On Hannah Arendt: Truth and Politics

1 December 2021 - 22 January 2022

The seventh exhibition in Richard Saltoun Gallery's year-long series inspired by the political philosopher Hannah Arendt will display two historically significant artworks by ULAY (Frank Uwe Laysiepen, 1943-2020) and Allan SEKULA (1951-2013), together with three specially commissioned new sculptures by Aleksandra DOMANOVIĆ (b. 1981). 


The essay “Truth and Politics” is the first of two texts added to the expanded edition of Hannah Arendt’s book Between Past and Future that was published in 1968. Truth and Politics was a response by Arendt to the widespread criticism she received following her stunning 1963 report on the trial of German Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann. In the book, Arendt observes that: “the result of a consistent and total substitution of lies for factual truth is…that the sense by which we take our bearings in the real world…is being destroyed.” Writing in 1967, Arendt could scarcely have imagined how digital technologies such as the internet, smartphones and social media would continue to erode our perception of what is “true,” to the point where it is now almost impossible to tell the difference between facts and misinformation in the digital age. 

Brazilian sound artist and music producer Laima Leyton also responds to each essay in Arendt's publication through a new series of sound pieces commissioned by the gallery, collectively titled Infinite past, infinite future and NOW, available to experience via ‘Saltoun Online’ on our website. 


In partnership with the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College, join us each exhibition for the 'On Hannah Arendt: Virtual Reading Group' as scholars, artists and invited guests discuss key themes in Arendt's writing. The session on ‘Truth and Politics’ will take place on Wednesday  8 December at 1pm EST / 6pm GMT, with a special introduction to the essay by Martin Jay.  Link to register here.


A video introduction to ‘Truth and Politics’ by Samantha Hill, professor at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research and formerly the assistant director of the Hannah Arendt Center at Bard College, is available to watch on the video section below.

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