Zero Tolerance

By Daniela Pimentel

MoMA PS1 has on display what could easily be called the most revolt-centric exhibition of the year. Zero Tolerance is a show focused on the documentation, interpretation, mechanics, and aesthetics of protest. From static pieces like Joseph Beuys’ Democracy is Merry print of the 70s here in the US to video footage of Pussy Riot’s “Punk Prayer” of 2013 on loop, the exhibition spans a wide geography and a variety of issues under the engaging and enraging umbrella of revolution. A room of 20 screens by the artist Artur Zmijewski depicts various assemblies, formal political and religious statements by different leaders, and general protest from Palestine to Poland. Though headphones are hung for separate monitors, there exists a cacophony of resistance and revolt audible even when listening to an individual channel. The best piece (and one of the most critically acclaimed) is East Side Story (2006-2008) by Igor Gubric. Two projected channels come together in a corner of an empty gallery. On the left, gay-pride parades in Serbia and Croatia reveal a ferocious backlash of anti-gay and neo-Nazi groups attacking parade participants both verbally and physically in television footage so vicious that it’s hard to tear your eyes away. The documentation is paired with four dance performances in the same locations as the parades by dancers responding to the first channel footage. A stunning pairing of the documentary and the interpretive, Zero Tolerance is up at PS1 through April 13.


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