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Book Presentation: Burning Images

26 March 2022, Bergamo

  • Florian Göttke will present his new book Burning Images at Dutch Art Institute's Roaming Academy in Bergamo, Italy
  • Part of the public lecture series How To Undo Things With Theory

What: Book Presentation
When: 26 March 2022, 18:00—19:00
With: Florian Göttke
Where: LAB80, Via Daste e Spalenga, 13, Bergamo, Italy
Organised by: Dutch Art Institute
Language: English
Entry: free | no reservations | mask wearing obligatory

Burning Images: A History of Effigy Protests 
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. 

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.

The symposium 'How To Undo Things With Theory' will bring students, tutors and the public in conversation around a variety of themes and topics of contemporary relevance to the thinking of art in the world. To this aim the members of the tutorial team of 'How To Do Things With Theory' will generously share their emerging research.