Taking place at the Impact Festival in Utrecht (2003), the idea for this De Geuzen project started when a well-known president declared an infamous divide:
“YOU ARE EITHER WITH US OR AGAINST US”
This made us wonder about how such polemics could be cracked apart and possibly subverted to create more flexible alliances. We were looking for a system that could not only be used during the prelude to the war but also in other situations of protest.
We started playing with a minimal collection of pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, and punctuation, which could be configured to form alliances and for that matter divides.
NOT, FOR, US, THEM, YOU, ALL, ME, WITH, BUT, OR, !, ?, .
In and of themselves, the words were neutral but depending on the speaker, context, and configuration, they gained resonance.
We silkscreened the words onto various textiles and created a sewing station at the Impact Festival in Utrecht.
Working with different groups of teenage students, we were reminded that while issues of solidarity and belonging are political, they are also intimate, shaping the very image we have of ourselves within our community or peer group.