this was the response of a New York Poet to the latest NYPD citizen terror campaign: If you See Something Say Something.
Meanwhile back in caca land local agitprop troopers Zanny Begg and Kegroll Desouza have launched an multimedia superlineup of globetrotting arty farty pinko troublemakers.
it's gonna crap all over the sydney festival of beige - Rock on!
Exhibition, workshop and newspaper project, January/February 2007
Over January/February an exhibition, discussion and newspaper project will be held in several venues in Sydney and Melbourne. Eight international and eight Australian artists will be contributing artworks, articles and ideas for If you see something, say something which will explore another side to the debate on “terrorism”. The contributions range from the very sad and serious to the more humorous or whimsical, as artists see and say something very different to the vision of the world promoted by the government. Rather than viewing those around us with fear and suspicion the artists invite the viewer to engage with the world around them and challenge their understanding of the causes of violence and war.
Al Fadhil (Iraqi artist living in Europe), in a collaborative work with his brother Ahmed, who was tragically killed by the invasion of Iraq, sends a letter home to his parents as they are uprooted and displaced by the war that is engulfing their homeland. The images of his families belongings, packed into boxes, are a reminder of how temporary and fragile life has become in a war zone.
Grupo Etcétera… (Argentina), and the spin off collective the Errorist International, exhibit a video of their “war on errorism” in a humours look at how the “war on terrorism” has impacted on freedom and civil liberties.
Hito Steyerl (Germany) explores the connections between the Kurdish liberation movement and Western governments in her film November. November is the period of retreat after the revolution of October, her film explores questions of social responsibility, agency and violence.
Contra Filé (Brazil) initiate a “Program for the Deturnstilisation of Life Itself.” The turnstile is a key symbol in Brazilian society regulating access to public transport, education and public buildings to those with the money to pay. Their artwork sparked protests which culminated in students tearing out and setting fire to turnstiles outside the university. The initial artwork and protests are documented through photographs and press clippings.
Oliver Ressler (Austria) and Dario Azzellini's (Italy) feature length documentary 5 Factories Workers Control in Venezuela explores the process of social change in Venezuela under President Hugo Chavez. Venezuela is providing an example of different model of development for the Latin American region and presents a challenge to US hegemony in their “backyard”.
With nuclear power being promoted as the “clean” alterative to fossil fuels Taring Padi (Indonesia) create an installation which explores the consequences of a nuclear accident on the populated and geologically unstable islands of Indonesia.
Closer to home Daniel Boyd turns his eyes towards the displacement of Aboriginal people and the acts of violence which have constituted the basis for the establishment of Australia through a series of oil paintings.
Squatspace take viewers on a tour of Redfern/Waterloo as they try and comprehend the changes planned for this important and contested inner city suburb of Sydney and continue their research of this issue through a social mapping project.
pvi collective take a satirical look at what it would be like if we actually tried to enforce all the laws surrounding public space through the loyal citizen's underground (l.c.u). The l.c.u has been out and about in Perth challenging people who jay-walk, swear or break any minor laws in public.
Astra Howard exhibits her walking story booth which encourages people to talk about their lives and overcome their fear of “strangers.”
The exhibition and newspaper will be launched January 26th at Gallery 4a. Etcétera, Contra Filé, Oliver Ressler and Taring Padi will be in Australia for the exhibition.
A program of events follows.
For more information or interviews with the artists contact Zanny Begg 0421 420 420 or Keg de Souza 0412 920 044.
If You See Something Say Something
Exhibition, workshops and newspaper project, January/February 2007
Project initiators: Keg de Souza and Zanny Begg
Dmitry Vilenksy/Chto Delat? (Russia)
Contra Filé (Brazil)
Oliver Ressler (Austria) & Dario Azzellini (Italy)
Taring Padi (Indonesia)
Richard DeDomenici (UK)
Al Fadhil (Iraq)
Hito Steyerl (Germany)
Arlene TextaQueen (Australia)
David Griggs (Australia)
pvi collective (Australia)
Daniel Boyd (Australia)
Astra Howard (Australia)
Keg de Souza (Australia)
Zanny Begg (Australia)
“If you see something say something,” was pasted on bus shelters and train stations around the world in the wake of the 9/11 bombings asking us to view those around us with fear and suspicion. But do we see this government sponsored vision of the world or do these advertisements move us to say something very different? In the state of exception produced by the war on terror we are asked to accept a consensual vision of fear, war, scapegoating and state sponsored violence. Yet many are moved to dissent from this.
