vienna

“Demokratie®”

Various Locations

THE WORDDemokratie” (Democracy), printed in white, gleams on a black background on as many as 800 billboard-size posters throughout Vienna. One of the great totemic ideals of the twentieth century is thus emblazoned, without further comment, across the city. Democracy is a notion through which everything from the social to the economic order legitimizes itself. It is at once a situation, a process, and a challenge. In 1971, Joseph Beuys renamed his Organization of Non-Voters as the Organization for Direct Democracy and demanded that the people's self-determination replace “party dictatorship.” At Documenta 5 in 1972 Beuys spent 100 days discussing his ideas of direct democracy with visitors. Three decades later, Okwui Enwezor is organizing the first ''platform“ of Documenta 11, 2002, around the theme ”Democracy Unrealized."

At the same time, these Democracy billboards have turned up in

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