The Revolution Will Be Performed. Cameras and Mass Protests in the Perspective of Contemporary Art

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Abstract

This article offers an analysis of Videograms of a Revolution (1992) by Harun Farocki and Andrej Ujica and The Pixelated Revolution (2011) by Rabih Mroue, which both reflect on the role of amateur recordings in a revolution. While the first deals with the abundant footage of the mass protests in 1989 Romania, revealing how images became operative in the unfolding of the revolution, the second shows that mobile phone videos disseminated by the Syrian protesters in 2011 respond to the desire of immediacy with the blurry, fragmentary images taken in the heart of the events. One of the most significant results of this new situation is the way image production steers the comportment of people involved in the events. Ordinary participants become actors performing certain roles, while the events themselves are being seen as cinematic. This increased theatricality of mass protests can thus be seen as an instance of blurring the lines between video and photography on the one hand and performance, theatre and cinema on the other.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-23
Number of pages16
JournalActa Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sep 2015

Keywords

  • performativity of images; amateur videos; revolution; mass protest; theatricality

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