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The Protest that Never Ends
The theme of the Artisterium 2012

Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth. 
William Faulkner

Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence. 
Leonardo da Vinci


The Artisterium V, the annual international contemporary art exhibition and series of public art events, opens in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on October 5th, and runs through October 15, 2012.

“Artisterium” is an evolving curatorial platform. Each year, its overall theme always responds to timely social concerns, such as alternative ways of development (“Modus Operandi – in Quest of a Different Way”, 2008), changes on general and personal levels (“The Manifest of Changes and an Inner Experience”, 2009), artistic reflection on re-envisioning the future (“Imagine the Future”, 2010) and the willingness to embrace open-ended subjects as a way to critically engage with important social, political, urban, private and aesthetic issues (“Free Fall”, 2011).

The theme of the 2012 Artisterium V is “The Protest that Never Ends”. This theme offers an opportunity to research and showcase artistic and theoretical reflections on a wide range of PROTEST forms that we are currently experiencing globally. The show aims to provide a platform to explore what is worth protesting and how a creative work can become a “catalyst for changes”.

For the past several years we have witnessed many kinds of manifestations of dissent, objection or disapproval produced by various activists and social movements. However, “The Protest that Never Ends” offers a space for exploring protest in an imaginative mode, to find the ways of understanding ourselves and the world around us, to create sociability, to re-build the environment, to discover new aspects of daily life, to get engaged in a dialogue with community, each other and the issues defined by individual experience and personal choice.

“The Protest that Never Ends” attempts to look at on-going processes of permanent reconsideration and to find out what are their limits. Is it confined to the results of one particular action or a story? At which stage does protest become a fraction of the establishment?

“The Protest that Never Ends” looks for self-expression and forms of representation that push the boundaries between various media and disciplines to convey a particular cause or message, or to creatively disrupt a problematic system. Such protest forms occupy means of creative expression including performance, music, site-specific installations, graffiti and street art, signs, posters, even gestures and various graphic symbols. The Artisterium V events aim to highlight a state when a person or a group of people who are otherwise powerless to change or prevent something instead choose to protest as the only method to get heard, or to publicly express their beliefs or demands, in hopes of catalyzing change.   

At a time of diminishing cultural funding worldwide--and especially within the Republic of Georgia--it seems more urgent than ever to stimulate debate about the connection of creative practice to various current problems that we face daily. Protest is a critical subject to explore not only within the artistic community but also for and with wider public in Georgia or elsewhere. We believe that an initiative to highlight protest must originate through a non-governmental art institution like Artisterium, and this curatorial platform is our way to say that with reduced financial means we still manage to stay in the public eye and stimulate critical discourse pertaining to matters of contemporary importance and debate.