Hands Off Our Revolution will feature a series of contemporary art exhibitions and events - the first of which will be announced in March - that will shine the spotlight on the rise of rightwing populism in the US, Europe and elsewhere, bringing into public view statements, questions and reflections on the state we are in. Taking place in central art institutions and alternative spaces around the world, the exhibitions and projects will bring together artists who critically and imaginatively engage with the complexities of today’s political and social realities and encourage us to reflect more profoundly on the world in which we want to live. Artists and art professionals who have joined the Hands Off Our Revolution coalition said:
“We artists are united in our mission to counter small minded prejudice. Our art affirms our humanity and we insist on inclusion of all and for all. We call for action by people of good conscience to stand against the abhorrent policies of the governments that claim to represent us.” Anish Kapoor, sculptor
“We live in challenging times, to do nothing is to be complicit with intolerance and cruelty. We must all unite, regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation, to oppose all forms of bigotry. Populism must never be a guide to our conduct, empathy should be our guide. As artists we bear witness and we must never be silent or be silenced.” Yinka Shonibare, artist
“Artists need to stay in touch with each other more than ever and to focus on making clear effective and artful plans for resistance.” Laurie Anderson, artist, composer, musician and film director
"Economies and communities once flourished around jobs in industry, manufacturing and agriculture, jobs that are disappearing with no alternative in sight. Yet I have not heard a single politician put forward a credible strategy for devising inclusive, rewarding and sustainable forms of work. Which is why culture must step in.” Iwona Blazwick, Director of Whitechapel Gallery, London
“I signed on to the coalition for many reasons, but above all for one—its insistence on the radical nature of art. It is time for artists, critics, critics and academics to push back, hard, from the left, and to summon up, as they do so, past moments when cultural practice was animated by leftist politics and vice versa. at these moments art was more than a luxury commodity, a celebrity scene, a scandal topic, and it can be so again.” Hal Foster, theoretician and art historian, Princeton University.
"NO to the society that demands we all be alike. NO to the coercion to consume and conform. NO to the poisoned world that drives its people to flee into introspection and solitude. NO to the dislocation, depression and anger this breeds. Art is for empathy. Art is for loving your brothers and your sisters and yourself. Art is for a chance to live.” Mark Titchner, artist
“Through art and the creative process one can radically challenge, invert, and invent new possibilities. This form of making and mining extends beyond rational thought, knowledge and prescriptive thinking. It is the liminal space where revolutionary possibilities emerge. Protecting and insisting on it, is vital to countering authoritarianism and dogma.” Julie Mehretu, artist
“Siegfried Kracauer said that the artist’s “tasks multiply in proportion to the world’s loss of reality.” Indeed, we are faced today, almost on an hourly basis, with a manifold of ugly realities. There is no time to lose: we not only have to resist, artists have to keep us awake instead of putting us to sleep. You can't please all!” Chris Dercon, historian and curator, former Director of Tate Modern, London, and designated Director of Volksbühne Berlin
This initiative is something we hope to participate in, more information to come.