The Bull Laid Bear

August 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

(The Bull Laid Bear (film still by Begg and Ressler, 2012)

This year’s Eva International, the artist-centered biennale held in Limerick, Ireland was guest curated by Annie Fletcher. Thematically titled, After The Future, the city-wide event sought to ‘to examine how certain artistic practices provide an active invocation of the present and speculate how we arrived here in the first place. This collaborative and multifaceted project takes as its point of departure the media theorist and activist Franco “Bifo” Berardi’s book, After The Future (AK Press, 2011), considering his admonishment of economic futurisms and advocacy for living slowly in the infinite present’. As Fletcher, Curator of Exhibitions at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, elaborates:

Everywhere we look and everything we read right now seems to tell us we are at a new juncture. We are at an unprecedented moment of change – whether teetering on the edge of a financial precipice, or witnessing extraordinary new articulations of protest. This year eva International will attempt to tap into this feeling of immanence by understanding how artists define and explain the status quo in relation to global events. What are we on the verge of? How do artists envisage what is to come and what is to be done?

The Bull Laid Bear (film still by Begg and Ressler, 2012)

One of the central installations was the collaborative project, The Bull Laid Bear, by cross-disciplinary artists, Zanny Begg and Oliver Ressler. This 24 minute film, using interviews with economists and activists in the United States interspersed with animation and drawings and in the words of the authors:

‘lays bare’ the economic recession (bear market) that hides behind each boom time (bull market). The film pokes fun at the slippery justifications made for the bailouts and austerity packages by exploring how governments in the United States, and other countries such as Ireland, turned a banking crisis into a budgetary crisis at the governmental level.

Significant in both format and insight offered, a short clip can be viewed here.

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