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A Vocabulary of Revolutionary Gestures

Rosenfeld’s work addresses the relationship between specific historical events and contemporary scenarios of political action, and the potential for political change. Using archival material from the history of the state socialisms of Eastern Europe and their forms of dissidence, as well as her own biographical investment in these, she reworks the juncture between the utopian promise of the political project of communism and the concrete mechanisms of its failure, as a space from where to reconstruct concepts of the Political for the present day.
Her thesis project “A Vocabulary of Revolutionary Gestures” builds on this research and consists of a video work, performance, and text that circle around a video clip from a revolutionary assembly in East Berlin in 1989, and a few documents from other situations of revolution or protest. Gestures, movements, and body parts taken from these are developed into abstracted filmic or performative interventions that address the body as the site and archive of the political event. Can something of the experience of a past revolution persist in the body as potentiality, even after a revolution has failed or become closed down in representation, re-institutionalisation, and historiography? Can we re-construct a non-essentialist, intersubjective concept of the body as political – as a disruptive force that can open up spaces of openness again and again, across time?