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PS: Parolen.Slogans (PS: Paroles.Slogans)
Readings of a society
An interdisciplinary project on the topic of social mass movement
Theater Nestroyhof Vienna, as part of the Month of Photography Vienna

"Yes, we can" - three simple words from Barack Obama used to mobilize his voters. Who hasn't heard via TV or the Internet, "You tube" or "Twitter", one of the "choirs of voters" of thousands upon thousands of Americans who repeatedly chanted this "Yes, we can" to express their collective will - and determination - for a "change", a rethink of the political and ruling conditions. Comparable to "We are the people", the slogan of the Monday demonstrations in the GDR, which brought the change in the East 20 years ago, or, like "Sieg Heil" or "Judah die", called for war and murder during the Nazi era. Positive and negative slogans. In any case they influence the audience. Especially in their concise form, which does not allow differentiation, they have a strong effect in any case.
Political mass movements are dependent on simple "strong" slogans. Slogans with pathos. But what happens when the times of excitement are over, when pathos and euphoria are gone? When people find themselves back in a reality where the individual has little freedom of choice? Yes, we can?
The optimistic slogan of the Obama voters gave the impulse for this photography project. The starting point is to question what happens if you take this "Yes, we can" at its word. If you ask: what can we actually do? Is this "Yes, we can" just a phrase that, like the myth of the American dream, serves as a sedative for the dissatisfied? On the other hand, does not every action also need an illusion, according to Nietzsche? Or is, according to Wittgenstein, language a witchcraft of the mind?
The invited artists dealt with the topic of the (un)conscious influence of advertising, political slogans and paroles and developed artistic answers to political, social and media banalities. In this context, the mechanisms of commercial advertising were also examined, which with their slogans, images and colours force the consumer's grip on the product. The aim was to bring forth a broad cultural-political dialogue with regard to phrases that shape our socio-political life and know how to manipulate us.
Artists from the fields of photography, video, multimedia art and installation took part.

List of the participating artists*:
Klaus Staeck (D), Evan Roth (AU), Lichtfaktor (D), Pipilotti Rist (CH), Helena Almeida (PT,ES), Jacques Villeglé (FR), Raimond Hains (FR), François Dufrêne (FR), Anna Mitterer (AT), G.R.A.M (AT), Nora Denes (HU), Christa Zauner (AT)