Making different times equal is in fact the condition for a public space, that is to say a space affirming anybody’s ability to see, produce and think, to be created. The political power of art, rather than being in teaching, demonstrating, provoking or mobilizing, is in its ability to create public spaces thus conceived.

‘Absence’ then seemed the appropriate complement to ‘production’. Your watchword calls this pattern into question. It links production with the risk of the presence that verifies the effects while these have never been the object of any calculation. It links production and presence beyond the usual figures of generosity that exiles itself from art venues to reach the ‘non-audience’ or beyond a sacrificial exposure to the cruelty of the one to whom we come, powerless. It may seem contradictory to create a form that involves an Other while affirming one’s own production, without concession, without the need for a response. The answer might be that the two terms imply the presence of a third party that includes both of them and takes them beyond themselves. A Bijlmer Spinoza Festival, a Deleuze Monument, Twenty-Four Hours for Foucault: this means bringing into a contained time and space a power of thought, a power of community in which both the artist’s absolutely determined, absolutely autonomous proposition and the unpredictable participation of a ‘non exclusive audience’, an audience without specificity, can be included. The autonomous and the non-exclusive then both appear as two forms of universality that are linked not in the dual relationship of the encounter but because the proposition itself is already permeated by this power of universality and otherness that I call ‘presupposition of the equality of intelligences’ and which you refer to as the ‘love of the infinitude of thought’.

Jacques Rancière

Fragments of a discussion between Jacques Rancière and Thomas Hirschhorn (Via open!)

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