PRINT January 2006



A SPECTER is haunting Europe—the specter of populism. In 2003, when curators Lars Bang Larsen, Cristina Ricupero, and Nicolaus Schafhausen were first making plans for a group of exhibitions dealing with the question, Europe was just reeling from the rise and murder of the populist right-wing Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn. By the time their “Populism” project finally appeared in various European venues last summer—the endeavor featured coinciding group shows in Vilnius, Oslo, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt—populist movements in opposition to (and sometimes within) traditional political parties had become even more prominent voices of dissatisfaction within mainstream politics. During the past fifteen years, the technocratic projects of New Labor, Gerhard Schröder’s Neue Mitte, and the “purple” coalitions in Holland and Belgium all sought to blend the welfare state with neoliberalism, hoping to

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