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  • Writer's pictureJo Sutherst

Positions and Practice – Soulevements / Uprisings – Reflection

Visit to Jeu de Paume, Paris to see the Uprising exhibition.


Figure 1: Sutherst 2016

A multi-disciplined exhibition. Uprisings is based around the theme of human gestures of rising up against the world or to raising up the world and to imply a better world.

The exhibition is an interesting and thought provoking mix that includes photographs, paintings, drawings, video installations and posters amongst others.  There is no delineation of the mediums.

There is a sequence throughout the exhibition:-


  • The elements become unleashed, time falls out of joint.

  • And if the imagination made mountains rise up


  • From burden to uprising.

  • With hammer blows.

  • Arms rise up.

  • The pasión.

  • When bodies say no.

  • Mouths for exclaiming.


  • Poetic insurrections.

  • The message of the butterflies.

  • Newspapers.

  • Making a book of resistance.

  • The walls speak up.


  • To go on strike is not to do nothing.

  • Demonstrating, showing oneself.

  • Vandal joys.

  • Building barricades.

  • Dying from injustice.


  • The hope of one condemned to death.

  • Mothers rise up.

  • They are your own children.

  • They who go through walls.

The exhibition is jam packed with visual stimulus and I became immersed in the messages of each section. I recorded all the section titles as above.  Some sections were difficult for me to view.  I was particularly uncomfortable viewing an image depicting soldiers firing over the top of a makeshift barricade made from the stacked bodies of dead horses.  As a horse owner and equine photographer, the thought of horses dying in a human conflict is abhorrent to me.

An image showing children playing ‘war’ was truly horrifying to me.  The children were playing firing squad.  3 children stood on rocks playing the part of the condemned prisoners. Others faced them playing the part of the firing squad.  Some were hooded. I struggle to comprehend a situation where this subject is so commonplace that the children reenact the scene as play.

Photographs are not allowed to be taken inside the exhibition, so I chose to purchase the catalogue to study and digest further. This was important for me to do because the exhibition content disturbed me at times. I intend to sit down and study some of these images further to understand my strong negative feelings towards the imagery.  I hope that this will be helpful to my project development and enable me to make sure that my images are received in a positive manner in keeping with my subject. I intend to blog at a later point on my findings.

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