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Uprising, 2016


Image: Digital still displayed on a monitor
Location: The French Communist Party Headquarters, Paris.

Exhibited: Cité international des arts, Paris, 2016; Tate Exchange, Tate Modern, London, 2018

From the series ‘Days of Action’.

‘Uprising’ plays on the ‘politics of motion’ – how political terms are indebted to the language of movement. Within the work the action of the figure is suspended but the motion of uprising is evident in the architecture. A play symbol central to the image signals a constant state of beginning. The work was made whilst the artists were in residence at the French Communist Party HQ in Paris, an iconicOscar Niemeyer designed building built between 1967-1980. The image features the subterranean delegation room.

The work nods to Slavoj Zizek’s notion of a suspended revolution that holds all the potential of Utopia without the“morning after” effect. Since as Zizek observed revolutionary ‘upheavals lose their energy when one has to approach the prosaic work of social reconstruction.’ Zizek’s notion of a suspended revolutionary act creates a“short circuit between the present and the future’, one that is permanently coming into being. (Slavoj Zizek, 2005 ‘From Revolutionary to Catastrophic Utopia’)


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