Ross Birrell at Cobra museum | 19/02/11 – 08/05/11

¡Patria o Libertad! On Patriotism, Immigration and Populism

¡Patria o Libertad! is an exhibition with a critical perspective about an important challenge of our time: the general rise of patriotism and nationalism. Patriotism takes different forms, some of which are benign and comforting, while others are disturbing in their intolerance. In a time in which the combination of immigration, globalization and economic recession is generating problems worldwide, it is important to take a critical look at the concepts of patriotism and nationalism. The way we engage with nationalism and patriotism is one of the greatest challenges of our time. In the international group exhibition, ¡Patria o Libertad!, contemporary artists use video works to investigate different forms of patriotism.

The exhibition includes four segments:

Love Thy Anthem – includes a series of video art works whose subjects are folk songs and other musical pieces that have important roles in patriotic narratives.
The artists are Adel Abidin (Iraq/Finland), Nezaket Ekici (Turkey/Germany), Karlo Ibarra (Puerto Rico), Kaoru Katayama (Japan/Spain) and Santiago Sierra (Spain).

Fly Your Flag – several performances with leitmotifs in which the flag reappears as a patriotic accoutrement.
The artists are Marc Bijl (Netherlands), Ross Birrell (Scotland), Jen DeNike (United States), Johanna Reich (Germany) and Krisdy Shindler (Canada).

Honour the Hero – includes works that revolve around a range of heroes and personalities with patriotic associations, past and present.
The artists are ANTUAN (Cuba/United States), Alexander Apóstol (Venezuela/Spain), Ivän Candeo (Venezuela), DEMOCRACIA (Spain), Carlos Motta (Columbia/United States) and Katri Walker (Scotland).

Tell Us a Story – investigates stories from the contemporary discourse about patriotism.
The artists are Maja Bajevic (Bosnia), Yael Bartana (Israel), Emilio Chapela (Mexico), Elena Kovylina (Russia), Shahzia Sikander (Pakistan) and José Angel Toirac (Cuba).