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What was this barricade made of? Of the ruins of three six-story houses, expressly demolished, some said. The wonder of all furies, said others. (...)

It was the improvisation of boiling. Look, this gate! This grid! This coverage! This chimney piece! This cracked pot! Bring it all, lay it all here!

Les Misérables, Victor Hugo

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Ahmet Öğüt, Bakunin's Barricade , 2015.

In 1849, when Prussian troops tried to defeat the socialist insurgency in Dresden, revolutionary anarchist Mikhail Bakunin suggested placing paintings from the National Museum's collection in front of the barricades, speculating that soldiers would not dare destroy the works and therefore pass through the barricade. In 2015 Ahmet Öğüt created a barricade using works from the Van Abbe collection. A document stipulates that the barricade can be requested and deployed by activists during future social upheavals.

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Ahmet Öğüt, Bakunin's Barricade , 2015.
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Kader Attia, On n'emprisonne pas les idées , 2018

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Kader Attia, Intifada: The Endless Rhizomes of Revolution , 2016

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Tools for Action, The Mirror Barricade // Die Spiegel Barrikade, 2016.  

 

  The work was conceived by the artistic/activist group Tools for Action and collectively constructed by citizens of the German city of Dortmund who demonstrated against the "German Future Day", the day when a group of neo-Nazis gathered in the city. The barricade protected the counter-demonstrators, functioning as a shield against neo-Nazi violence and police repression.

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A group of people walk in a line carrying mirrors on which are written with electrical tape chasing interjections