CCCS
Declining Democracy
       
 

Francis Alÿs
Michael Bielicky &
Kamila B. Richter

Buuuuuuuuu
Roger Cremers
Democracia
Juan Manuel Echavarría
Thomas Feuerstein
Thomas Hirschhorn
Thomas Kilpper
Lucy Kimbell
Cesare Pietroiusti
Artur Żmijewski

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The exhibition Declining Democracy proposes a critical reflection on the concept of democracy. Through works by international contemporary artists, the exhibition explores the contradictions and paradoxes of democracy, and its changing nature in our troubled world. They provide a reflection on the values and the inconsistencies that typify today’s society. They investigate such themes as the clash between the individual and the community, the growing gap between the man in the street and the political classes, the power and influence of economic lobbies and of the mass media, and the problem of immigration and the sharing or refusal of civic and political rights. At the same time, they explore the possible forms of democratic participation enabled by innovations in communication technologies, which have given people new tools with which to share opinions. This has led to a new interpretation of the notion of political and social participation and of the principle of the right to an opinion. 

The word “democracy” is often held to be synonymous with an open and modern society. Yet the concept has within its core a very close tie with the development of capitalism and a series of inconsistencies regarding the notions of the individual and the community, freedom, and participation. The social and political ideal of democracy, thought to be so stable that it embodied “the end of history”, should be interpreted as a process of ongoing negotiation. It is in fact a complex, intrinsically imperfect concept that has been subject to change throughout its history.

In keeping with the CCCS’s mission to reflect events in contemporary society, Declining Democracy aims to create a platform for critical reflection and debate, without seeking once-and-for-all answers or definitive solutions. 

Declining Democracy
is a project devised by CCCS with the scholarly contribution of Piroschka Dossi (curator and author), Gerald Nestler (researcher and artist), Christiane Feser (curator and artist) and Franziska Nori (director of the CCCS).

Articles and Reviews dedicated to Declining Democracy



Thomas Kilpper
Installation view at CCC Strozzina, Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze
Photo: Martino Margheri


Photo: James O'Mara


Thomas Hirschhorn
Where Do I Stand? What Do I Want?, 2002
Installation view at CCC Strozzina, Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze
Photo: Martino Margheri


Artur Zmijewski
Democracies
, 2009
Video installation
Courtesy l’artista / the artist, Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich,
Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warsaw
Installation view at CCC Strozzina, Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze


Democracia
Ser y Durar
, 2011
Videoinstallazione a 3 canali / 3-channel video installation
18’ 30”
Courtesy Democracia
Installation view at CCC Strozzina, Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze
Photo: Martino Margheri

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Declining Democracy