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Book launch + Opening: Burning Images / Gazes from Syria

15 March 2022, Amsterdam

  • Book launch of Florian Göttke's Burning Images
  • Opening of Göttke's exhibition “Gazes From Syria: Eleven Years Of Uprising / Multi-Sided Civil, Sectarian and Proxy War”

What: Book launch
With: Florian Göttke
Where: Art History Department of the University of Amsterdam, BG2, Turfdraagsterpad 15-17, 1012 XT Amsterdam, 1st and 2nd floor.
When: Tuesday 15 March, 16:30
Admission: Free

An exhibition of Florian Göttke's project “Gazes From Syria: Eleven Years Of Uprising / Multi-Sided Civil, Sectarian and Proxy War”.

And the book launch of Burning Images: A History of Effigy Protest, Valiz, 2021.

The exhibition is open to the general public every Wednesday 14:30 - 17:30 and by appointment (contact Florian Göttke).


Burning Images
Effigy hanging and burning, a specific theatrical form of political protest, has become increasingly visible in the news media, particularly in protests against United States military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, in US domestic politics, and in the Arab Spring. Taking these events as points of departure, Göttke investigates the conditions of this visual genre of protest, its roots and genealogies in a number of countries, its aesthetics and politics.

Effigy protests communicate communal outrage over perceived injustice. Hanging and burning effigies is an archaic and ritualistic form of protest, yet it is effectively communicated through global news media and social media, mediated, and used trans-nationally. The book contains two interacting narratives: text (seven chapters) and a parallel montage of images. It delves deeply into the different practices, iconologies, rituals, protest and media strategies, as well as into politics and concludes with a reflection on how the effigy protests act as a symptom of fundamental conflicts at the limits of contemporary liberal democracy.

With many images from the United States, Iraq, Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan, and many other areas.

Gazes from Syria
The work "Gazes from Syria" consists of a series of posters with “portraits” of people caught up in the war in Syria collected from the International New York Times. The posters show people who look directly into the camera. Their gazes make the apparatus of the news media visible, addresses us, the Western reader/viewer, and reminds us of our involvement in this ongoing brutal conflict. 

Florian Göttke is a visual artist, researcher, and writer based in Amsterdam. He combines visual modes of research (collecting, close reading, and image montage) with academic research to investigate the functioning of public images and their relationship to social memory and politics. Göttke has exhibited internationally, has written articles for academic journals and art publications. His book Toppled, an iconological study of the toppled statues of Saddam Hussein, was nominated for the Dutch Doc Award 2011.