Dissensus can mean widespread disagreement, a failure to reach consensus or a consensus only among those who dissent. Jaques Ranciere uses the term to describe rare moments of genuine democracy whereby new social actors force themselves into the political landscape demanding that their voices, which hitherto have been silent, are finally heard. While what we consider politics is often a ritualised confrontation between opposing parties, armies, or forces, with a known set of protocols on how this resolution will play out, a moment of dissensus allows a reconfiguration of how we understand the notion of politics itself by opening up pre-existing assumptions of social agency.
If you see something, say something will be a discussion, exhibition and publishing project in Sydney in February 2007. Principally this will revolve around an exhibition that will involve a small number of international and Australian artists whose work has explored aspects of dissensus - by either questioning prevailing notions of consensus or by exploring new possibilities of social agency. Rather than being an exhibition of political art this exhibition will aim to question how we actually understand the connections between politics and aesthetics.
Mori Gallery: 168 Day St Darling Harbour
Gallery 4a, The Asia-Australia Arts Centre: 181-187 Hay Street Sydney
Chrissie Cotter Gallery: Pidcock St Camperdown
Thursday January 25 - Film Screening Oliver Ressler and Dario Azzellini's 5 Factories-Worker Control in Venezuela:, 6pm, Trade's Hall, followed by question and answer session with Oliver Ressler. Sponsored by the Bolivarian Circle, LASNET and the Australian Venezuela Solidarity Network. Phone: 0431 720 787.
Friday January 26 - Opening: Gallery 4a, 6-8pm, Artists: Daniel Boyd, Hito Steyerl, Oliver Ressler and Dario Azzellini, Dmitry Vilensky, David Griggs, Taring Padi and Zanny Begg. Gallery hours 11-6pm Tuesday to Saturday, exhibition runs until February 11. Phone 9212 0380.
Monday January 29 - Film screening Oliver Ressler and Dario Azzellini's 5 Factories-Worker Control in Venezuela. Mori Gallery, film 6pm, followed by talk and question and answer session with Oliver Ressler 7.30pm. Sponsored by the Bolivarian Circle, LASNET and the Australian Venezuela Solidarity Committee.
Monday February 5 - Opening: Chrissie Cotter Gallery: 6-8pm. Artists: Contra Filé. Gallery hours 12-6pm Wednesday to Saturday, exhibition runs until February 17. Phone 9335 2222.
Wednesday February 7 - Opening: Mori Gallery: 6-8 pm,. Artists: Arlene TextaQueen, Al Fadhil, Etcétera, Contra Filé, SquatSpace, pvi collective, Astra Howard and Keg de Souza and Zanny Begg. Performance by Justice Yeldham. Gallery hours 11-6pm Wednesday to Saturday, exhibition runs until March 3. Phone 9283 2904.
Saturday February 3 - Workshop with Taring Padi (Indonesian with English translation): 3pm, Gallery 4a.
Saturday February 10 - Workshop with Contra File (Portuguese with English translation): Chrissie Cotter Gallery. 2-4pm.
Sunday February 11 - Workshop with Etcetera (Spanish with English Translation): Mori Gallery 2-4pm.
Saturday February 10 - Closing party: The Chocolate Factory Basement 8pm, Organised by Lauren Parker and Supported by Dual Plover.
Sunday February 18 - Squatfest: The Anti Tropfest Film Fest (text “squat” to 0428 477 128 for venue details) www.squatfest.com.
Saturday 24 February - SquatSpace presents: Redfern-Waterloo Tour of Beauty; meet at the top of Little Eveleigh St, Next to Redfern Train Station 2pm. www.squatspace.com/redfern.
Wednesday February 28 - Feedback Session: Is it possible to bring political art into the gallery? Thumbs up, thumbs down… a wrap up and debrief on If You See Something Say Something, at Loose Projects 6pm, level 2, 168 Day St Darling Harbour.
With thanks to our sponsors:
Australia Council for the Arts
Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network
For more information: www.ifyouseesomethingsaysomething.net
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