Icons. // images released (14.10.13)

Marking the first anniversary of protests by the Occupy movement and the occupation of St Paul’s Cathedral in London, Eran Tsafrir is releasing images from Icons. – the latest work created as part of his project diG.shaKe.riSeandblEEed,myloVe.

Icons. is a photo, video and audio documentation of members of Occupy Justice, a faction of Occupy, who in December 2011 took over a disused historical court building in London’s East End to hold a series of “trials of the 1%”. Eran photographed, filmed and recorded the activists in the courtrooms and detention cells of the derelict building. After their departure, he continued to document them in other private and public buildings to which they migrated.

The work presents an iconography and alternative aesthetic of Occupy, challenging public perception of the movement and testing the idea of the ‘aestheticization of politics’ in the current sociopolitical environment.

A sneak preview of images from Icons. was on show in June 2012 at an occupied five-storey house owned by artist Anish Kapoor, who designed the ArcelorMittal Orbit tower for the London 2012 Olympic Games. The house, which is located in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, central London, was taken over by a group associated with Occupy who called itself ‘Bread and Circuses’ – a reference to its argument that the Olympic Games were a means of distracting the public from pressing economic and social issues at times of austerity.

diG.shaKe.riSeandblEEed,myloVe. questions the potency of demonstration, revolt and sacrifice as an instrument for policy change against the backdrop of the current economic downturn, cuts, job losses, protest, strikes, riots and occupations. The project is created within the ambit of conteXtism – a manifesto-driven initiative aimed at illuminating the interrelationships between art and the social, political, economic, religious, ethical and legal contexts in which it is made and displayed. In the belief that art has the power to unravel the complexity, intricacy and multi-dimensionality of prevailing human and social reality and the forces that shape it, artwork created as part of the project serves as a trigger for debate, and for tackling questions about the wave of protest we have witnessed in the last few years.

To view the images go to: Icons.
Image © 2012 Eran Tsafrir

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