Empathy, migration, and art
An interview with Dieter Roelstraete
in Art and migration
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Curator at the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago, Dieter Roelstraete reflects on the notions of bordering and borderlessness. He highlights the ineffectiveness of politically constructed borders, sometimes even set in incongruous places. This is perfectly illustrated by Olaf Holzapfel’s installation Trassen, exhibited at the 2017 Documenta 14 in Kassel, co-curated by Roelstraete. He also reflects on the importance of the medium and materials used in artworks as powerful semantic tools. The question of citizenship and national belonging is evoked and challenged by the ultra-mobility of the art world, a phenomenon which is far from new. Roelstraete thus underlines the natural interplay between art and migration. Finally, the intervention of the artistic world in political debates is mentioned, a prickly issue according to Roelstraete.

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