Art Focus 5

Talpiot Beit Benit Congress Centre

“What does art want? Everything. What can art do? Nothing. What does art do? Something.” With an adaptation of Jean-Luc Godard’s claim for the radical potential of cinema as a conceptual aegis, itself an appropriation of the Abbé Sieyès’s remark in 1789 about the revolutionary necessity of the third estate, cocurators Bernard Blistène and Ami Barak organized “Art Focus 5: Can Art do More?,” the latest manifestation of this (roughly) biennial contemporary art exhibition as a paradoxical set of possibilities suffused with a lingering sense of failure. Yet rather than an always-already-foreclosed cul-de-sac, the desire (indeed, the need) to believe in art’s transformative power despite its anticipated impotence appeared as a productive conundrum. In other words, between the absolute poles of “everything” and “nothing,” Blistène and Barak attempted to delicately and provisionally open up the

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