The Arts of Dissent: Art and Democracy vol. 2

In May of 2022, when the spread of COVID was finally coming to an end, The Arts of Dissent: Art and Democracy was held at the Chinretsukan Gallery of the Ueno Campus, Tokyo University of the Arts, as a response to the sudden changes that had occurred in global politics. One symbolic event was the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began in February of that year, but this was preceded by the global spread of nationalism, ethnocentrism, racism and xenophobia. Amongst the rise of authoritarian states, political repression through violence, persecution of ethnic minorities, and the spread of fundamentalism, the exhibit tried to consider how art can become part of the discussion.

In particular, Israel’s attacks on Palestine, triggered by Hamas’ attacks on Israel last year, have since intensified, with many Palestinian civilians being killed. The polarization that has since occured makes it appear as if there is no longer a consensus that could be reached. Art is no exception: the debate over “anti-Semitism” that took place at Documenta 15 in 2021, has yet to be concluded. Nationalism and xenophobia are spreading, while the violent suppression of democracy by authoritarian states continues to intensify. In response, the art world also appears to have become dysfunctional with regard to politics. 

What can art do in such times? The Arts of Dissent: Art and Democracy vol. 2 aims to create a temporary space to discuss the relationship between politics, especially democracy, and art. Taking into account the recent discussions on art and democracy both within and beyond Japan, we welcome exhibitions, performances, discussions, and workshops to consider what could be done in this critical situation.

Artists / Projects:
Watermelon Alliance, dj sniff, Sacco Fujishima, DUB Sasurai Shimai, Punk! The Revolution of Everyday Life, Leonidas Martin, Larissa Wang, DANNY JIN, Docu Athan, Piotr Bujak, Inès Jasmine Mesbahi, Visit Palestine Project, Kazura Sunamori, Rio Watanabe, Sapphire Slows, 0:brei, Palestine Our Warm Home, Tears for Palestine, Zac Mehdid, Hideki Takahashi, Toru Kubota, Konosuke Kawakami, Alberto Carrasco Lara, Kenichiro Egami, Koharu Kashiwagi, Taeko Tomiyama, Nadya Tolokonnikova (Pussy Riot), Perera Shu, Atsuko Sugimoto, Ghada Hadil Ben Fredj, Elizabeth Jesse

Dates: Jun 14 (Fri) – Jun 16 (Sun), 2024
Hours: 10:00 – 17:00
Place: 12-8 Ueno Koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-8714
Phone: 050-5541-8600 (NTT Hello Dial)
Venue: Chinretsukan Gallery (The University Art Museum, Tokyo University of the Arts)
Organizers: Graduate School of Global Arts (GA), Tokyo University of the Arts – Yoshitaka Mori Lab & Tomoko Shimizu Lab

Poster Image Design: Rika Nakashima

《Schedule of Events》

Date&Time: June 14th, Friday, 13:00~17:00
Venue: 2F
Guest: Watermelon Alliance
Moderator: Perera Shu

[SCREENING & TALK] “Round Eye the Aliens” screening and artist talk
Date&Time: June 14th, Friday, 17:00~19:00
Venue: 1F
Guest: Larissa Wang (online)
Moderator: Atsuko Sugimoto

[MUSIC] The Sound of Dissent
Date&Time: June 14th, Friday, 19:00~22:00  
Venue: 2F

18:30 Open
19:00-19:30 [LIVE] dj sniff
19:30-21:00 [DJ] Sapphire Slows
21:00-22:00 [DJ] 0:brei

[WORKSHOP] Raw Material – Tracing in/audible memories engraved in sound
Date&Time: June 15th, Saturday, 13:00~15:00  
Venue: 2F
Guest: dj sniff

In this workshop we will look at how one can derive research themes and creative methods from experiences of sound and sound media, while at the time same being aware of their political implications. Participants will listen together to raw sound materials such as; WW2 propaganda records, interviews, and field recording of protests. We will analyze how these relate to memories, affect, and contextual information that are often inaudible in the actual recordings. Additionally we will discuss about the saturation of sound and impossibility of listening through the ubiquitousness of military drones in modern day war zones and less-than lethal weapons used on protestors around the world.

[LIVE & TALK] VOLUME UP! – Artists Talk for Palestine
Date&Time: June 15th, Saturday, 16:00~18:00  
Venue: Chinretsukan Gallery 2F
Guest: DANNY JIN, Inès Jasmine Mesbahi, Zac Mehdid, Rio Watanabe
Moderator: Ghada Hadil Ben Fredj, Elizabeth Jesse

[WORKSHOP] Silkscreen Workshop
Date&Time: June 16th, Sunday, 13:00~16:00  
Venue: 2F
Guest: Palestine Our Warm Home

[PERFORMANCE] The Useless Stones
Date&Time: June 16th, Sunday, 16:00~
Venue: in front of Chinretsukan
Guest: DUB Sasurai Shimai