ArtReview has released its "Power 100" list for 2017, which ranks "this year's most influential people in the contemporary artworld," and the top spot is occupied by Hito Steyerl. The magazine cites not only Steyerl's powerful artworks as a reason for her ranking, but also her equally powerful writing, which exposes the often nefarious economic, political, and technological systems that shape contemporary art and culture. Here's an excerpt from ArtReview's write-up on Steyerl:
Her own art – characterised by research-heavy, narrative-led video (combining found, filmed and digitally animated footage) and installation, which took a prominent place in this year’s once-a-decade, era-defining Skulptur Projekte Münster – is combined with dogged outspokenness and academic rigour through her writing, performative lectures and teaching, critically influencing agendas internationally. She is slowly effecting change too. In September, for example, on discovering that an exhibition she was part of, Deutschland 8: German Art in China, spread across eight museums in Beijing, was sponsored in part by Rheinmetall AG, a Düsseldorf-based manufacturer of tanks and military technology, Steyerl protested. As well as writing to the organisers and, on receiving no reply, drawing attention to the issue in the press, the artist, alongside a number of the others in the show, was characteristically proactive, drawing up a standard exhibition agreement for artists that places an onus on curators and institutions to perform due diligence.
Image of Hito Steyerl via sleek-mag.com.