International artists suggest forms of direct action to help create a better world.


Preview: Thursday 4 November 6:00 - 8:00pm 


"A few small hints... a few nudges can help a lot... Libertarian paternalists should attempt to steer people's choices in welfare-promoting directions. 'Choice architecture' can be established to nudge us in beneficial directions.." From Nudge, Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler, 2008.


Harun Farocki (Berlin), Peter Watkins (Felletin, France), Gailan Abdullah Ismail (Erbil, Iraq), Rainer Ganahl (New York), Vinca Petersen (Kent), Stuffit (Bristol), Anna McCarthy (Munich), Baptiste Debombourg (Paris), Keetra Dean Dixon (New York), Robin Bhattacharya (Zurich), The Economist, King Mob (London), Misteraitch (Sunderland), The Diggers (San Francisco), The Open Council, Fiona Bimson (Northumberland)


‘Hints to Workmen’ takes its theme from two texts that have aimed to improve the lives of ordinary working people. ‘Hints to Workmen’ is the title of an educational pamphlet written when capitalism was in crisis – the mid-1840s. Its ideas seem to strangely parallel recent political advertising campaigns, and the book ‘Nudge’ beloved of current leaders on both sides of the Atlantic. Both ‘Nudge’ and ‘Hints to Workmen’ suggest that “libertarian paternalists” in positions of power should provide their people with “hints” as to how best to live.


The exhibition offers a sequence of ‘hints’ that international artists suggest will help shape a better world. It brings together documentation of interventions that artists have realised in public spaces, and in the wider public sphere. The works examine the possibilities for new forms of direct action from producing your own currency to inventing your own subculture. The exhibition asks us to re-imagine, what our “collective ideals [are] around which we can gather, around which we can get angry together, around which we can be motivated collectively?” to use historian Tony Judt’s recent words.


Baptiste Debombourg, still from ' Babybottle 45 Sequence '



© teaser 6mn HDV / Baptiste Debombourg & Antoine Melchior / Patricia Dorfmann Gallery Edition - Paris 2008


Babybottle 45 is the first sequence of the documentary dealing with the “T.C.S.” (Traîne Cul Surprise*) concept based on a half-car. Jean-Marie Lancelot, boss of a small earthwork company and Jean Claude Taburet, machine driver, are explaining their passion for this unusual sport. Thanks to their testimonies, we are getting access to the inside of this original car invention. At the heart of the french countryside, a mechanical wave is uprising. During the time of the conversation we can discover this new universe, characterized by the mutual aid and the generosity of its role players. These mechanic-drivers constitute a very human community, concerned with breaking the social limits of our contemporary world. Disliked and borrowed? at the same time, the half-car is disrupting the automobile's symbol. Its practice indeed makes us wonder about the sense of the values and the representations of our current society.


*literally “Drag Bottom Surprise”


Full movie release March 2011 / directors Baptiste Debombourg & Antoine Melchior / Ukoso production/ Patricia Dorfmann Gallery / Art Center Duplex/10m2 Sarajevo

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