In the last century the world has changed, completely altering the character of the global economy and its social impact. Consequently, the same is also happening in the art world. Nowadays, we live and coexist in a world that moves in ‘fast forward’, the things that we knew as stable and secured, are now being replaced or rebuilt at all levels. Today the art question ‘is no longer what can we make that is new? But how can we make do with what we have? In others words, how can we produce singularity and meaning from this chaotic mass of objects, names and references that constitutes our daily lives[1]’.

Therefore, as citizens of the world, we must be aware of the debates that occur in different places and cities around the globe, being social, political, economic as well as cultural, in order to reclaim our ideals. As curators, theorists or creators, we must keep trying to understand other cultures, traditions, communities, identities, places and territories, so that we could in some way try to frame the world for others. In other words, curating is an opportunity to modify the way we look at the world, to make it comprehensive or to produce understanding.

Globalization is not something equally massive, but a process that relies on individuals and on its differences. This process affects each individual differently, depending on the various relationships and connections, with no regard to his/her situation or location. Therefore, the impact of globalization on the art world is inevitable, bringing visibility and inter-recognition of each other. Lately there is a wider distribution worldwide; there is no longer just a European or American dialogue, now the art paradigms, cultural contexts and the consciousness of the art world is in a constant debate, implying a re-writing of art world history as a whole.

So, the art like all facets of our surrounding realities has become further complex and entangled, as have all the global concepts and beliefs. The mechanisms of globalization associated with the power of technological tools, are allowing artists to continually submit their thoughts and works about their realities in which they must survive. The Internet is for artists who live in areas of social, political and cultural conflict, the main device that they have to express themselves - as 'free speech'- since it’s available to anyone at anytime. Or so we think in our western ‘free’ world, nevertheless this means of communication is every now and then shutdown as a last measure to quieten the masses.

As we all know, one of the major paradigms of human consciousness is ‘resistance’, our refusal to accept, and that is what makes us who we are, who we want to be, not in a bravery or romantic sense but as one of the models for survival. Thinking about the global crisis in terms of its relationships and implications that it causes on artistic practices, we could see this as another opportunity to redefine the paradigms and principles of art. "Crisis is good. Crisis is sexy. Crisis shakes you up. And if it changes our habits when it comes to looking at art, reading about it, or even making it, then that's probably good, too. Artists, if they're any good, are engaged in a war against habit, complacency and indifference.[2] " Increasingly, artists are leaving the 'closed space of the studio' to have the public sphere as a screen, the world's stage, becoming activists, struggling, confronting and calling attention to issues that connect artistic and critical thinking to the brutal reality that surrounds us. I believe that artistic practices should have a new approach ‘that foments dissensus, that makes visible what the dominant consensus tends to obscure and obliterate (…), giving a voice to all those who are silenced within the framework of the existing hegemony [3]’.


Inês Valle, 2011.










[1] Bourriaud, Nicolas - Postproduction: Culture as Screenplay: How Art Reprograms the World, 2002
[2] The Guardian´s art critic Adrian Searle, 2009
[3] Mouffe, Chantal, Artistic Activism and Agonistic Spaces, 2007