“Art After Democratism” is Dutch visual artist Jonas Staal's first solo presentation in the United Arab Emirates. Staal (1981) has become known as an artist actively engaged with social and political issues, specifically attempting through his art to contribute to new forms of democratic practice.
In “Art after Democratism” Staal explores new forms of art practices outside of what he calls the doctrine of “democratism,” which refers to a politics that uses important emancipatory concepts such as “democracy,” “freedom” and “equality” to pursue contradictory aims, for example when states or organizations impose the idea of non-democratic measures being necessary to “enforce democracy.” Democratism is what Staal believes today provides the dominant framework and system of valuating artistic practice. In Traffic, he will exhibit his two most prominent projects. The first part of the exhibition is called “Mapping Democratism” and comprises the fifth installment of his series “Art, Property of Politics” (2010-ongoing). The second part is entitled “Acting Fundamental Democracy,” and comprises an overview of his “New World Summit” (2012-ongoing) project.