October 4, 2009 - PAVILION UNICREDIT center for contemporary art & culture - EXPLORING THE RETURN OF REPRESSION
October 4, 2009


Thomas Hirschhorn, Where do I stand ? What do I want ?. Publication, 96 pages, 2007 (detail).

September 10 – November 22, 2009

Curator: Răzvan Ion

center for contemporary art & culture
Sos. Nicolae Titulescu 1 (Piata Victoriei)
Bucharest 011131 Romania
T: + 4 031 103 4131
E: pavilion [​at​] pavilionmagazine.org


Participants: Luke Fowler (GB), Jean Genet (FR), Hanif Kureishi (GB), Thomas Hirschhorn (CH), Renzo Martens (NL/CG), Alex Mirutziu (RO), Naeem Mohaiemen (BD), Sebastian Moldovan (RO), Taller Popular De Serigrafia (AR), Colm Toibin (IE), Michel Tournier (FR), Pavilion Resource Room (RO).

“The return of the repressed” is a crucial theme, a key to understanding recent history. “The project of the West, the Nietzschean project, has been to drive out religion and to produce a secular society in which men and women make their own values, because morality is gone”, writes Hanif Kureishi, British writer of Pakistani descent. “Then suddenly radical religion returns from the Third World. How can you not laugh at that? How can you not find that a deep historical irony?”

The return of the repressed is the process whereby repressed elements, preserved in the unconscious, tend to reappear, in consciousness or in behavior, in the shape of secondary and more or less unrecognizable “derivatives of the unconscious.” This return of the repressed, of ideologies forced to marginalization, of sexuality subject to forced secrecy, has resulted, in recent years, in an almost dramatic change of a society filled with anguish, hallucinations, repression imposed by unnecessary regulations that serve to the repressive violence of governments against their own citizens.

Repression as a conscious and voluntary psychological process, consisting of giving up the fulfillment of a desire which is not in full accord with the moral being, leads to the annihilation and alienation of the simplest desires and rebellions.

The main apprehension is now the model of a new international division of labour. This concept has apparently been borrowed by the capitalist leaders from the old socialists, and it is actually hiding something even harsher, something that will bring forth the strengthening of the state as instrument of repression. The new international division of labour is a more important issue to discuss than others, because it is, perhaps, the most important cause of both the political and the civil repression.

On the other hand, if we examine carefully the present legal system, it is reveal itself as a revolting system, supporting the class exploitation, the radicalization of the chasm among social classes and the supremacy of the white heteronormative and macho-patriarchal majority. The legal system supports the creation of the political obedience and it deals with the adjustment of the value of work. Actually, it protects the capital creation and a type of legal inequity.

In order to understand the main effects of the state violence, we also have to consider the alternative: the social assistance for the poor and for the working class. Frances Fox-Piven and Richard Cloward wrote in New Class War: “the connection between the income maintenance programs, the labour market and profits is indirect, but not complicated”. Too much social democracy will make people stop being grateful for low wages and poor work conditions. Thus, even with the converse, the link between state repression, labour market and profits is not complicated at all.

Repression manages poverty. Poverty depresses wages. Low wages increase the rate of exploitation and create profit. Which is the main purpose of the state. (Excerpt from Răzvan Ion, “Exploring the return of repression” in the newspaper “Exploring the return of repression”).

Discursive Events: Urban Larssen (SE), Sina Najafi (USA), Alex Mirutziu (RO), Cosmin Marian (RO), Sebastian Moldovan (RO).

Publication/Newspaper: 32 pages, 31,5 x 42 cm, b/w, english, distributed for free.

With texts by Andrei Crăciun (RO), Tatiana Greif (SI), Daraka Larimore Hall (NO), Răzvan Ion (RO), Rolling Thunder (USA), Ronald F. King (USA), Urban Larssen (SE), Jose Louis Meiras (AR), Suzana Milevska (MK), Naiem Mohaiemen (BD), Maria Eva Blotta & Diego Posadas (AR), Eugen Rădescu (RO), Michel Tournier (FR).

With special booklet insert by Taller Popular De Serigrafia (AR).

Assistant curator: Silvia Vasilescu

For free download of the publications


center for contemporary art & culture

Sos. Nicolae Titulescu 1 (Piata Victoriei)
Bucharest 011131 Romania
T: + 4 031 103 4131
E: pavilion@pavilionmagazine.org


PAVILION UNICREDIT is a center for contemporary art & culture, a work-in-progress independent space, a space for the production and research in the fields of audiovisual, discursive and performative. It is a space of the critical thinking, and it promotes an artistic perspective implying the social and political involvement of the art and of the cultural institutions.

This is a project by PAVILION – journal for politics and culture.


PAVILION, BUCHAREST BIENNALE and PAVILION UNICREDIT are projects devised and founded by Răzvan Ion and Eugen Rădescu

PAVILION UNICREDIT center for contemporary art & culture
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York