The most influential person in the contemporary art world is Hito Steyerl, according to Art Review’s 2017 Power 100, followed by conceptual artist Pierre Huyghe and theorist Donna Haraway.
Hito Steyerl is professor for experimental film and video and the co-founder of the Research Center for Proxy Politics at the Berlin University of the Arts. Characterised by Art Review as ‘artist-as-theorist and theorist-as-artist’, Steyerl is equally regarded for her profoundly humorous deadpan video artworks and dynamic fresh theoretical writing on the contemporary image.
In this video interview for the TATE, Steyerl explains that her video ‘How Not to Be Seen’ was a response to a Monty Python sketch. Regardless of these comedic origins, the work invokes profound theoretical questions on the nature of visibility in a contemporary visual ecology.
This video interview extends her thinking on the work:
Watch the brilliant full-length video of ‘How not to be Seen’ on the ArtForum website.
Wretched of the Screen, 2012, is a compilation of essays written for e-flux, including the influential essay ‘In Defence of the Poor Image’. Steyerl poetically argues that the significance of the contemporary image lies in it’s speed not quality.
Hettie Judah (artnetnews) summarises the significance of Steyerl’s place in the Power 100:
“ArtReview’s anointing of Steyerl feels beacon-like in the current moment. In an era when many people feel impotent in the face of corrupt cultural systems they cannot challenge, Steyerl takes a stand. As conservative commentators deplore the superficiality of the millennial generation, Steyerl’s popular status is a reminder that big ideas still have the power to excite and to move.”