I'm an artist, educator and activist particularly interested in learning from tactics, props and gestures used as protests. I use this blog as a platform to archive and communicate examples of what I call 'gestures of defiance'-exciting, urgent and relevant actions that link protest histories and present radical potentials. On this blog I'm simply compiling and reposting examples I find as they happen. Months may go by with out a post but the blog as an archive is still active.
Saturday, February 7, 2015
Text about the Spring Exhibition Series at the Vita Kuben, Umeå Sweden
In line with Coble's current research project on manifestations of resistance, the
artist has invited collaborators Jeuno JE Kim and Ewa Einhorn as well as Sidsel
Meineche Hansen to exhibit work that also engage in critiques of and resistance
to power, privilege, normativity and categorization. For the final exhibition Coble
will show work at Vita Kuben in dialogue with a live performance as part of MADE 2015, Umeå’s performing arts
Jeuno JE Kim and Ewa Einhorn's
short film Whaled Women (2013) is a
satirical critique of current demands for assimilation. It takes place in the
fictional town of Krabstadt where the
Nordic countries place their 'unwanteds': immigrants, long-term unemployed and
criminals. A group of women wash up on Krabstadt's shores after fleeing an
ecological disaster, and the following integration process reveals the system's
hypocrisy, intolerance and xenophobia. Appropriating the form of the typically
U.S. male dominated animated sitcom with the incision of a queer feminist,
European perspective Whaled Women insist
on the need to resist the Nordic self-image as non-colonial and all-inclusive.
Hansen’s series of woodcut block prints with titles
such as Toxic Institution, 4ever
mortgage, Torture me so I can learn and
OCD.CBT.OD. (2013) is part of her ongoing inquiry exploring nervousness as a form of institutional critique
and as resistance towards becoming human capital through professionalization. She
describes each print as a micro-political diagram. Meineche Hansen’s focus
expands in part through her latest video work Seroquel® (2014) where she considers the pharmaceutical
industry as an "emotional-industrial complex that allow capitalism to
enter our relationship to ourselves.” Her work can be seen as a critique of
society's bio-political normalization and disciplining of the individual.
Einhorn's and Meineche Hansen’s works are insistent with humor, mimicry,
institutional critique, poetry and critical unruliness. According to Coble
these qualities have the power to resist the dominating narratives of
mainstream society, such as standards of success, adaptation to the norm and fear
of failing.Coble’s own works add a
focus on explicitly queer strategies of resistance.
Coble’s Gestures of Defiance (2015), attention
is on the raised, clenched fist as a symbol of resistance. Historically activated
in various political protests, Coble considers images of the fist in connection
with contemporary events such as LGBT Pride marches, which initially grew as
social activist movements with the desire to claim space and create visibility.
Coble questions both the heteronormativity and homonationalism that in part is
seen through the commercialization of marches such as Pride today. Using
banners and flags from various contexts in the installation at Vita Kuben the
artist calls for a reclaiming of the raised fist as a sign of solidarity with
those who are not in a position of privilege or visibility today. In the live piece for MADE 2015 Coble re-appropriates the raised fist as an embodiment of
repeated defiant gesture.