What is the term “mediating conflict” if not redundant, since mediation itself implies the existence of conflict? And why would anyone create and organize an exhibition on the subject?
This exhibition is intended as a reflection on the need for access to a middleman to resolve conflicts—latent or declared—in society in general, but also in the contemporary art world. With La mediation du conflit/Mediating Conflict, I hope to delve deeper, into the reasons why disagreements are rarely resolved, particularly in the sphere of art—a sphere where these quarrels often lead to frustration among “those who feel they are not being heard.” The exhibition aims to prompt questioning about the meaning of mediation and its intrinsic conflict, whose dark underside we seem so fearful to confront in the art world. If the exhibition title therefore seems redundant, given that mediation by definition incorporates the notion of conflict, it is so worded to ensure it is not simply implicit but is in fact emphasized. Its purpose is to stand in stark contrast to certain opaque discussions on art in which only the players intimately involved can fully grasp the issues. Those outside contemporary art circles frequently find themselves ill-equipped to understand the finer points of a work or exhibition. It is often out of this implicit doxa savante(1) that the conflicts emerge, and should they then become highly charged and unrestrained, efforts are made to silence them at all costs lest they tarnish art’s image. Why should conflict within the art milieu generate such alarm? After all, conflict already permeates our day-to-day existence. It is present in our personal and professional lives, and in foreign relations and the political arena, conflict is fast becoming the order of the day.Read more →