The REALTY program addresses the art field’s complicity with the ongoing financialization and gentrification of city space. Contemporary Art plays a well-documented role in the way cities are being redeveloped and governed. In essence, REALTY argues that any shift in this role would require a change in the economic and ideological ground Contemporary Art stands on.
After all, broke artists will not stop servicing real estate. The Right to the City is not a serious option so long as Frequent Flying remains a best-case scenario. And theorists and curators who believe in limbo and tricksterism will only make things worse.
Some argue it’s a good time to leave, others seem to think we can still repurpose the field for other ends. At this point, Contemporary Art is a fast-growing infrastructure that values its own planetary expansion over all else. In terms of core concerns, its investment in opacity and creative disruption is as obvious as its disregard for positioning and grounding. This makes it an ideal vessel for deregulation agendas across the world; in terms of capital flow, labor conditions, the financialization of space and otherwise.
Then again, it may indeed be an ideal vessel for other things more. Which Kunstbegriff might allow us to revisit the forms of governance we are partaking in anyway? What would an art look like that is not as cynical and exploitative? What sonics of intelligence would apply? Which structures of support are required? STATECRAFT aims for pragmatic answers to this rather dramatic set of questions.