Selected pages from "The Protest and The Recuperation"

hail themessages and inventive creativity that have come to define the culture of protest. While I acknowledge that protest can function, as well, to promote reactionary ideologies, The Protest and The Recuperation is focused on art that reveals the visual and performative aesthetics of progressive protests. It was developed as an exploration of what art can contribute to our understanding of this performative formand of the necessity of public gathering as a strategy for effecting change. Through participation, observation, interpretation, representation, and appropriation, artists Khalid Albaih, Lara Baladi, Sharon Chin, ChowChun Fai, Rachael Haynes, Sreshta Rit Premnath, Oliver Ressler, Josué Rivas, HankWillis Thomas, and Eugenia Vargas-Pereira present nuanced perspectives on the value of protests as aggregate expressions of thousands, evenmillions, of individual participants. Conceptually, the exhibition begins with the Arab Spring’s outburst of dissent and local organizing networks in 2011, which put pressure on authoritarian regimes, and continues with resistancemovements that followed that year, including OccupyWall Street. From2011 to 2020 the world witnessed an extraordinary period of revolt that spread quickly from site to site through social media. We saw a renewed surge in the United States after President Trump took office, as in the stunning 2017Women’s March. Other examples include, in 2019 alone, the significant percentage of Hongkongers who came together to fight against China’s “big hand,” the Friday protests in Algiers, and the protests in Baghdad against government corruption that purposefully

16 The Lure of Protest

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