When 6 Sep 2019 - 23 Oct 2019
Where Twelve Gates Arts
106 N. 2nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
United States
Enquiry 215.253.8578

Twelve Gates Arts and HEKLER are pleased to present Clear-Hold-Build, a group exhibition with an accompanying series of public programs that examine the lasting trauma of global counterinsurgency. Clear-Hold-Build will be on view from September 6 – October 23, 2019. An official opening event will take place on September 13, featuring a round-table discussion with participating artists and guests moderated by curator Shimrit Lee. Clear-Hold-Build is co-curated and produced by Shimrit Lee and HEKLER, an artist-run collaborative platform founded by Joshua Nierodzinski and Nataša Prljević.

Clear-Hold-Build takes its name from a counterinsurgency strategy in which military personnel clear an area of insurgents, sustain that expulsion by physical barriers, and then win support of the populace for the government and its policies. While its core tactics have deep historical precedents in colonial strategies of pacification and control, General David Petraeus outlined the strategy most explicitly in his 2007 Field Manual on Counterinsurgency Operations, which informed the US-led surge in Iraq and the War in Afghanistan.

By surveying the impact of this style of asymmetric, low-intensity conflict over the past seven decades, artists in Clear-Hold-Build reclaim denied spaces and narratives while drawing unexpected connections across time and space. Clear-Hold-Build features works by: Bisan Abu-Eisheh, Dena Al-Adeeb, Shabir Ahmed Baloch, Samia Henni, Khaled Jarrar, Vladimir Miladinović, The Propeller Group, Farideh Sakhaeifar, and Hồng-Ân Trương. Employing a variety of media (painting, video, audio, installation, and performance), research methodologies, and social practices, the artists in Clear-Hold-Build take an expansive approach to counterinsurgency. Each artist recognizes the historical specificity of the doctrine as it has manifested in his or her location of origin, including Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Pakistan, Vietnam, and Former Yugoslavia. Simultaneously, they illuminate its continued function as a global governing paradigm.

Image courtesy of the event organizer.

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