Resurgent Histories, Insurgent Futures

An exhibition about cultural guerrilla warfare from across the Americas


Fields of Knowledge
  • Aesthetics / Media
  • Performance
  • Politics / Economics
  • Social Justice

Organizing Institutions



Jennifer Ponce de León

Opens to public





4017 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

  • Resurgent histories

Slought is pleased to announce Resurgent Histories, Insurgent Futures, an exhibition about cultural guerrilla warfare from across the Americas, on display September 7 - October 1, 2017. Curated by Jennifer Ponce de León, the exhibition features the work of participating artists and groups Etcétera..., Grupo de Arte Callejero, Iconoclasistas, Fran Ilich, The Pocho Research Society for Erased and Invisible History, and Frente 3 de Fevereiro. Join us for an opening reception and curator's talk on Thursday, September 7, 2017 from 6:30-8:30pm, and a conversation with artists Sandra de la Loza and Fran Ilich on Friday, September 22, 2017 from 6:00-8:00pm.

The exhibition documents incisive instances of cultural guerrilla warfare from across the Americas: artistic practices engaged in struggles over political narratives, the meanings and direction of history, and the forging of collective futures. These experimental practices – which challenge codified conceptions of art – produce and disseminate culture in modes not beholden to state ideological apparatuses or the siloing of forms of knowledges these promulgate. Some of them also infiltrate official institutions and their representational protocols, using guerrilla tactics, critical mimicry, and biting irony to expose their sociopolitical functions or economic dealings that otherwise remain obscured.

They shed light on the social conflicts in which they are embedded, which include financial crisis, territorial displacements, social and environmental effects of extractivist industries, legacies of pro-capital state terrorism, as well as crises in, and refusals of, representational politics. These conflicts manifest themselves in multiple spatial and temporal dimensions, where, for instance, territorial displacement is linked to transnational processes of accumulation and dispossession, state violence bolsters imperialist endeavors, and the silences and violences produced by nationalist fictions reiterate colonial scripts and naturalize ongoing processes of conquest. Thus, the aesthetico-political practices this exhibition charts across different spaces of the Americas bring into view commonalities in struggle, as well as lineaments of internationalist resistance.

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In conjunction with the exhibition, a film series has been organized for the Slought mediatheque which will screen daily. The series will feature films by Frente 3 de Fevereiro and Julian d'Angiolillo.

Participating artists and groups

Founded in Buenos Aires in 1997, Etcétera... is a multi-disciplinary collective of visual artists, poets, and performers whose work combines radical left social critique with iconoclasm, surrealist aesthetics, and a penchant for irony, black humor, and grotesquerie. In addition to their participation in cultural institutions, they have regularly produced street performances and actions that bring conceptualist aesthetics and a ludic sensibility to the art of protest. They have worked within the human rights movement to popularize exposure protests known as escraches, which serve as a form of popular justice not beholden to state institutions, and have contributed to this form of direct action with a unique form of materialist street theater. Their work also pushes human rights discourse towards a reckoning with class domination, imperialism, and economic terrorism. In 2005, Etcétera... helped found the Internacional Errorista [International Errorist], an international movement that "claims error as a philosophy of life."

Grupo de Arte Callejero [Street Art Group], known as GAC, is a Buenos Aires-based art group whose practice fuses artistic production and direct action. Since its founding in 1997, GAC has participate in Argentina's human rights movement, which has been the principle force for condemning state terrorism under the country's last dictatorship and bring its perpetrators to justice. GAC's guerrilla interventions in public spaces have contributed to the organization of exposure protests ( "escraches"), which are a key tactic for building a social condemnation of war criminals and state violence. GAC's work provides a counter-mapping of urban space, marking out the material traces of past practices of state terrorism, as well as their continuities with ongoing forms of state violence deployed by the neoliberal democratic state.

The Iconoclasistas combine counter-cartography, collaborative research, and graphic design to produce materialist analyses of social conflicts that are useful for collective practices of resistance to capitalist and colonial forms of domination. With roots in traditions of critical pedagogy and militant research, the Iconoclasistas' collective mapping workshops foment collective modes of producing and representing knowledge about social conflicts, giving particular attention to their spatial and

territorial dimensions. These workshops have generated representations of grass roots struggles for social and environmental justice throughout Latin America, making visible actual and possible connections among disparate resistance movements. Active since 2006, the Iconoclasistas produce and disseminate their work in the spirit of the free culture movement, as it can be downloaded, copied, modified and circulated freely.

Fran Ilich is an artist and writer based in New York City who works in the theory and practice of narrative media, experimental economies and finance, and hacktivism. This exhibition features material from his anticolonial alternate reality game Raiders of the Lost Crown (2013), in which players were charged with re-capturing a legendary pre-Columbian Mexica headdress from an Austrian museum. As its gameplay unfolded through epistolary exchanges, performance, a guerilla intervention at the museum, and participation in the solidarity economy of Zapatista coffee, it became clear that the game's mission was not quite what it seemed. With mordant wit and calculated deception, Raiders puts on display the colonial character of museums, neoliberal economic regimes, the Mexican state's indigenismo, and the geopolitical determinations that define debt and property.

The Pocho Research Society for Erased and Invisible History is a guerrilla art collective and semi-fictional historical society in Los Angeles founded by artist Sandra de la Loza in 2002. History and social memory are its primary object of investigation. Using conceptualist strategies, guerrilla interventions, and evocative poetics, their work interrogates the politics of dominant forms of historical production and models alternate ways of conceptualizing the past and its relation to the present. Their guerrilla counter-memorials trace connections between historical erasure and territorial displacement, especially as it pertains to the histories, practices, and spaces of subaltern Latina/o/xs and Native Americans in Los Angeles.

Frente 3 de Fevereiro, whose name means February 3rd Front, is a transdisciplinary research and art group based in São Paulo. Their artistic-political interventions address the entwined phenomena of racism, coloniality, state violence, and mechanisms of social exclusion. In addition to their extensive work in Brazil, Frente has also carried out research and produced projects in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Germany, South Africa and the USA. The exhibition and Mediatheque program feature several films by the collective and its members.

"The people can only take over their cultural heritage by an act of expropriation. [...] With the people struggle and changing reality before our eyes, we must not cling to 'tried' rules of narrative, venerable literary models, eternal aesthetic laws. [...] but we shall use every means, old and new, tried and untried, derived from art and derived from other sources, to render reality to men in a form they can master."

-- Bertolt Brecht

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Begins Sep 7, 2017

A film program about cultural guerrilla warfare from across the Americas, part of the exhibition Resurgent Histories, Insurgent Futures

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