Image Acts of Insurrection

Starting from a historical survey by the Arsenale Institute—a research group which has long been engaged in projects related to visual arts as well as the critical analysis of the politics of representation—the exhibition Barrikadenwetter. Image Acts of Insurrection explores the construction, concept and iconography of the barricade, from its beginnings in the late Renaissance to present times, tracing its historical connections with the roots of the 20th century avant-garde.


Besides presenting the reflections of theorists and strategists, the collection spans from the first appearance of the term “barricade” in the Commentaires de messier Blaise de Montluc in 1592 to early engravings showing barrel constructions and metal chains, and finally to Charles- François Thibault’s first daguerreotypes documenting a barricade in Paris in 1848. A rich repertoire of manuals, plans, maps, postcards and newspapers provides an overview of different political perspectives. Three focuses are dedicated to the significant contribution made by the Situationists to the Paris student revolt of 1968, the documentation of the barricades in Rome during the same year by photojournalist Rodrigo Pais, and the metaphorical representation of barricades in popular culture. A selection of these materials follows.