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Bedtime for Democracy presented by Kounosuke Kawakami Laboratory

June 26–September 25, 2022

Artists: Leticia Agudo, Nuotama Bodomo, Lizzie Borden, Bread & Puppet Theater, Wendy Brown, Naomi Klein, Toshio Matsumoto, Martha Rosler, Winston Smith, Heiny Srour.

The exhibition Bedtime for Democracy has been announced by Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts’ Kounosuke Kawakami Laboratory.

On their album “Bedtime for Democracy”, the American punk rock band The Dead Kennedys shouted that they were living in “Babylon’s mirage conveyor belt of fleshdunce” in “electric fences for those prison camps they call homelands,” which sang of the unsung complicity of democracy and capitalism.

The album named for this exhibition is a critique of Reaganomics, neo-liberalism, war, information overload, the entertainment business (leisure and consumption), and machoism and its phony uprising. It is based on the 1951 comedy Bedtime for Bonzo, starring Ronald Reagan. At the same time, it conveys a concern for marginalized groups like queer people and migrants.

The project will showcase an exhibition by ten artists, activists, and philosophers with these viewpoints in mind. The artwork raises awareness to those who are marginalized and whose voices are silenced by the contemporary critique of democracy’s decision-making process. It also suggests a breakdown in the political mythology of democracy. Additionally, from a geopolitical standpoint, the study examines how power is distributed and shared across groups, beginning with popular disobedience, and investigates how we might reclaim the sovereignty that neoliberal ideas have robbed democracy of. We’ll also examine the conversion of democracy into a politics of resistance.

The Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts now employs artist, researcher, curator, and associate professor Kounosuke Kawakami. His curatorial strategy focuses on artistic practices, the exhibition format as a means of reinterpreting past contexts into the present, and artists who utilize their work to challenge current political and social perspectives.

Exhibitions include: PUNK! The Revolution of Everyday Life 2021, Reinventing the ‘F’ Word – Feminism! 2020; Guerrilla Girls, Solar: A Meltdown, 2020; Ho Rui An, Solar: A Meltdown 2020, Anton Vidokle, Russian Cosmism: Trilogy 2019.

KAG 1-2-3 Achi, Kurashiki, Okayama. 10am–5pm June 26–Aug 28, 2022.
BUoY 49-11 Senjyunakacho, Adachi-ku, Tokyo. 11am–7pm Sep 17–Sep 25, 2022.
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