Subversive Characters

As a reaction to globalisation, consumerism and suppressive systems we are interested in critical and sustainable tendencies, social uprisings and antiauthoritarian practices. We want to explore various european cities by researching and portraying alternate systems and subcultural strategies.

We are interested in the individuals involved in counter-movements, so they will be the focus of our investigations and photographic portraits. The different characters will be represented by important objects of their subversive practices. These items will be arranged to display the form of a Latin letter. So the human characters will be represented by typographic characters formed out of their personal belongings …

The aim of this artistic research project is to collect 26 characters in order to generate a European alphabet of subversion.

As we are following an anti-elitists approach to art, the letter forms of each city will be printed on posters or flyers to spread them locally and exhibit them in public space.

In February 2015 we’ve been artists in residence in the city of Tartu (Estonia) to investigate the local scene of subversive thinkers, resulting in the letters A (portraying Siim Vatalin), B (portraying Ilmar Part) and C (portraying Fideelia Signe Roots). In June 2018 we’ve had an exhibition at Mz* Baltazars Laboratory (Vienna) to present the next letters of the alphabet – D (Willy*Fred house project), E (Mz* Baltazar’s Laboratory) and F (Omas Gegen Rechts / Grandmas against right). In February 2019 we’ve done letter G (OPO’Lab / Precious Plastic Portugal) in Portugal. We continued our research in Český Krumlov (Czech Republic) during an Artist in Residence stay in July 2019.

On www.subversive-characters.com we are building a platform of all portrayed subversive characters.

A (Siim Vatalin, Estonia), 2015
B (Ilmar Part / Tartu Experimental Cycle Works NGO, Estonia), 2015
C (Fideelia Signe Roots, Estonia), 2015
D (Willy*Fred, Austria), 2018
E (Mz* Baltazar’s Laboratory, Austria) 2018
F (Omas Gegen Rechts / Grannies against the Right, Austria), 2018
G (OPO’Lab / Precious Plastic Portugal, Portugal), 2019
H (Prádelna, Czech Republic), 2019

2015 / Artists in Residence, Tartu AiR (Trükimuuseum, Tartu, Estonia)
2015 / exhibition “Subversive Characters A, B, C”, Trükimuuseum (Tartu, Estonia)
2018 / exhibition “Subversive Characters A–F”, Mz* Baltazars Laboratory (Vienna, Austria)
2019, July / Artists in Residence, OÖ Gastatelier, Egon-Schiele-Art-Centrum (Český Krumlov, Czech Republic)