November 9, 2015  —  by

Hito Steyerl takes MNCARS


Hito Steyerl is one of the most original, lucid and provocative artists and thinkers to address the contemporary status of the image and its myriad ramifications. Her work, through either video or writing, analyses the impact of the Internet on the rearrangement of subjects and their affections, on the changes to modes of perception and on the burgeoning power of the institutions that govern us. Circulationism, a term coined by the artist, aptly defines this new paradigm, whereby the Internet utopia has been replaced with a liquid and immaterial world of ubiquitous and monitored interconnected data, emotions and capital. Yet this same logic of multiplication, acceleration and recombination characterising a real and virtual storyline could also end up short-circuiting it.

Hito Steyerl’s retrospective in the Museo Reina Sofía, exemplifies circulationism and is devised as a posthumous homage to film-maker and artist Harun Farocki (1944–2014). Employing humour as a tool for creating video narrations, and in a style that at times touches upon the everyday, the work she constructs enables an in-depth analysis of the way the current consumption of images and new forms of accessing information condition communication channels.

The work of Hito Steyerl, one of the representatives of the German Pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale, has been exhibited at various collective shows, for instance Documenta 12, in Kassel (2007), and the 13 th Istanbul Biennial (2013). Recent solo exhibitions include the one held in the Chicago Art Institute in 2012 and those organised by the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, and the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London, in 2014.