ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS WALL, MELT, CIVILIAN! INTERVENTIONIST ART STRATEGIES WITH POSTERS, BODIES AND TALKS
Between May and June 2021, a cross-university Cheers for Fears seminar took place in Wuppertal’s urban space in cooperation with the Public Interest Designcourse at the University of Wuppertal, the Scenic Research and Theater Studies courses at the Ruhr University Bochum, and students from the Cologne Academy of Art – and other interested parties.
The focus was on diverse strategies of artistic resistance such as adbusting or urban manipulation of architecture and obstacles as well as street art and skateboarding.
Forms of protest, however, are also tied to bodies that can become critical masses at demonstrations or direct streams of attention with small interventions. If personal agendas are projected into urban space or if diffuse feelings triggered by fast-paced current events are given a platform through unconventional movements and bodies, a discursive space is created in which passers-by must behave.
Artivism – artistic activism or activist art – inspired us to take our own small actions in Wuppertal, with which we developed strategies for our further artistic work. The participants of the seminar were invited to share their personal artistic strategies in a skill sharing. Ultimately, the aim was to reclaim the social discourse that finds its reflection in the urban field and to counter the capitalization of public space. Because whether through design, punk, light, performance or architecture, it is necessary to break down the normative discourses in public.
The seminar was led by Constantin Leonhard and Sina-Marie Schneller. There was input from the Radikalen Töchter on effective forms of political participation.
(c) Sebastian Wolf