Okwui Enwezor: Art world should shrink its footprint

One of the most influential names on the art scene, Okwui Enwezor is curating the Venice Biennale. He tells DW why Karl Marx is on deck, why words trump images, and why the art world’s footprint is a few sizes too big.

You have often mentioned the power of the spoken and especially the written word. That seems to be a theme as well. Everyone is talking about the power of the image in our times. Are you defying this?

It seems so. But I wanted to begin with very clear things and that, for me, is to return to a pre-visual dimension of human experience: Words. What they mean and signify; how they are annunciated; how they are spoken; how they are cited.

It is an entry point into the show that is really about human subjectivity – the capacity to say it in the way in which I say it is an embodiment of resistance. That is why this strand of this exhibition is so precise that I wanted to foreground it in the most immediate sense that one can understand the exhibition.

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