Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

Protest Drives History

Hewitt, A., Beech, D. and Jordan, M. (2013) Protest Drives History. Exhibit at: Istanbul Biennial 2013: “Mom, Am I Barbarian?” . Istanbul, 14 September-20 October 2013.

Item Type: Show/Exhibition
Abstract: Even though Freee’s visual and language based interventions criticize the commercial and bureaucratic use of the urban environment, they occupy billboards, gallery spaces, and public sites. The groups artistic strategy is dialectical: on the one hand, it draws from avant-garde tradition by adopting the visual language of political dissent (for example, handwritten, handheld signs); on the other hand, it borrows mainstream media strategies, such as the use of big screens, and employ commercial-like aesthetics. Heavily influenced by Marxist theory, Freee aims at imagining a new social order by activating a collective and participatory space. Like in many of the artists’ other projects, Protest Drives History, is a direct expression of the collective’s interest in public action as a tool for social change. Originally exhibited as a banner and a billboard sign in London, the work also divulges a crucial aspects of Freee’s practice: the power of slogans to transform reality and to depict a society that does not yet exist. As a protest banner, Protest Drives History is a call for action, but it is a self-referential one that already forsees the change it wishes to generate. By doing so, the work not only blurs the borders between cause and effect, but it also questions the role of representation in Western societies. Freee’s inteventions open up a space for critical discussion and debate concerning the colonization of public sphere bu political and economic forces. Even more significantly, the collective’s work highlights the vital role of aesthetics in the formation of public opinion under capitalism. Yael Messer. Pp.108-111 Mom, am I barbarian? Guide. ISBN 978-605-5275-11-2 The curator of the 13th Istanbul Biennial, Fulya Erdemci is a curator and writer based in Istanbul.
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) > N4390 Exhibitions
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) > N61 Theory. Philosophy. Aesthetics of the visual arts > N72.P6 Art. Political aspects
Creators: Hewitt, Andrew, Beech, Dave and Jordan, Mel
Funders or Sponsors: Istanbul Biennial
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: Faculties > Faculty of Arts, Science & Technology > Fine Art
Date: 14 September 2013
Date Type: Publication
Event Title: Istanbul Biennial 2013: “Mom, Am I Barbarian?”
Event Dates: 14 September-20 October 2013
Event Location: Istanbul
Language: English
ISBN: 9786055275112
Media of Output: Billboard Poster
Number of Pieces: 1

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