Nation State. Four Escape Strategies
Núria Güell

Four works by Nuria Güell, laid out in a maze of basements at MA3450, concern using the rules of the system (state and capitalism) against it. However, it is not just about the criticism of the current state of affairs, or revealing the mechanisms of power and systemic violence. What becomes much more important is creating alternatives: on the borders of the system and in its gaps and crevices, in order to install in the overtaken and transformed codes some micro utopias, the germs of new political and economic projects, and most importantly – new organisations. Stateless by Choice shows the way through the bureaucratic torment of the artist. The work illustrates the artist’s attempt to get rid of her citizenship, and as a result erase the brand of national identity and dispose of her rights and obligations towards the state. Meanwhile, Troika Fiscal Disobedience Consultancy and Degenerate Political Art use the mechanisms of fiscal paradises to create new organisational models that enable activist-efficient fiscal disobedience and go outside of the financial system of a state that operates as a tool at the services of global capitalism and its institutions (like the ECB or the IMF). Finally, How to expropriate money from the banks? is conceived as an instruction for citizens to use finance and economics, a set of guidelines to apply in their everyday lives to defeat the economic monster.  

 

All these works function simultaneously in two dimensions: on a speculative level that puts in motion our imagination and thinking, and on a very practical level that enables us to use the created manuals, instructions, plans, organisations and methods in very particular circumstances of our everyday lives. If we want to organise our future, we need to learn how to effectively operate within the system, in relation to the system and with it, and Nuria Güell’s works are an excellent starting point. Their additional value lies in the fact that they are not naively innocent, and the Spanish artist does not shy away from entangling, overtaking and using various power relations for their own undoing.

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