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May 4, 2017 at 7:30 pm

Emergency Turned Upside Down

Discussion following the screening with Oliver Ressler, Yates Mckee and Olga Kopenkina

Can European politics be analyzed from the point of view of Syrian refugees? In our debate on borders, migration, and refugees, how do we use the word “emergency”? Do refugees create “the state of emergency,” when crossing national borders, or do state policies put the world on the edge?  Two new works by Oliver Ressler refer to the migration and flight that war and conflict in Syria (and other states) have set in motion. 


Emergency Turned Upside Down

16 min., 2016

The film “Emergency Turned Upside-Down” addresses the cynical and inhuman discourse that sees the presence of refugees in Europe as a state of “emergency,” although this term really should be reserved for war, terror, or economic strangulation – the very reasons that lead people to leave their homes.

There Are No Syrian Refugees in Turkey

30 min., 2016

There Are No Syrian Refugees in Turkey” is Oliver Ressler’s most recent film, made on the occasion of his solo exhibition at SALT Galata in Istanbul. It consists of interviews with Syrian refugees combined with the long single shots taken in Istanbul. Quietly reversing the entire perspective of the “refugee debate”, the film develops a political analysis of Turkey’s and EU’s policies from the standpoint of Syrian refugees.

There Are No Syrian Refugees In Turkey” is the US premiere.

46 min


Oliver Ressler, a Vienna-based artist and filmmaker, produces installations, projects in public space, and films on issues such as economics, democracy, global warming, forms of resistance and social alternatives. Solo exhibitions: Berkeley Art Museum, USA; Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum, Egypt; Wyspa Institute of Art, Gdansk; Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz; MNAC – National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest; SALT Galata, Istanbul. A director of 27 films, Ressler is the first prize winner of the Prix Thun for Art and Ethics Award in 2016. More information at: www.ressler.at


Olga Kopenkina is a Belarus-born, New York-based independent curator and art critic. Her curatorial projects and exhibitions include Feminism is Politics!, at Pratt Manhattan gallery, 2016; Future Queer Perfect (co-curated with Yevgeniy Fiks) at Station Independent Project, 2016; Lenin Icebreaker Revisited, Austrian Cultural Forum NY, 2014-2015; program of films Feminism is Politics!, Brussels, Belgium, 2013; Sound of Silence: Art during Dictatorship, EFA Project Space, NY, 2012; Properly Past, BRIC Rotunda gallery, Brooklyn 2008; It’s not paranoia when they are really after you, film program at apex art, NY, 2007; Russia: Significant Other, Anna Akhmatova Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia, 2006; Post-Diasporas: Voyages and Missions at the First Moscow Biennale, Moscow, 2005. Kopenkina is a contributor to publications such as Art Journal, Moscow Art Magazine, ArtMargins, Manifesta Journal, Modern Painters, Afterimage, and others. She teaches at Department of Media, Culture and Communication, in Steinhardt School at New York University.


Yates Mckee is an art historian whose work has appeared in venues including October, Grey Room, Art Journal, and The Nation. His is the author of Strike Art: Contemporary Art and the Post-Occupy Condition (Verso, 2016), and has worked with projects including Strike Debt, GULF and Decolonize This Place.

Who's Attending

8 people are attending Emergency Turned Upside Down

  • Duncan Ranslem
  • omar vaid
  • Jim Costanzo
  • timothy rochford
  • Adele Eisenstein
  • Riccardo Valsecchi
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May 4, 2017
7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Free – $10.00


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
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