Artist Jonas Staal presents the first retrospective of the films and cultural and political work of Stephen K. Bannon
Stills from Steve Bannon’s film Generation Zero (2010). Steve Bannon: A Propaganda Retrospective, 2018. Artist: Jonas Staal. Image: Remco van Bladel and Jonas Staal
Het Nieuwe Instituut invited Dutch artist Jonas Staal to analyze and reflect upon the mechanisms of contemporary propaganda art. The result of this collaboration is an exhibition project that is the first retrospective of the films and cultural and political work of Stephen K. (Steve) Bannon. With this exhibition project Het Nieuwe Instituut publicly addresses some of the most pressing questions affecting contemporary society, in which art, design, architecture and digital culture play a key role. Staal’s artistic practice and long-term research on contemporary propaganda art serve as a guide to navigating, understanding and reacting to the major impact of propaganda art on contemporary democratic societies. As Staal suggests, the alt-right is not simply a political movement, but is above all a cultural one, that permeates the larger realm of media and popular discourse.
In Staal’s perspective, Bannon’s work serves as a crucial example of the major impact of propoganda art on contemporary democratic societies, and one that is not exclusive to the United States. In his view institutions have the responsibility to address contemporary challenges and critically discuss cultural practices and their consequences for society.
The ambition of Steve Bannon: A Propaganda Retrospective is to present a vision of the effects of the visual and ideological architecture of the alt-right to a broader audience in order to open spaces and opportunities for critique and resistance.
Steve Bannon: A Propaganda Retrospective is curated by Het Nieuwe Instituut’s Director of Research Marina Otero Verzier.
In addition to the exhibition project, a series of publications and public events will serve to expand and continue the debate on the role of art in inspiring and disseminating political ideologies, as well as in imagining and shaping new realities.