Janez Janša: Acts of Politicisation By Means of Art

Konstantina Georgelou


We are constantly reminded that we live in a time of crisis, be it environmental, financial or political. In effect, crisis has become a somewhat stable state. It impacts many facets of our lives and affects core aspects of political thought and action, such as practices of resistance and ideologies of change. Due to a perpetuated state of precarity, anxiety and hopelessness with regard to the present and future, it is often difficult to imagine or decide how to (re)act and resist, how to generate social and political change and in which direction.

In 2013, Giorgio Agamben gave a talk in Athens about the destiny of democracy, in which he referred to the problematic use of the term ‘crisis’, while unpacking and reflecting upon the political conditions we are in (2014). As he explained, the concept of crisis derives from the Greek verb crino, meaning to take a critical judgement or decision that is connected with a certain moment in time. For instance, in medicine this verb is used when the doctor has to judge and decide if the patient will survive or die. Hence, a crisis has a specific temporality, carrying the possibility of producing critical change in the train of events. In its present manifestation, however, ‘crisis’ has been split from its temporal index and become a normative state that cannot generate any decisive change: ‘the crisis coincides with normality’, Agamben claimed. He further stated that crisis has become a tool of governmentality for installing mechanisms of management and control, by removing the moment of judgement, and of political activity in general, since ‘the continuous decision-making process decides nothing’. Consequently, we are experiencing a process of ‘increasing de-politicization’, in which the political life of the citizen is rendered inactive and ‘has now become a purely passive juridical status’ (2014).

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