transcript from slide lecture, Nov. 2002, Stadsmuseum Göteborg
This project is very much based on a visual argumentation,
it focuses on the aesthetics of a system of repression; Walter Benjamin
said in the 30ies that fascism is the aesthetisation of politics. Large
parts of the project are connected to architecture: because architecture
can be seen as a crystalisation of power.
This is one of the most iconic images of what happened
here in Gothenburg last year. It is a media image, jpeg-compressed, downloaded
from the web. It is also the image we ourselves saw in Vienna on June
15th 2001 over the media; soon after that we got the other images, the
images of the first shots on demonstrators in EUrope for many years. This
picture with the burning flag is a picture that shook europe. For us the
question is if this image can document what really happened...
That's the same spot a year later. We cannot see any visual
traces of what happend here, there is nothing left on the surface.
The question somehow is: what happened in these days of the protests?
Many people would say something very strange happened, something extra-ordinary,
that the situation totally changed, that they do not understand how this
could happen, etc...
On the contrary many people we were interviewing said that nothing changed,
but it was only a spectacular materialization of an ongoing struggle,
of something that is there all the time. In this situation of the protest
it became just more obvious. The struggle and the repression usually are
only obvious for marginalised groups. For them the daily struggle is very
real all the time.
How can one document a protest and still have in mind what is going on
in society all the time, how can we line out a picture of a struggle without
showing a spectacular image? We think that if we start out with documenting
social space, in this case urban space, we can think of it being all the
time filled with lines of flight, with vectors of power systems and struggels,
flashing through the space, constantly rewriting and redefining it. Maybe
we can picture these lines like laserbeams, and sometimes it needs some
smoke to make them visible.