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Uprising, 2016


Image: Digital still displayed on a monitor.
Location: The Delegation Room, The French Communist Party Headquarters, Paris.
Series: Days of Action.
Exhibited: Tate Exchange, Tate Modern, London, 2018.

‘Uprising’ explores an interdependent relation between body and architectural form. The real and the symbolic in this found architectural setting are explored through the ‘politics of motion’ – how political terms are indebted to the language of movement. Within the work the action of the figure is suspended and the motion of uprising is implied within the architecture in the ‘disobedient’ floor plane rising up to meet the ceiling. A play symbol central to the image signals a constant state of beginning. 

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’)

The work was made whilst the artists were in residence at the French Communist Party HQ in Paris, an iconic Oscar Niemeyer building designed and built for the French Communists between 1967-1980. 


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