Alÿs on poetics and the potential for social change

"Poetic license functions like a hiatus in the atrophy of a social, political, military or economic crisis. Through the gratuity or the absurdity of a poetic act, art provokes a moment of suspension of meaning, a brief sensation of senselessness that reveals the absurd of the situation and, through this act of transgression, makes you step back or step out and revise your prior assumptions about this reality. And when the poetic operation manages to provoke the sudden loss of self that itself allows a distancing from the immediate situation, then poetics might have the potential to open up a political thought."
From the monograph Francis Alÿs, Phaidon Press, 2007

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