"When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich."
28 April – 23 June 2018
Opening reception – 27 April at 6pm
From 27 April to 23 June 2018, artistic collective DEMOCRACIA (Pablo España and Iván López) will premier their expansive new operatic work ORDER at Rua Red Gallery, Dublin. Based in Madrid, DEMOCRACIA collaborate on large-scale interventions, politicising spaces and situations through the apparatus of propaganda.
Filmed between Dublin, Houston and London, ORDER moves between out-of-town shopping malls, open-carry demonstrations and lavish dinners, to present in its melodrama the historic antagonisms of the oppressors and the oppressed.
Presented as film and installation, ORDER is a three part opera that seeks to radically critique the conventions and injustices of capitalism. The artwork presents in its three acts - Eat the Rich/Kill the Poor; Konsumentenchor; and Dinner at the Dorchester - dramaticised analogues of our reality through carefully engineered interventions in public and private spaces.
By shifting the production away from the constrictions of the theatrical medium and its bourgeois environment - ORDER violently disrupts the cultural grammar of opera. DEMOCRACIA use this art form as a tool with which the ruling classes may be pilloried, lambasted and held to account.
The libretto of ORDER is inspired by Hesiod’s didactic poem Works & Days, in particular, its telling of the Myth of Five Ages. Believed to have been written during the Ancient Greek agrarian crisis, a time of colonial expansion, debt-slavery and class war, Works & Days bears stark correlations to our present context. In this passage, Hesiod details the “race of iron”, an age where “men never rest from labour and sorrow by day, and from perishing by night”; an age in which “men will praise the evil-doer and his violent dealing”. DEMOCRACIA seize the central premise of Hesiod’s poem and transform it into a scathing discourse on the ills of contemporary society.
ORDER is a joint commission between a/political & Station Museum of Contemporary Art, produced with the assistance and support of CANADA, Rua Red Gallery and The Lobby.
DEMOCRACIA is an artistic collective comprised of Iván López & Pablo España based in Madrid, Spain. Formed in 2001, their collaboration seeks to centre artistic production on collectivity, discourse, dissensus and conflict. DEMOCRACIA’s work i scharacterised by their ambitious and provocative social interventions, superlative production, contemporary agitprop punk aesthetic and emancipatory content.Their projects reflect concerns with so-called progressive societies; visible in the increasing importance of the image and in the gradual incorporation of simulacrum into different realms of daily life. These concerns are expressed through forms subverting and repositioning the aesthetic material and textual rhetoric of Western political cultures. In so doing, their practise presents a radical critique of societal/political/economic institutions, systems and conventions.
DEMOCRACIA have exhibited their work internationally at institutions such as the Centre Pompidou, Malaga, Spain (2018); MUCEM, Marseille, France (2017); Kunstverein Freidberg, Germany (2016); Station Museum of Contemporary Art, USA (2014) Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC, USA (2012); Tapei Biennial, Taiwan (2008); & Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweeden (2007).
“Strong, Chilling, Right/Wrong. Whats next?”
“Fight the Power! Great Show!”
“We are the change!”
“Scary, capitalism at its most extreme. Take note governments and banks, there is a line in the sand.”
“Thank you so much. Fab! Fab! Amazing!”
“Great work, super installation!”
a/political is a not-for-profit organisation, collaborating with socio-political artists. a/political initiate, produce and tour large-scale projects world-wide. With offices based in London, a/political opened The Foundry in Maubourguet as an experimental art space, producing ambitious projects outside the controls of the contemporary art market. In addition, a/political acquires artworks for permanent installation at The Foundry to compliment the collection currently located in London. Recent collaborations include ‘Torture’ with Andres Serrano, ‘FORWARD’ with Erik Bulatov and ‘Black Flag’ with Santiago Sierra.
Station Museum of Contemporary Art is a Houston based exhibition forum for local, national, and international artists, with an emphasis on fine arts that reflects the cultural diversity of Houston’s communities. The museum has held comprehensive exhibitions from Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Congo, South Africa, Czech Republic, Austria, Palestine, Iraq, India, Afghanistan, and Russia. As an institution that supports local and Texas art, the Station has organized significant solo exhibitions by Mel Chin, James Drake, Dick Wray, Jesse Lott, George Smith, and group exhibitions that bring Texas artists together with national and international artists.