Resisting Subversion of Subversive Resistance

Resisting Subversion of Subversive Resistance
Propositions towards urban (r)evolution

Curated by Paul J. Kalemba
Tom Civil, Marc De Jong, Paul J. Kalemba and Van Thanh Rudd

No, painting is not done to decorate apartments, it is an instrument of war.
Pablo Picasso, 1945

Resisting Subversion of Subversive Resistance features the works and collaborations of four contemporary arts-activists. Romantic illusions of freedom fighters aside, serious business meets tongue-in-cheek as a homegrown r/evolution through urban edibles and the bicycle-peddling critical masses meet conscious consumption and political awareness.

The twentieth century saw exponential advancement in many areas of human activity. The image was by no means excluded from this refinement. The total war of World War II saw not only mechanised militarism devastate European civilization but the Third Reich, and the allies alike, bred the image for a new purpose. The manipulation of desire and fear was refined and exploited through the image, with propaganda aiming for nothing short of changing the opinions, and thus the actions, of entire nations.

Enter the twenty-first century. Commercial advertising carries on this imaging tradition into this decade, promising a veritable Shangri-La of sensual pleasure, luxury and convenience, tied firmly to a treadmill of competitive individualism. Meanwhile, headlines scream climate change, peak oil, environmental collapse, over consumption, finite resources… the new ideas now firmly in the zeitgeist. At face value, it seems society is economy versus a sustainable future.

Resisting Subversion of Subversive Resistance seeks to defy this manipulation of fear and desire, employing a combination of loose, scale model propositions with the graphic image – where WWII-style propaganda meets re-advertising, promoting consumer awareness and sustainable models via DIY culture. The artists create dialogues with the notations of propaganda and resistance though subverting emblematic symbology and imagery of contemporary art, advertising, politics and their concurrent histories.