….. awareness of body as an instrument to make art out of protest …..
Performance art might look like it is an artistic act, but the latest events around the world show that performance art is embracing an act that overtly cross into political.
Ai Wei Wei featured as the honored artist of the WHB since the inception of its activities in 2010, constituting actually a statement that provides a fertile ground of exploring the role of artist as a dissident activist. Challenging egos, artistic narcissism and the perception of being famous his artistic strategies and especially his ambiguous reactions on crucial sociopolitical issues pose critical questions about the boundaries of political art and art marketing.
SHOULD I BE ARRESTED to raise social consciousness as an artist? The leading figure of Chinese art and activism constitutes a case study for the conceptual frame of the WHB and its thematic around the critical issue of the democratic contestation and the decline of human principles. His struggle against the ruling system of Chinese government and a great number of other socially engaged actions, along with the rest of his controversial and occasionally provocative behavior, bring to the table an array of arguments to be discussed regarding the artistic practices and methodologies that enact political reactions and raise awareness about crucial values. Through his oeuvre the activist key 1960s mantra "the personal is political" is dynamically reinterpreted, reflecting also the necessity of many contemporary artists to focus on the current socio-political reality. Activism, in a variety of forms seems to be the intersection where all the WHB participants could exchange opinions, experiences and practices...
Is the idea of "ethical art" just nonsense? How ethical is to make art inspired from people who suffer, when their tragedy is still a reality? What is the relationship between art and ethics? WHITE HOUSE BIENNIAL (WHB) does not promote artists who just act as activists, but those who activate society by “ethical actions”. What is more particular though in the WHB case, is that artworks and actions should be actualized by the eventual activation of the White House and the American Government. WHB aspires to establish a constructive dialogue between artists, the audience and decision makers, investing in the communicative and interventionist function of art. A defining characteristic of this unique project is the creation of gateways connecting the artistic dynamic with the official residence of the President of the United States, in an attempt to interact directly with the authorities. Some like to contextualise it, by analyzing how political and effective that could be in actual fact; throughout it is being debated or theorized, WHB’s commitment is to keep on praising new ways of thinking about art; promoting innovative and decisive forms of social interactions that evolve not only the "dialogical aesthetics" but also the aesthetic values of art itself. Either way, aesthetics is the precondition of ethics... Ethics is the only revolutionary art of today!
The WHB is being presented under a variety of forms and disquises in exhibitions and cultural events
Photo above: Oval Office.