[NetBehaviour] JUMPS AND SURPRISES - Zanny Begg and Oliver Ressler

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Mon Sep 29 15:17:31 CEST 2008


An installation by Zanny Begg and Oliver Ressler

For the group-exhibition "asking we walk, voices of resistance"
Den Frie Udstillingsbygning, Copenhagen (DK)
Curators: Kuratorisk Aktion (Berlin & Copenhagen) and Katarina Stenbeck
September 27 -- October 19, 2008

"Jumps and Surprises" is an installation comprising new collaborative 
work by Zanny Begg and Oliver Ressler and several existing works carried 
out independently. All these works relate to globalisation and the 
counter-globalisation movement. The title comes from a quote by John
Holloway (in the film "What Would It Mean To Win?" produced during the 
counter-summit protests at Heiligendamm) where he explains the 
development of anti-capitalist consciousness as a process of "jumps and 
surprises". These moments, or "events" -- to use the term of Alain Badiou
-- not only surprise the powerful through unpredictable confrontations 
with capitalism but also the movement itself by creating moments of 
transformative subjectivity.

Almost ten years since "Seattle" this installation explores the impact 
this moment has had on contemporary politics. Seattle has been described 
as the birthplace for the "movement of movements" and marked a time when 
resistance to capitalist globalisation emerged in industrialized 
nations. In many senses it has been regarded as the time when a new 
social subject -- the multitude -- entered the political landscape.

The installation consists of a large wall drawing by Zanny Begg that 
maps a genealogy of globalisation and the counter-globalisation 
movements and is based on the animations from the film "What Would It 
Mean To Win?" This drawing surrounds the walls of the gallery space and
defines an area in which the other works are installed.

"What Would It Mean To Win?" (Zanny Begg and Oliver Ressler, 40 min., 
2008) is a film based on the most recent counter-globalisation protests 
in Heiligendamm in Germany (June 2007). It is structured around three 
central questions: Who are we? What is our power? What would it mean to
win? It combines documentary footage shot during the blockades against 
the G8 summit in Germany, interviews and animation sequences.

The video "This is what democracy looks like!" (Oliver Ressler, 38 min., 
2002) focuses on the events of 1 July 2001 which took place surrounding 
a demonstration against the World Economic Forum -- a private lobbying 
organization of major capital -- which was meeting in Salzburg. This
video gives insight into the course of events of the first 
anti-globalisation demonstration in Austria. This demonstration was 
banned by the police and 919 demonstrators were encircled and detained 
for over seven hours.

The video "Disobbedienti" (Oliver Ressler and Dario Azzellini, 54 min., 
2002) focuses on the origins of Disobbedienti, an activist network that 
emerged from the Tute Bianche during the demonstrations against the G8 
summit in Genoa in July 2001. The Tute Bianche were the white-clad 
Italian activists who used their bodies -- protected by foam rubber, 
tires, helmets, gas masks, and homemade shields -- in direct acts of 
civil disobedience. Toni Negri has described the protests in Genoa as 
the first revolt of the Post-Fordist multitude against Empire. The
Italian autonomist tradition has been incredibly influential not only 
for the counter-globalisation movement but also for cultural production 
and intellectual thought more broadly.

All three videos are based on interviews with the protagonists of the 
particular actions.


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