<p>Cover artwork: Rafał Milach, from the series <em>the Man in the Street</em>, 2017, courtesy of Rafal Milach and Jednostka Gallery</p>
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<p>Cover artwork: Rafał Milach, from the series <em>the Man in the Street</em>, 2017, courtesy of Rafal Milach and Jednostka Gallery</p>
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No. 17: Protesting Images

Managing editors: Katarzyna Bojarska, Magda Szcześniak

Cover artwork: Rafał Milach, from the series the Man in the Street, 2017, courtesy of Rafal Milach and Jednostka Gallery

This issue was supported by the Polish Minister of Science and Higher Education, from the funds of the program for the popularization of scholarship in 2017

Table of Contents

Introduction

  1. Protesting Images

    ”Protesting Images ”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 17 (2017), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2017/17-protesting-images/protesting-images

    This is an introdution to the issue devoted to protesting images and visual cultures of dissent.

Viewpoint

  1. Protesting Images

    Ewa Axelrad, Witek Orski et al., ”Protesting Images”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 17 (2017), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2017/17-protesting-images/protesting-images

    Presentation of the work of a selection contemporary Polish (post)artists whose work can be seen as participating in gestures of protest.

  2. Forms of Protest, Tools of Dissent

    Magda Szcześniak, ”Forms of Protest, Tools of Dissent”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 17 (2017), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2017/17-protesting-images/forms-of-protest-tools-of-dissent

    An essay accompanying the visual presentation "Protesting Images".

Close-up

  1. Speaking Teen in the Polis. The Tragedy of Michael Brown

    Iben Engelhardt Andersen, ”Speaking Teen in the Polis. The Tragedy of Michael Brown”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 17 (2017), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2017/17-protesting-images/speaking-teen-in-the-polis.-the-tragedy-of-michael-brown

    The article frames Michael Brown as a tragic teenager and includes literary tragedy in the interpretation of his downfall in order to eschew such determinations of his character as either a thug or a student with a bright future. More specifically the author enlists Sophocles's Antigone (441 BC) in an anachronistic analysis of Brown's tragedy. The injustice in Brown’s and other unarmed teenagers’ deaths are clear. But what makes them tragic? When the black body is cast as a threat to law and order, it might be impossible to appeal to standard notions of innocence, right to protection, and fair trial. The visual modalities in which their deaths are expressed and experienced are part of the justification of them. Police brutality against black people is increasingly being documented as digital images and videos become highly circulated. But, the fact that we now have immediate, visual access to these incidents does not necessarily mean that the truth about them is less a matter of dispute. Therefore, the author argues, the genre of tragedy provides a vocabulary or structure for understanding the processes of dehumanization as well as the articulation of suffering and dissent that are at stake in these spectacles.

  2. Vulnerable Bodies. On the Visibility of Political Action

    Marcin Stachowicz, ”Vulnerable Bodies. On the Visibility of Political Action”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 17 (2017), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2017/17-protesting-images/vulnerable-bodies.-on-the-visibility-of-political-action

    This article aims to examine the category of carnality and the bodily risk of the modern protests from the perspective of visual culture studies. The theoretical basis of the proposed approach is Judith Butler's performative theory of assembly and her concept of „precarious life”, transferred to the practice of producing images of protesting bodies. I examine the political power of selected visual representations of an active and vulnerable body and trace the visual figure of the „precarious body” in its various forms - as an "icon" and a "poor image" - and the circulation of protest images in social media. An important analytical frame of this article is the case study of the Pepsi advertising spot, in which the "precarious body" figure was used for commercial purposes, and which I treat as a kind of visual meta commentary on different practices of producing and using visual representations of bodies during the act of political resistance.

  3. I'm So Angry I Made a Sign

    Michael Taussig, ”I'm So Angry I Made a Sign”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 17 (2017), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2017/17-protest-obrazow/jestem-tak-wsciekly-ze-zrobilem-transparent

    Polish translation of Michaela Taussig's essay originally published as I'm So Angry I Made a Sign in "Critical Inquiry" 39 (2012).

  4. YouTube and the Syrian revolution

    Cécile Boex, ”YouTube and the Syrian revolution”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 17 (2017), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2017/17-protesting-images/youtube-and-the-syrian-revolution

    Since March 2011 the revolt in Syria has engendered a considerable and heterogeneous mass of videos made by demonstrators, activists and fighters and posted on the Internet. During the peaceful manifestations between 2011 and 2013 the videos played a crucial role in the narrative of the revolt but also in the emergence of new modes of protesting focused on the work of the image. The author questions the effects of amateur video on the perception of the protest as well as on protest activities themselves in an ultra-repressive context. She pays particular attention to the relationship between the act of filming and the act of protesting, both linked by bodies, words and emotions. Thus, it is an issue of exploring the different visual dimensions of the revolt in Syria, in accordance to the evolution of the movement and the spaces it occupied, to understand better how the protest experience is articulated and put into images.

