The Government. Elysian Spheres of Action, Exhibition view, Secession 2005, Photo: Matthias Herrmann

Die Regierung. Paradiesische Handlungsräume

Sonia Abián / Carlos Piegari, Ibon Aranberri, Maja Bajević, James Coleman, Alice Creischer, Danica Dakić, Ines Doujak, Peter Friedl, Andrea Geyer, Sanja Iveković, Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Rainer Oldendorf, Alejandra Riera / Fulvia Carnevale, Dierk Schmidt, Allan Sekula, Andreas Siekmann, Hito Steyerl, Jürgen Stollhans, Archivo Tucumán Arde (Graciela Carnevale), Francesca Woodman, Olivier Zabat et al.

Curated by Ruth Noack and Roger M. Buergel

February 24 – April 24, 2005

Does it make sense to conceive of government not in terms of those who act but in terms of actions? Does it make sense to dispense with the Milosevics, Berlusconis, Putins, Bushs, Schüssels and their ilk and to indulge ourselves for a while in the beauty of political abstraction? For a while that lasts about as long as a visit to an exhibition?

The theme of this exhibition is not very original. As early as in the fourteenth century, art was portraying the effects of governmenton people, animals, landscapes and economies (Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Allegory of Good and Bad Government, Siena Town Hall). In a similar vein, but a few centuries later, the French philosopher Michel Foucault proposed an interpretation of government as an action that acts upon other actions (the actions of others).