Architectural Association School of Architecture
Exhibition - Live-programme - CONTRAvention
Zevs, Ztohoven, Zoe Young, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Matthias Wermke & Mischa Leinkauf, Voina, Upper Space, Gregory Sholette, Danny Shine, Michael Rakowitz, Ben Parry & Peter McCaughey, Tatzu Nishi, Renzo Martens, Knit the City, Peter Kennard, Laura Keeble, Allan Kaprow, John Jordan, Tushar Joag, International Peripatetic Sculptors Society, Space Hijackers, Paul Harfleet, EPOS 257, Electronic Disturbance Theater, Nina Edge, Alan Dunn, Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army, Paolo Cirio, Leah Borromeo & Dr. D, BGL.
Cultural Hijack presents a survey of provocative interventions which have inserted themselves into the world, demanding our attention, interrupting everyday life, hijacking, trespassing, agitating and teasing. Often unannounced and usually anonymous, these works have appropriated media channels, hacked into live TV and radio broadcasts, detourned billboards, re-appropriated street furniture, subverted signs, monuments and civic architectures, exposed corporations and tax loopholes, and revealed the absurdities of bureaucratic behaviours.
The exhibition positions itself at the intersection between art, politics and social justice in an historical moment, as we witness a rising tide of global resistance to neoliberal capitalism through an expanding ‘movement of movements’, from Zapatismo to the Arab Spring, from alternative G8 summits to Occupy Wall Street. In the shadows of this moment, artists are joining in the writing of alternative histories, the reclamation of our rights to the city and the unfinished project of the revolution of everyday life.
In attempting to house these ideas together in an institution, we are mindful of the Architectural Association as an influential zone, where the physical future of Architecture and Urbanism is significantly shaped. We propose that the dissemination of the ideas and practices gathered for Cultural Hijack, might similarly shape the possibilities for us to occupy as yet unimagined futures, where user-generated cities and systems, that support individual and collective empowerment, become more prevalent.
Do small acts of resistance and creative disruption, build muscle that encourages an appetite for real alternatives to neoliberal capitalism or do they end point and sate such an appetite? And what of ‘commissioned resistance’, is it implicitly flawed, sponsored by the system it seeks to critique, or can it, despite its origins, have impact?
These questions & more, as well as yours, will be picked over in the CONTRAvention: 24th - 26th April 2013.