Party for Freedom | The Space for Freedom is Getting Smaller and Less Transparent, Overgaden, Copenhagen, 07.09.2013 – 27.10.2013
A conversation with Oreet Ashery, Omar Kholeif and Mathias Danbolt, Saturday 26th of october, 2013, Overgaden, Copenhagen
In her first solo exhibition in Denmark, Oreet Ashery explores the potentials and dilemmas of liberation in a culture at odds with itself. The exhibition Party for Freedom takes its title from the Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilder’s neo-liberal freedom party Partij voor de Vrijheid, known for its anti-immigration views.
A three-screen video projection forms a tableau of ten audio-visual sequences with a specially commissioned soundtrack ranging from contemporary classical music, to Jazz-fusion and punk. Creating a sensory universe, imbedded in trash aesthetics, that combines a film-essay with performative scenarios, the work explores freedom as a deeply conflicted and contradictory entity. Ashery responds to the freedom rhetoric of the far-right by turning its deeply seated and unconscious sentiments inside out. Ambiguity lurks in the wings of Ashery’s universe; the historical baggage of the left-wing and ethos of the avant-garde are also reflected upon via whitish nakedness, unresolved revolutions and indigenous appropriations of spirituality.
The Space for Freedom is Getting Smaller and Less Transparent, Solo exhibition, Overgaden, Copenhagen, 07.09.2013 – 27.10.2013
Especially for her show at Overgaden, Ashery has created a participatory installation piece titled The Space for Freedom is Getting Smaller and Less Transparent. Visitors to Overgaden are invited to enter a built structure and paint its transparent plastic walls. As the walls get covered in paint, the outside world becomes obscured. Every other week an additional transparent structure was been constructed within the previous one. The first, larger structure included the colour black, white, yellow, blue and red paints. The second structure included back and white paint and the last strcuture white pain onlyt. 1st structure : 880cm/665cm, 2nd: 660cm/445cm, 3rd: 440cm/225cm. The work was specifically thought about in relation to the rhetoric of Freedom of Speech in Europe and in Denmark in particular. What is the value of freedom of speech when it is used to block others, such as in anti immigration policies and actions? Protecting freedom of speech can be used as a blockage of someone else’s freedom. The More one expressed themselves on the transparent walls – the less transparency there is, the outside world is blocked out, and the inside world is getting smaller and white only.
Party for Freedom takes the form of events, performances and exhibitions in a wide range of locations in different countries both within and beyond the art world. In connection with the exhibition, Overgaden has republished and translated the essay The Unfinished Revolution: Oreet Ashery’s Party for Freedom by the art historian TJ Demos.
photographer: Anders Sune Berg
Artists/performers in video: Andro Andrex, Kim Bumstead, Miles Coote, Alex Der Matis, Soren Evinson, Elizabeth B. Harris, Edd Hobbs, Lucy Huston, Tim Owen Jones, Andrew Kerton, Lynn Lu, Alice MacKenzie, Phoebe Osborne, Owen G Parry, Vanda Playford, Irene Revell. Voiceover: Nick Ellsworth.Music: Timo-Juhani Kyllönen, Woolf, Morgan Quaintance, Chyskyyrai.Camera: Oreet Ashery, Anna Matos, Vanda Playford. Editor: Guillem Serrano.Visual FX: Daria Fissoun. Sound Mixing: Alfredo Paz. Riso prints LemonMelon Printing.
Supported by: Artangel (commission), Art Council England, Kone Foundation, Performance Matters (a collaboration between Goldsmiths University of London, University of Roehampton, and the Live Art Development Agency, financially assisted by the Arts & Humanities Research Council).