The focus of “Speech Acts” is not on the mass democratic phenomena of recent years, for instance political protests or revolutionary
speeches. Instead, it is on personal conversations and interviews in which a political stance is manifested. The artistic
contributions reflect speaking and listening, encounter and perception – the aim is to make legible the immediacy of political
thought and action, that is not always readily apparent.
The exhibition takes off from Hannah Arendt’s paradigm of “action” as one of three basic human activities. Unlike “work” and
“labor”, Arendt sees “action” as interaction that directs individual coexistence so as to reveal the uniqueness, difference
and plurality of human beings. Action is thus constitutive of the political, essentially consisting of speaking, communicating
and exchanging information. For Arendt, “finding the right word at the right moment” is in itself action. What strategies
of artistic translation can make such actions and the immediacy of language tangible without following conventional documentarisms
or hegemonic historiography?