[artinfo] Disobedient Objects: Folk Politics: Diabolical Math

d.garcia d.garcia at new-tactical-research.co.uk
Mon Aug 4 22:26:08 CEST 2014

Disobedient Objects: Folk Politics: Diabolical Math

One of the few shows to address the highly contentious relationship between
art and activism, in a way that takes us into new and more generative
territory, is the exhibition -Disobedient Objects- currently to be seen at
London?s Victoria and Albert Museum.

Disobedient Objects is a history of late 20th and 21st century protest
movements told through ?objects?, the tools of direct action, communication
and resistance. In the words of the curators it opens up the question of
material culture the previously under examined area of the art and design of
object making within social movements.

In the introduction of the show?s excellent catalogue, the two curators
(Catherine Flood and Gavin  Grindon) use the term Movement Cultures 
rather than activist art, leaving deliberately ambiguous the status 
of the objects
presented in the show. Indeed the conceptual integrity of the exhibition is
critically dependant in maintaining a wide gulf between itself and the
current industry of politically engaged art, whilst simultaneously drawing
on the rhetorical tropes and subterranean energies that have been released
by the engagement of art with social movements. The show manages to hover
tantalizingly on the threshold separating these two domains, describing
disobedient objects as the zero-point of political art.. to be alternatively
ignored or problematically recuperated by art and design institutions.


An illustrated version of this text can be found at:


d a v i d  g a r c i a






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