Riots. Dissent and Spectres, Control and Ruptures
26.1.–27.1.2018, Acud Macht Neu
A certain darkness and negativity remains concealed in the phenomenon of the riot. As a political event and social form, riots have remained a condemned and criminalised structure within progressive and conservative political discourse. How may the revolutionary potential of rioters’ demands be read within the circuits of recent history and contemporary society? And, how are we to understand the transgressive matrices of public rebellion, since riots frequently unfold into larger revolts, insurgencies, and systemic transformation? As a state of exception, riots stand in as proof of failed negotiation, and as that space outside of regulated forms of civic order. As riots shape new modes of dissent, they tend to undermine the central pillars of modern democracy: respect for order and protection of life, property, and capitalist circulation. Hence, all too often there is no recourse to justice in their wake. The symptomatic response of dominant powers can be detected in the naming of the agents of riots—such as “unruly mob”, “undemocratic crowd”, or “looters”. As a fear of the masses heightens amid communal divides, this public programme rethinks and reframes riots through a series of conversations, performances, and film screenings. We will ask how riots inhabit and renegotiate the status quo within global metropoles, while also becoming the testing grounds of militarised urbanism targeting vulnerable and racialised groups.
Co-curated by: Natasha Ginwala, Gal Kirn and Niloufar Tajeri
Assistant Curator: Krisztina Hunya