Power 100

Most influential people in 2023 in the contemporary artworld


Hito Steyerl

Artist - Political statement-making and formal experimentation

2 in 2023

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Photo: Leon Kahane

Sensing and representing the seismic shifts in culture and society have made Steyerl something of an oracle. A trailblazer of postinternet art, investigating technology and digital culture’s complicity with capital and conflict, the filmmaker told Artnet this year that ‘a reality in which internet is not accessible is already here’, thanks to climate change and spreading autocracy. Her contribution to the Hayward Gallery’s Dear Earth: Art and Hope in a Time of Crisis, titled Green Screen (2023), consisted of a primitive digital screen made of beer crates and plastic bottles – an experiment in thinking about how we might ‘extricate ourselves from our dependency on the large tech cartels’. This year Steyerl presented solo shows at the Portland Museum of Art and the Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig. Her puncturing of artworld hypocrisies continues: she bought back work from collector Julia Stoschek, whose family company, Steyerl claimed, had overlooked its historic complicity in the Nazi regime, and suspended the intended awarding of the Hugo Ball Prize to her while organisers researched the antisemitic views held by the prize’s artist namesake.

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