Antanas Mockus, Photo: Corpovisionarios Archive

28.06.2012 | 7 pm | KW Institute for Contemporary Art

Am I a good artist?

Lecture-Performance by Antanas Mockus in English

Followed by a conversation with Doris Sommer


Antanas Mockus, former mayor of Bogotá, employed what he called "sub-art" in his political practice. In Colombia in the mid-1990s—a period of hostility, bloodshed, and narco-trafficking—he created a nonviolent, performative politics of images and gestures. His program of citizen culture (Cultura ciudadana), a form of civic self-education based on games and staged situations, led to a significant drop in the homicide rate during his two terms as mayor. With this approach he effectively suspended politics as usual, destabilizing rational discourse, disarming hate speech, and subverting bureaucratic rule. In the last presidential campaign in Colombia he asked his opponent to conduct the election campaign for him. As an artist-politician and contributor to the 7th Berlin Biennale he has promised that if the homicide rate in Mexico does not drop during the exhibition, he will declare himself a failed artist and art a pretentious concept.


Antanas Mockus is an artist-politician, philosopher, mathematician and a former university dean.

Doris Sommer, is a Professor at Harvard University and initiator of Cultural Agents Program.

“Blood ties” by Antanas Mockus

Mockus, a political thinker and now, an artist, chose to refer to Teresa Margolles’s work on the current drug war in Mexico, where gangs and paramilitary groups kill each other, murdering many other unrelated civilians in the process. [...]More >

10th Berlin Biennale