Lina Alvarez Reyes performs speech in front of the Norwegian Parliament. Photo: Rädle & Jeremić.
With this text I hope to contribute to the understanding of transformative artistic practices. The works discussed here are “Red Winter” and “Rolling Classroom”1, two connected artistic interventions carried out by Vladan Jeremić and myself in Norway. The relation of art and politics is one of the central issues in our artistic practice and we have gathered substantial experience of how this relation looks like and works in practice. Nevertheless, we are also interested in problematizing it theoretically, so as to generate new impulses for our practice. In my contribution I aim to develop a theoretical framework to discuss the conjunction of politics and art. Both works presented here deal with the language of political agitation, while occupying different places on the “passage” from the artistic to the political field. I will elaborate upon these differences, thus demonstrating under which circumstance artistic language can translate into the language of everyday experience, so that it can contribute to political articulation and practice. In short, the question I will try to answer is: How can artistic practice be transformative beyond the artistic field?
what grass, what living water of life can give us life,
where can the word be unearthed
the propositions that governs hymn and speech,
the dance, the city and the measuring scales?
– Octavio Paz
Turning to new ways to live out a passion
Going out to find the nearest tree and describe it
Finding a tree at any rate And describing it
Throwing the description away Going home
Sitting very still in a chair and having an orgasm
– Inger Christensen