”Art can contribute to changing the world. It can bring new forms of subjectivity. We need to bring people to see things differently. Political subjectivities are not just an expression of a position you’re in. They are discursively constructed in a multiplicity of practices.” – Chantal Mouffe
In 2009, the artist Anna Ostoya created a booklet with textual collages using an essay by the political theorist Chantal Mouffe, ‘Politics and Passions: The Stakes of Democracy’ (2002). In the essay, Mouffe critiqued the then-dominant ‘beyond left and right’ politics of neoliberalism and warned of its dangers – the rise of right-wing populist parties. Fascinated by Mouffe’s strikingly prophetic ideas, as well as her bold call to fight the status quo in order to radicalise democracy and to prevent violence, Ostoya returned to the booklet in 2019. She composed for it a series of portraits based on sketches of people on the New York City subway and on reproductions of her paintings and collages from the preceding decade. She also conducted a conversation with Mouffe about the politics of the last forty years, about the contemporary moment and about art, which is included in this publication.
DISCOURSE is a new series of small books in which a cultural theorist, curator or artist explores a theme, an artwork or an idea in an extended illustrated text.