It’s So Nice That We Don’t Have to Talk about Politics Anymore

Saša Karalić

August 7, 2018artist contribution,

The ongoing work It’s So Nice That We Don’t Have to Talk about Politics Anymore is, so far, staged in three different social contexts. It consists of a group of people performing a number of political slogans in public space. In each version of the work, the slogans are conceived, after extensive research, within the social context in which they are performed and based on the ‘general politics of truth’ of that context. The ‘general politics of truth’ is the foundation on which a society builds its self-perception and showcases its self-worth by often bypassing difficult questions and concerns. The work brings out these ‘truths’ and repeatedly performs them in public space.

The Dutch version of the work entitled Het is zo fijn dat wij hier niet meer over politiek hoeven te praten was performed in June 2013 at the Amstelhoven in Amsterdam and the video registration of it was shown at the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam in 2015 as a part of the group exhibition Resolution 827. The slogans included in this version, among others, are: ‘We live in the human rights paradise’, ‘Finally, Indonesia is not a subject any more’ and ‘We did what we could in Srebrenica’.1

The German version Es ist so schön, dass wir nicht mehr über Politik sprechen müssen was produced in October 2013 by Filmfestival Münster and performed as a part of the group exhibition One of us cannot be wrong at Kunsthalle Münster. For this event, the slogans were adjusted to the then actual German political situation, collected from the streets of Münster in the days leading up to the German general election. The slogans include: ‘We've paid our dues’, ‘Our weapons provide security all over the world’ and ‘All refugees are welcome in Germany’.2

The Korean version entitled 우리가 더 이상 정치 이야기를 안 해도 돼서 너무 좋습니다 (We Don’t Have to Do Anything until We Are Independent) was conceived and performed at the summer school The Village as part of the SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul 2016. The participants of the workshop Adjustments created slogans inspired by Korean political issues and performed them together such as: ‘Our disasters are managed well’, ‘Our government keeps us protected’ and ‘North and South Korea will always be together’.3

1. Participants: Victorine Van Alphen, Toon le Clercq, Marta Colpani, Maja Beun, Judy van Blaricon, P. J. Bruyniks, Loes Degener, Anelies Doom, Lodewijk Dros, Barbara Dubbeldam, Michela Filzi, Karla Hari, Carina Holtes, Nil Ilkbasaran, Simonette van der Kuip, Zilla Lupina, Jan-Willem Moulijn, Karina Pálosi, Hermen Jan Rijks, Maarten Schuurman, Tanya Span, Judith Stevens, Eva Thomassen, Michelle de Vaan, Marlous Verburgt, Anneke de Visser, Eelco Wagenaar. Camera: Marianne Flotron, Wim Jongedijk. Photography: Roel Backaert.

2. The slogans in the work were conceived in collaboration with Nicky Schulte, Tanja Schulte and Winfried Bettmer. Participants: Sujin Bae, Winfried Bettmer, Martina Bruns, Florian Buchholz, Barbara Dzialach, Susanne Griem, Hanna Kier, Franziska Kloetzler, Jonathan Lemke, Etta Maduro, Richard Pollex, Heike Reiss, Stephanie Sczepanek, Rudolf Schapmann, Simone Thünemann, Stephan Us, Rena Weniger, Bernhard Zumdiek & Sebastian, Jessy, George, Theresa, Daniel, Laura, Serra. Camera: Stefan Schradin. Supported by: Filmwerkstatt Münster.

3. Participants: Jeonghun Baek, Binna Choi, Jae Won Ham, Hye Kyung Ham, Minhwa Jo, Lee Jeongha, Sung-eun Kang, Bora Kim, Songhui Kim, In Gyu Kim, So Hee Kim, Saem Lee, Je Lee, Hyeok-jong Lee, Sungmin Lee, Juwon Mun, Ji Su Park, Jungmin Park, Ha Jung Shin, Moo Hyun Yang. Camera: Min-chul Wang. Supported by: SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul, Mondriaan Fonds.

Saša Karalić studied language and literature at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad, Serbia, and graduated from the audio-visual department of Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam where he now teaches Fine Arts. In his work, Karalić is primarily interested in how public discourse is constructed or shaped by an ideology, its reliance on visual forms and signs and the way it reinforces a particular belief system. He has had solo exhibitions and projects at venues including: Museum of Contemporary Art of Republika Srpska, Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Noorderkerk, Amsterdam; and National Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo. He has participated in group exhibitions at venues including: Vienna Künstlerhaus; Kunsthalle Münster; Museum of Yugoslav History [now Museum of Yugoslavia], Belgrade; Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam; Lothringer13, Munich; and SeMA Biennale Mediacity Seoul. Karalić lives and works in Amsterdam.