To the Production of Revolution
The exhibition “To the production of revolution” presents the collective project of ideological movement from today’s political protest actions to the outcomes of activists’ struggle. In historical perspective the event of revolution is rooted in the production of essentially another future, which is an alternativeto existing capitalistic order with its savage injustice. Left activists, philosophers and artists united come out against the current state of affairs. The politics of this, so to say, utopia may be displayed not only virtually, but also in urgent images of protest modernity. Philosophical category of utopia is used in this meaning in order to fix the coming future in present. However, the notion of utopia is defined not only as something coming, but as parallel reality. The transition to this parallel reality is historically and economically determined by the crisis state of global world-system. Modern production of revolution by means of activist struggle – this is an exact way to such parallel reality, which is considered for us as socialism.
Curatorial and exhibition work is also concerns to the most engaged area of interaction between activism and contemporary art. Despite politics and economy being subjected exclusively to the interests of ruling classes and elites, the protest power of Ukrainian activism has already possessed quite influential democratic force, like all other revolutionary movements of the world. The protests against the governmental bills and neoliberal reforms rised by activists of « Direct Action » were carried out together with the scientific, political and artistic grassroots initiatives (Visual Culture Research Center NaUKMA, the journal of social criticism Commons, Autonomous Workers’ Union, Left Opposition, Feminist Offensive, HUDRADA, etc.). It is obvious that protest art is impossible without the left movement and critical university discourse. The struggle for economic and labor justice, decent work conditions, social security, freedom of artistic expression, gender and sexual equality unites left intellectuals, political activists, artists and workers.
In this context, the place and role of art is reinterpreted towards highly politically engaged art models. « Politics of the streets, » combined with the artistic gesture of protest, allows us to show an active position of modern artist. This new position is generated by the same poverty, injustice, censorship and the need for common revolutional transformation, that, in turn, politicizes art, making it pragmatically effective and necessary to the society.
The space of the art center LabCombinat is represented as a symbolic field of protest struggle, where activist attributes of political action together with the works of known Ukrainian artists will be exhibited. The project delivers the optics of communicating view of art and activism, today’s protest of the discontent and socialist utopia, which is already evident in the agenda of the « new left ». Performance-production of a huge red wedge for future pan-European march against capitalism objectifies the connection between art and revolution since the Soviet avant-garde artist El Lissitzky, who also produced revolutionary transformation on the way to the socialist future.