The idea for this project started when a well-known president declared an infamous divide: “YOU ARE EITHER WITH US OR AGAINST US”.
This made us wonder about how such polemics could be cracked apart and possibly subverted to create more flexible alliances. We were looking for a system which could not only be used during the prelude to the war but also in other situations of protest.
We started playing with a minimal collection of pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions and punctuation, which could be configured to form alliances and for that matter divides.
NOT, FOR, US, THEM, YOU, ALL, ME, WITH, BUT, OR, !, ?, .
In and of themselves, the words were neutral but depending on the speaker, context and configuration, they gained resonance.
We silkscreened the words on to various textiles, and created a sewing station at the Impact Festival in Utrecht.
Working with different groups of teenage students, we were reminded that while issues of solidarity and belonging are political, they are also intimate, shaping the very image we have of ourselves within our community or peer group.
To view the project on the Geuzen site go Fripperies and Trimmings
The project is also discussed in an essay called Contaminating Spaces
Another related workshop was held at Atel in Antwerp. You can view that project here.