‘THE STATE: The Coming Insurrection’ – Vol 1.

Traffic, Dubai

November 23, 2011

10 November2011–7 January 2012

179 Umm Suqeim Rd
PO Box 6716 Dubai, UAE
Sat–Thu, 10am–7pm
T +9714 347 0209


“It’s useless to wait-for a breakthrough, for the revolution, the nuclear apocalypse or a social movement. To go on waiting is madness. The catastrophe is not coming, it is here. We are already situated within the collapse of a civilization. It is within this reality that we must choose sides.”
—The Coming Insurrection

THE STATE presents a group exhibition, held at Traffic, which takes its title from the book ‘The Coming Insurrection’ (2007) by The Invisible Committee. The show is a continuation of ‘THE STATE’, a socio-historical journal & forum, and a symbolic transition from the last exhibition ‘Social/Antisocial?’, which dealt with socialization and the current state of people and behavior.

The exhibition is a response to the causes of discontent, namely mass injustice, corruption and greed in our societies and world at large. It calls for a paradigm shift of human expression, to prevent an emerging social condition. It is not a call to arms but an attempt to get people thinking about the global transmutation that surrounds them.

The Invisible Committee is the collective pen-name for a small group of French post- Situationist intellectuals and academics, who in 2007 authored The Coming Insurrection, and in 2008 were arrested in France on charges of terrorism. The Coming Insurrection is a commentary on contemporary society and the building revolt against governmental and economic oppression. It references collapsing economies, crashing monetary systems, corrupted democracies, environmental degradation, global crises, riots, protests and above all, a moral and social decay.

People all around the world have witnessed the collapse of a system, a disintegrating modern social order. Which may just be getting worse. As Mark Twain once said, ‘History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.’ Despite glimmers of hope for change, through the likes of Barack Obama’s 2008 political campaign, we are still in a dire state.

We have recently seen the revolutionary Arab Spring, American Fall, riots and looting in London, among other communal uprisings. ‘The inviolable laws of humanity dictate that you can only push a man so far before he has no choice but to fight back. People all over the world are almost at that breaking point. Many have already reached it.’ [1]

As Rami Farook, Emirati curator & social–historian, puts it “The works presented share the perspective of The Coming Insurrection and deal with reasons for the current social condition, illustrating examples of it, and providing remedies. Similar to the book, many of the works touch on aspects of the self, social relations, work, the economy, urbanity, the environment, and civilization, while searching for a social solution to the present. It is our duty as citizens, activists, mentors, monitors and advisors to raise a clamour to change the conditions. By being warned, the insurrection might be prevented. An uprising is one thing, a successful revolution is another.”

The Coming Insurrection includes works by the following artists: Allora & Calzadilla, Banksy, Ahmed Bouholaigah, Arnaud Brihay, James Clar, Wim Delvoye, Abdulnasser Gharem, Pascal Hachem, Rokni Haerizadeh, Aman Mojadidi, Jean-Luc Moulene, Hesam Rahmanian, Hamza Serafi, David Shrigley, Roman Signer, UBIK, Douglas White, Dan Witz and Akram Zaatari.


‘THE STATE’ is a socio-historical journal and forum, documenting the state of the world today. It observes, documents and shares, presenting a platform for dialogue and exchange.  The inaugural exhibition at Traffic, ‘THE STATE’ (2010), questioned the socio-political state of fear post September 11th, followed by ‘Uppers & Downers’ (2011) which ran a commentary on the global economic condition from 2007–2010, with the city of Dubai as a focal point. The next installment was ‘Social/Antisocial?’, which dealt with socialization and the present state of people and behavior. The latest exhibition, ‘The Coming Insurrection’, is a response to the causes of discontent, namely mass injustice, corruption and greed in our societies and world at large. www.thestate.ae


[1] Qrswave blog