Installations, videos and projects in public space

by Oliver Ressler

Globalizing Protest


“Globalizing Protest” is an ongoing series of photographic montages consisting of images shot in inner cities during protests against the G8. Each photographic montage is based on 36 single images that document the wooden barricades protecting the shop windows erected during various G8 summit meetings, which activists use for graffiti, political texts, and slogans. Three photo works of this series have been produced: “Untitled (Geneva 03.06.03)” was shot during the G8 summit in Geneva 2003, “Untitled (Edinburgh, 7/2005)” at the G8 summit in Scotland in 2005, and “Untitled (Rostock 6/2007)” during the recent G8 summit in Heiligendamm in Germany in 2007.

“With photographs showing shopping windows protected with wooden desks, which turned out to become an endless plateaux for the demonstration’s texts, graffiti and images and sometimes combined with the signs and names of global companies still visible outside the wooden desks, we can see how the incoherency of space and contingency of time enables the disclosure of the common. What is interesting here is exactly the mixture of spatial incoherency and contingency of time of the common, which revealed a completely different mapping of the city streets, movements, languages of the city, parallel spatial meanings. What holds these images together is not the common goal, not even the common meaning, but the alternative production of language with by taking the space and opening up the time. The common appearance is made explicit, this is “the spectacle of appearance” as Hannah Arendt would say. The spectacle is spatially incoherent as a consequence (it is namely done as a protection nevertheless establishing plateaux for momentarily spatial appropriation) and contingent in the sense of making the common explicit not as a program, but as a response to the momentarily urgency of appearance.” (Bojana Kunst, The Collaboration and Space, Moscow Art Magazine No. 61/62, 2006)

“Ressler’s photograph is without action(s), but a site of a precise textuality, and a possible answer to questions about the difference between mainstream journalism, big capital, the power elite and mediactivism. […] An objective camera eye simply does not exist, which is why the camera angle in Ressler’s works blends with the perspective of the demonstrators. As viewers we are in direct relation to the events by seeing them through the demonstrators’ viewpoint. The place of the image of vision and its reversal are crucial. And as regards the image of vision, it is more important to include the third element between the body and that image, namely power. This is why it is necessary to look at Ressler’s works through the only possible perspectives that are non-essentialism and a strict anti-documentary positioning of reality.” (Marina Grzinic and Walter Seidl, Double Check. Re-Framing Space in Photography: The Other Space, Parallel Histories. 2005)

The size of each of the three photo works is 140 x 105 cm.