  5. In Defense of the Common Good

    Katarzyna Warmuz, ” In Defense of the Common Good”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 17 (2017), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2017/17-protesting-images/in-defense-of-the-common-good

    The main aim of article is the presentation of Chilean history of the mural movement, the most intensively development of which can be placed in the 60s and 70s (during the presidential campaign in which Eduardo Frei Montalva and Salvador Allende were candidates). At the time, leftist and conservative muralist brigades fought intense visual battles. In this time, two most important left-wing artistic groups were formed: the Ramon Parry Brigade and the Elmo Catalán Brigade. The article will not only trace the history of the Chilean muralism movement, but also present research develop by W.J.T. Mitchell, with particular emphasis on ideology and commodity fetishism. The text also focuses on the presentation of Jacques Rancière's theory in the context of mural art in Chile.

Perspectives

  1. Protesting Images Questionnaire

    Bojana Piskur, Wolfgang Tillmans et al., ”Protesting Images Questionnaire”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 17 (2017), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2017/17-protesting-images/protesting-images-questionnaire

    We asked several curators, critics, theorists, artists to share their thoughts on the intricate relationship between images and protest. Below are their textual-visual responses. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of you who accepted our invitation. This is a timely and an important conversation.

Panorama

  1. Banner

    Magda Szcześniak, Łukasz Zaremba, ”Banner”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 17 (2017), https://www.pismowidok.org/en/archive/2017/17-protesting-images/banner

    A chapter from the book Kultura wizualna w Polsce. Spojrzenia [Visual Culture in Poland. Looks], ed. Iwona Kurz, Paulina Kwiatkowska, Magda Szcześniak, Łukasz Zaremba (Fundacja Bęc Zmiana, Instytut Kultury Polskiej UW: Warsaw, 2017). The essay is devoted to protest imagery in Polish culture - from avant-garde painting to contemporary, vernacular visual representations used during protests.

  2. Necropolitics

    Achille Mbembe, ”Necropolitics”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 17 (2017), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2017/17-protest-obrazow/nekropolityka

    A fragment of Polish translation of one of the most important essays in contemporary political and critical theory in which the author elaborates on the relationship between subjectivity and death as the roots of political sovereignty. He analyzes the historical process of linking modernity and terror and its consequences for contemporary politics.

Snapshots

  1. Let’s just say it! Blackness and queer

    Agnieszka Więckiewicz, ”Let’s just say it! Blackness and queer”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 17 (2017), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2017/17-protest-obrazow/powiedzmy-to-na-glos-czarnosc-i-queer

    Review of documentary  film"Ouvrir la voix" directed by French actor, director and feminist Amandine Gay.

  2. We, Americans

    Iwona Kurz, ”We, Americans”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 17 (2017), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2017/17-protest-obrazow/my-amerykanie

    Review of the movie I Am Not Your Negro (2016) by Raoul Peck.

  3. Televising the Revolution

    Michał Pospiszyl, ”Televising the Revolution”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 17 (2017), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2017/17-protest-obrazow/nakrecic-rewolucje

    The paper consists of three parts. In the first one, with the help of Kristin Ross, Jacques Rancière, and Walter Benjamin, I try to prove that we should not think about the Paris Commune as an exceptional and radical break of history. The revolution would have been impossible without the decades of preparations, the development of proletarian culture and autonomic social institutions. In the second part, I give an analysis of Peter Watkins' film "La commune (Paris 1871)." Referring to Siegfried Kracauer's "Theory of  Film," I argue that the purpose of Watkins' picture is not a staging of events from the nineteenth century, but their realization. In the third part, I show how Watkins assembles stories, images, statistical data, to undermine the linear model of history in which events are nothing more than anonymous elements of a homogeneous flow of time. Thus, "La Commune" would provide a perspective in which the Commune and the film dedicated to it (which was filmed 130 years later) can be captured as happening at the same time.

  4. The Revolt of the Rusalka

    Joanna Bednarek, ”The Revolt of the Rusalka”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 17 (2017), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2017/17-protest-obrazow/rewolta-rusalki

    The article is a review of Katarzyna Czeczot’s book Ofelizm – a reconstruction of a visual code that originated in the representations of Ophelia with a particular focus on subversive reinterpretations of this code.

  5. The Art of the 90's Does Not Tremble. It Dances

    Jakub Banasiak, ”The Art of the 90's Does Not Tremble. It Dances”, View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture 17 (2017), https://www.pismowidok.org/pl/archiwum/2017/17-protest-obrazow/sztuka-lat-90.-tanczy-lecz-nie-drzy

    Review of the exhibition 140 Beats per Minute. Rave Culture and Art in 1990s Poland, curated by Szymon Maliborski, Łukasz Ronduda (curatorial cooperation: Zofia Krawiec), Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, July 22-August 28, 2017.