a purposeful, sustained “object-ness.” The theorist Oliver Marchart concludes, “Even the art fieldmay potentially contribute to this collective experiment—andmany artists have been contributing to it for a long time with their activist practices. Insofar as art proves to be responsive to the triple exigency of agitating, propagating, and organizing it may easily turn into politics—more easily andmore frequently, in any case, than the functionaries of the art fieldwill admit.” 12 Marchart strongly believes that art made for the gallery will forever be on the sidelines of the real action of protest. This exhibition refutes that position and proposes instead that processing the temporal nature of protest and resituating it within a conventional exhibition space can amplify and direct our attention to the creative cultures that propel their efficacy. It is through these engagements that we can also suss out what is recuperative within the very act of protest. How close or distant is recuperation to the demonstration of hope and resolve as well as the anger and demand so central to the act of protest? In some way, all of the artists in the exhibition approach the recuperation through art that represents and brings into focus—fromdifferent perspectives—a sustaining, emancipatory vision. They uphold our value in, andmovement toward, a feminist future, climate justice, native sovereignty, Black civil rights, liberation and freedom in the face of tyranny, freedom
12. Oliver Marchart, Conflictual Aesthetics: Artistic Activism and the Public Sphere (Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2019), 41.
28 The Lure of Protest
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