What is sympathy? A well-meaning understanding, with no strings attached. Can there be solidarity without sympathy? And what actually needs to happen for sympathy to turn into solidarity? Solidarity implies a shared responsibility. Solidarity demands action.
For its Solidarity Action Kalmar Konstmuseum joins forces with the 7th Berlin Biennale on a project by Belarusian artist Marina Naprushkina. For us at the museum, it’s about the question—the choice—of what an (art) institution is. Perhaps even more, it’s about what it could be. As an institution we can choose between assuming the role of endorsing the dominant ideology, or seeing ourselves as a forum for public conversation, a platform for discussion. We could be a place to generate an alternative way of thinking.
To be prepared to meet the future, it is critical that we get to know our neighbors in the global community. For us, solidarity with the Berlin Biennale is a given. With Artur Żmijewski’s curatorial concept, it has become an exhibition that shows art’s potential to contribute to the formation of Europe’s common future. It’s a view of art that sees the art institution as not just an immobile commentator, but believes in the possibility of influencing events. It’s about the conviction that we shouldn’t passively observe the changes in the world around us, but that we can work actively as an institution to support democratization processes.
Text by Martin Schibli