an artistic disease. Further, if he would manage the unthinkable, he would have “infected the holy game – politics, with the bug called art”. Adler claims that we as artists should use institutions and any other platforms we can seize and use the elections as an appropriate platform for art interventions.

The “Pettek” project wishes to run for the next elections to the Israeli parliament, The “Knesset”.
“Pettek” project attempts to function on several levels; in the art world, in local (Israeli) politics, on the internet and through mass media and publicity.
The “Pettek” project identified the election campaign as a powerful platform onto which “Pettek” members wish to upload contents and actions.
As creative, active and productive individuals, “Pettek” members wish to use the “Pettek” project as a public stage for the creation of a new collective activity. The “Pettek” project challenges formal concepts concerning the place of politics, and the relations between politics and art, establishment and culture, regime and subversion.
The “Pettek” project confuses concepts and uses conventions taken from the different systems in which it interferes (politics, art, finance, internet, religion, mass media, advertisement and activism) to question their validity and influence while applying them to other systems.
“Pettek” is art, politics, surrendering to systems and fighting back.
The “Pettek” project raises the banner of the marginal, the redundant, the unimportant and the subversive; and ignores the important, critical, essential and actual.
“Pettek” is a group of individuals.
“Pettek” didn’t invent the wheel,
“Pettek” is only taking a ride.25

***

For the 1998 German elections, German Director and artist Christoph Schlingensief decided to found his own party CHANCE2000. Schlingensief sees this as his most high-profile attempt yet to unite his art with life.26

“CHANCE 2OOO probes the rules of a party election campaign, using democratic instruction manuals to explain to independents, for example, how to run for the German parliament with a minimum of red tape; at the same time, CHANCE 2OOO exposes the culture of political devices by promising nothing – its own ploy for addressing the masses…
“Action, action, action!” is the motto. All those involved share an interest in making “politics artistic and art political”.

Schlingensief creates a permanent state of insecurity by blurring borders between reality and fiction, art and offence, intention and action. One of his most interesting works was a Big Brother show with asylum-seekers in the centre of Vienna, where the last one to be ejected is supposed to win a residence permit. Most passers-by thought the show was real, such as some leftists who even held demonstrations against the project. Schlingensief also staged Shakespeare’s Hamlet in Zurich, for which he not only recruited officially repentant neo-Nazis, but also created a rehabilitation centre for their kin. This triggered a heated debate on the credibility of this kind of stunt.


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[…] In principle 3, we argued that art should leave the safety of autonomy and connect with communities in order to be effective as well as activate a process of change. Medinat Weimar declares itself to be an art project that is a political movement that will lead to a state. The project has to completely believe in this, it has to act as if it believes of the possibility that its vision will come true and argue for its importance and relevance. On the other hand, at the first vulnerable stages of the project when the movement does not really exist anywhere but in the head of its creator, it needs the protection and safety of art. I needed to play this double game of being in the framework of art and desiring an organization of a group of people who would work together to achieve a political goal. I wanted to turn my absurd idea into a social organism. When asked, “do you believe in it? Are you serious? Do you really want a Jewish state in Thuringia?” My answer then is that I really do believe in the project and the discussions it wants to raise and I am therefore completely serious about the project. […]

Medinat Weimar » Blog Archive » ‘Over-identification’ with the ‘hidden reverse’ of ideology added these pithy words on Jun 17 08 at 00:03

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