Monika Szewczyk: The Empty Center

On May 25th at Witte de With, a lecture by Monika Szewczyk: “The Empty Center.”


Public discourse of late has been preoccupied with the emptiness of certain contemporary art centers (Witte de With amongst them), which several journalists and politicians have insinuated are void of people and therefore irrelevant. What is at the root of this line of critique? What does it tell us about the political and the journalistic culture that produces it? Proposing a politically constructive way to scrutinize contemporary art institutions, Szewczyk’s talk will argue for their role in shaping a truly open public sphere. This begins with a celebration of ‘‘the empty center’’ – which in part implies an art space that is not void of visitors or of art or of radical ideas, but of a logic that turns people into numbers.