Populism has many faces, and more than one meaning. The usefulness of a term with different meanings resides in the fact that it may hint at family resemblances between different phenomena called “populism.” Therefore, in any debate on populism, it might soon appear that the contributors – artists, academics, writers and other intellectuals – will use the word in many different ways.
The affects and desires that characterize populist politics do not necessarily differ from those that find expression in the sphere of art. The question is how forms of populism – whether left-wing or right-wing, progressive or reactionary – promote themselves in their quest for mass appeal through stylistic consciousness and aesthetic strategies. Ultimately, this is about an economy of signs and desire that can also be found in the political imagination of visual arts, which create spaces and images that shape our idea of democracy. (Lecture in English)
The philosopher, critic and curator Dieter Lasage is director of the RITS School of Arts (Erasmus University College Brussels), where he also works as a researcher.
The lecture is part of the Vienna Art Week.