[iDC] Art and Politics

Christiane Robbins at Jetztzeit cpr at mindspring.com
Wed Dec 28 18:07:31 EST 2005

As always, its good to hear from you, Nina, et all-

In further considering this thread, I thought that I would throw in a link to a work " Get Rid of Yourself" by a group of artists, the "Bernadette Corporation" created in 2003.  It may prove useful in our discussion.


"  Get Rid of Yourself  is a video-film-tract addressed to those who anonymously embody the return of political activism within Empire. While its initial sounds and images were filmed during the riots in Genoa, 2001, these materials are pulled apart and recomposed in order to locate the intensity of a shared experience, rather than producing one more documentary version of the programmed and hyper-mediatized confrontation of the G8 counter-summit. Elaborating a complex and rhythmic form of address via sound/image disjunctions, cheap video effects and performance, the film declares its own exile from a biopolitical space-time where nothing ever happens. The crisis it announces is the sudden return of history, but this time without characters or a story, and of a politics without subjects.

Provisionally aligning itself with the so-called ‘Black Bloc' movement – with the arrogance of its discourse as well as the force and style of their resistance – Get Rid of Yourself  is an encounter with emerging, non-instituted or identity-less forms of protest that refuse the representational politics of the official Left. Edited in the aftermath of 9/11 - a period of doubt, reflection and heightened security measures worldwide – the film also attempts to measure the strange distance these events have crossed, and the increasing repression under which the feeling of ‘civil war' has been buried in the meantime. A filmed essay that works by betraying its own form, Get Rid of Yourself  tries to approach what is most open in an event, rather than capturing and completing it as something recognizable. "



-----Original Message-----
>From: Nina Czegledy <czegledy at interlog.com>
>Sent: Dec 23, 2005 2:03 AM
>To: idc at bbs.thing.net
>Subject: [iDC] Art and Politics
>Dear All,
>thanks Trebor for inviting me  to contribute.
>Ever since the postings on Activism and Politics and Art,
>I have been reflecting on how in a certain context
>mere art practice becomes a statement of a political position
>(or opposition). I refer here to my native iron-curtained Hungary
>(of decades ago), where due to circumstances, activism and
>resistance often meant alternate interpretations.
>>From my notes:
>Distance from the political establishment was an essential
>feature in the life of Hungarian artists, especially those
>involved in experimental art.  Communist cultural policy did
>not embrace these art forms or their practitioners. As a
>consequence explorers were blacklisted and contemporart art
>was practiced in the most unlikely places. Abstract art was
>frowned upon. To produce a monochrome canvas covered
>by brown paint meant an act of defiance. For over four decades,
>attempts to evade officialdom took various routes,
>from underground literature, through performance art
>to experimental films. Consequently during the years of
>repression, art and artists became politicized through the
>very act of exhibiting.
>One way to understand how these forms of resistance operated
>during that regime is to see society as divided into two alternative,
>but parallel, structures. The very word "alternative" connotes
>different meanings in different socio-political settings. In Central
>Europe, during the postwar era, a wide variety of "alternative"
>political and cultural movements evolved at the same time that the state
>extended its tentacles into everyday life. Thus the force of the state
>generated an unequal but strong reaction, an intellectual black market
>as well as economic.
>iDC -- mailing list of the Institute for Distributed Creativity (distributedcreativity.org)
>iDC at bbs.thing.net
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                 Walter Benjamin

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