Artistic Thinking and Social Action
To think outside the box and question supposedly unshakeable matters are a necessity and resource for positive social change. Artistic approaches are not only able to provide fresh impetus, but also to actively shape society.
The Stechlin-Institut activates the social potential of artistic thinking. Here, art is developed and tested as a social practice.
As well as two residencies for artists, we are developing an archive for socially engaged art.
So far, artists can spend time here in connection to the Stechlin-Dialoge.
Socially engaged art
There has been a history of roughly 100 years to socially engaged art. Artistic practice in this field understands itself beyond the symbolic as a tool of immediate social transformation. Today, a growing number of artists are beginning to consciously return to the social. The Stechlin-Institut sees itself as an actor in the field of socially engaged art. It wants to activate the social potential of artistic thinking and expand the scope of artistic action.
Art at the Stechlin-Institut
Like Cornelius Castoriadis, we are convinced of the creative imagination of humans as the inexhaustible “source and origin of otherness and perpetual self-alteration of a society.” And this, in fact, does not only concern artists. Artistic or oblique thinking is an emancipatory process. Bernhard Waldenfels attributes a special ability to artists, being able to stand ambiguity. One could say it like this: Artists make visible what is invisible. They don’t change that which is disturbing – they create another perspective on it altogether. Art is a discipline, a process which renders deviation, the surprising, and the superfluous visible in order to break routine experience and perception.
Also the temporary retreat to rural surroundings is a strategy from the context of art, aiming at overviewing and clarifying. That teams of non-profit organizations and artists are living together first of all means a confrontation with a strange, or at least different, life plan. It should be mentioned, though, that artists are confronted with the same insecurity of the situation. When these actors are in encounter, it is therefore at eye level, and everybody involved can find the potential of reflecting their own situation.
Archive for socially engaged art
Together with a group of others we are developing a network for the mutual support of actors in the field of socially engaged art. In order to do so, we are working on setting up an archive for socially engaged art. It is intended to dissolve the marginalization of social practices, unlock potentials of engaged art, and create the foundations for an extended theory and practice in this field.