Allan Sekula, Prayer for the Americans (1), 1999–2004, 1 of 39 color transparencies, dimensions variable.

“How Do We Want to Be Governed?”

Miami Art Central

It’s been more than a year since the announcement of Roger M. Buergel’s appointment as director of Documenta 12, yet many of the questions that first accompanied the emergence of this little-known curator from Lüneburg, Germany, on the international stage remain: Is Buergel a logical successor to Catherine David and Okwui Enwezor? Will he offer, as art historian Sabeth Buchmann wondered in these pages last February, “less political discourse in exchange for art with a capital A”? A recent visit to Buergel’s “How Do We Want to Be Governed? (Figure and Ground)” (cocurated with Ruth Noack) at Miami Art Central offered one possible answer to the latter question, which eludes all easy dichotomies: Documenta 12 will in all likelihood remain steeped in political theory while including art with a capital A—and yet audiences may well still be left feeling cold.

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