IMAGES Journal for Visual Studies

events: Visual studies today: The power of images


Andreas Hudelist
The Performative Pavilion: the Death of the Audience?

With Relational Aesthetics the French curator Nicolas Bourriaud revived the discussion of participation and power to act in the reception of works of art. As a curator, he promoted interactive art forms in which art production and reception occur simultaneously. In the foreground is the event in which both sides are involved. By Claire Bishop the concept of spectacle is central to the debate about participation. Following the concept of the spectacle by Guy Debord, Bishop claims that we can think contemporary art without spectators because everybody is a producer. Having a closer look on the national pavilions at the Venice Biennale like the British pavilion with Jeremy Deller’s English Magic or the pavilion of Angola with the work Luanda, Encyclopedic, City I want to focus on the participatory element of the pictures and paintings. Is there still a difference between the artist’s art and the performance of the audience?