Political Populism

Kunsthalle Wien's 25-artist show addresses surveillance, social and economic crisis and the strategies behind populist dramatisation

By Raimar Stange

Hito Steyerl, Factory of the Sun (video still), 2015. Courtesy the artist

The sun glimmers over a desert; a complex of buildings, fenced in by barbed wire, enters the image; an American flag waves in the wind. Suddenly a transporter approaches, the gate to the mysterious grounds opens and men climb out. In his two-channel video installation Eighty Nine Landscapes (2015), Trevor Paglen shows moving-image clips of more-or-less secret, high-security zones of the NSA and GCHQ, Britain’s intelligence service. The 24-minute film discloses these public institutions in long, almost meditative shots. The…

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