We are living in a time that is facing deep and rapid social changes. These changes are a reaction to social conflicts, both within states and beyond them. Whether it is a matter of a social order under the condition of a capitalist system, new technological possibilities or a global order in the face of scarce resources, climate change and armed conflicts – we are confronting challenges of a new kind that question the traditional conceptions of order. Our society is based upon orders of justification that privilege some with certain legitimations and the power of representation. This authority is questioned by an increasing number of people. The proposal of the artist Tania Bruguera to put Duchamp`s urinal back into the restroom describes very metaphorical the claim that socially engaged art has: This way of understanding art has nothing to do with decontextualization of objects in order to understand a concept, in contrary, socially engaged art is about concrete problems, humans, conditions, communities. It does not represent an abstracted idea but transforms the idea into action. It is about establishing a difference in art between representing what is political and acting politically. Socially engaged art deals with explicit conditions and does not remain in the level of association. An important source are social movements as the AIDS activism, women’s right movement, the civil rights movement but also community work . The topics are specific but deal a lot with exclusion of minorities (women, migrants, ethnic groups, states…etc.) and the lack of their representation.
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