In the past few years we have witnessed protests unfolding into serious unrest across many parts of the world. After initial excitement at this new global wave of voicing political demands, seasons change, and what was a novelty becomes a norm that lures many of us into the trap of trying to determine and define this previously undetermined phenomenon. Such engagements with current political upheavals can be termed agitations, an old philosophical term which denotes the extreme tension of the brain in its attempt to determine something perceived as previously undetermined—such as a sublime experience of nature. These agitations usually recast the sense of the human self accompanying all thinking into a clearly distinguishable entity, treating it as if it were something we could claim to really understand.
Agitationism, on the one hand, is the condition of living under a constant flow of agitations, including the ones that you inevitably sometimes produce yourself. However, it is also the process of ‘working through’ them with the aim of seeking adaptation to a logic situated somewhere else beyond the entrapment between past, present, and future—three tenses that overlap in the contemporary moment, creating a kind of palimpsest of half undone histories, half imagined futures, and a present of phantasms as a consequence.
EVA International 2014 AGITATIONISM simulates the sense of living under agitation while capturing how we are slowly adapting to a different perception of the world by working through our relationships with historical ideologies, post-colonial narratives, other beings (including animals), and speculations about the not-so-distant future.
AGITATIONISM is part of Limerick City of Culture 2014 and presents projects and new commissions generously supported by Outset England and Outset Netherlands as part of the International Production Fund; Acción Cultural Española, AC/E; Artis Grant Progam; Coleção Teixeira de Freitas; Etxepare Basque Institute; French Embassy in Ireland; Iaspis, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s International Program; Kontakt, the Art Collection of Erste Group and ERSTE Foundation; Mondriaan Fund; Office for Contemporary Art Norway, OCA; and the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.