Nicolaus Schafhausen: The Danger of Mediocrity

On May 18th at Witte de With, a lecture by Nicolaus Schafhausen: “The Danger of Mediocrity.” 


As debates around public funding for culture continue to rage, it has become clear that today we suffer from the absence of people engaged in the arts who are willing to speak up in defense of ideals. With a few exceptions, this lack particularly afflicts the visual arts and contemporary artists, whose often solitary practice is less suited to mass protest than the fields of theater and cinema. In a political atmosphere increasingly dominated by reactionary rhetoric, cultural institutions are under great pressure to be popular, to be liked, to appeal to the mythical ‘‘masses.’’ As his tenure as director of Witte de With draws to a close, Schafhausen’s talk will explore alternatives to this dangerously simplistic approach to culture and how they are relevant to institutions of contemporary art.