Curated by Annet Dekker and David Garcia, in collaboration with Ian Alan Paul.
The exhibition As If: The Media Artist as Trickster focuses on politically inspired media art that uses deception in all its forms. It shows the artist as trickster, as a ‘dark jester’, using a variety of hoaxes, hacks and ruses to reveal the hidden workings of power structures and the possibility of alternative futures. At the heart of As If is the desire to address one of today’s most urgent political issues: a radical shift in the boundary between fiction and reality in public discourse, in a world increasingly governed by ‘post-truth’ politics.
Today, across the western liberal democracies, ‘truth’ is increasingly substituted not only by fake news stories, particularly in social media, but also by ever more violent forms of public language and images. It is a world in which impact trumps evidence.
The show also serves a historical purpose. Many of these high speed media interventions are to a degree legacies of ‘Tactical Media’; a cultural and political movement that flourished briefly in the late 90s. Tactical Media was the first to combine the power of art, the tricks of the PR and advertising world, and an experimental approach to digital media, to mount hit-and-run interventions in the media sphere.
As If will show how the legacies of this DIY media movement remain all around us. Whether it be Trump’s midnight tweets or the exposure of the totality of the surveillance state through Snowden’s actions and information unveiled by Wikileaks, it is clear that the critical role of “do it yourself” media politics is as relevant today as ever.
Morehshin Allahyari, Arabian Street Artists, Paolo Cirio, Coco Fusco, Paul Garrin, Julian Oliver & Danja Vasiliev, Ian Alan Paul, Superflux, The Yes Men, UBERMORGEN, Wachter & Jud, Ruben Pater
Artists Ruben Pater and Morehshin Allahyari will present exciting new commissions.
As If: The Media Artist as Trickster has been developed in partnership with FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) Liverpool (UK) and HeK (House of Electronic Arts), Basel (CH). Iterations of the exhibition and its accompanying programmes will take place at these venues between 2 March – 31 May 2017, and 21 March – 21 May 2017, respectively, with a change of exhibition title to How Much of this is Fiction.
Presented with the support of Tolhuistuin, Creative Industries Fund NL, and Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.