Mittwoch, 25. Oktober 2017
On December 13th, 2017 I will present at the large "Art & Activism:Resilience Techniques in Times of Crisis" conference in Leiden, Netherlands.

16: 15 - 18:00 Panel B

Site Politics: Of Borders, Territories, and Spatial Interventions
Moderator: Jeroen de Kloet

• Visualizing the Imaginary: Artistic Interventions for Geographical
Sovereignty - Heba Y. Amin

Street Artivist Banksy and the Barrier - Ulrich Blanché

• Against New Resilience Techniques: From Property Guardianship in Art
Towards Art of Future Organising - Ana Vilencia

• Staging the Political. Aesthetic Performativity in Practices of Social
Resistance - Fatma Aliosman Culhaoglu

Link to program (PDF)


Street Artivist Banksy and the Barrier
Since 2005, and prominently in 2017 the anonymous street “artivist” Banksy chose the contact and /or conflict zone of the Israeli West Bank Barrier as his “canvas” for a series of site specific works, stencils on and an art hotel close to the barrier. Are these pieces rather works of art or tools of activism? Or a form of art colonialism? To draw this line between art and activism it is necessary to analyze the different audiences who Banksy addresses in his statements, on his website, in his book and in photos or on video. The author used classical art historical methods on this very contemporary subject, image description and image matching to find out that Banksy’s self-authorized works address different viewers on different levels – on site the Palestinians, on the internet “the West”. I conclude that Banksy combines elements of fine art (stencils) with performance art (the illegal attachment of the artwork) minimal art (the message of the materials used) and site specific art to give an artistic statement about a political conflict: Banksy translates art into activism. I conclude further that Banksy’s treatment of the location and the act of applying his works, are rather political activism – without choosing one particular political site. The stenciled motives or the hotel are in his case rather art - but in each piece the portion is different.