Bregenz, 01 Jun 2012, in English, published in bregenzerkunstverein.at
Design: Laure Giletti, Arnhem
The exhibition Right to Refusal takes place at a time when, at a great variety of locations around the world, people increasingly organise and form groups in order to declare their right to be independent of established ideologies. Recent revolutionary events may serve as a sounding board for some of the questions that will be touched upon at the exhibition.
At the centre of the Right to Refusal, however, stands the question just what are the conditions for the articulation of non-compliance -- both in the current trouble spots and geo-political long-term conflict areas and in common everyday actions and artistic productions. When it comes to the right to non-compliance, the right of refusal, it is initially clear only that existing structures are rejected or at least strongly challenged.
New means and ways ought first to be found, and untried methods must be tested, in order to give a visible voice to such denial and non-cooperation. Catchphrases have not yet been written on banner heads, they are still subject to permanent change through uncontrollable uprisings and collective discussions. Out of this process come protests, confrontations and reflections. The Right to Refusal suggests a use of the exhibition space for the temporary development of a language that is composed of a weft of contradictions and diverse voices. The search for alternatives, for new forms of expression and new methods, finds its creative potential here as it grapples with its challenges within and through art.
Contributions are by, among others, Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh, Bassam el Baroni, Adelita Husni-Bey, Samir El Kordy, Yazan Khalili, Jean-Luc Godard, Grupa Spomenik, Karen Mirza and Brad Butler, Ulrike Müller/Sherif Sonbol, Olaf Nicolai, The Otolith Group, Milica Tomic, Simon Wachsmuth, and Arthur Zalewski.
The event is curated by Eva Kraus and Doreen Mende.