Anguish and Enthusiasm

Exploring contrasting perspectives and observations from Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia and beyond.

By Matthew Tyas | 10 April 2013

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Anguish and Enthusiasm: What Do You Do With Your Revolution Once You’ve Got It (13 April – 18 August 2013)

Preview: 6.00pm, 12 April 2013 (free, just turn up)
Curators’ and Artists’ Tour: 2.00pm, 13 April 2013 (free, booking required)


Cornerhouse is delighted to present Anguish and Enthusiasm, an extraordinary group exhibition of new and recent contemporary art investigating post-revolutionary periods and events. Exploring contrasting perspectives and observations from Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia and beyond, the exhibition considers politics, change and those who were lost along the way.

Artist Film Forums:
Artists Film Forum #1, Sat 13 April 6.30pm, £3/£2.50:
Why I don’t speak Serbian (in Serbian) – Phil Collins
November – Hito Steyerl (
Zagreb Milkmaids on Your Right Hand Side – Kristina Leko

Artist Film Forum #2, Sat 18 May 6pm, £3/£2.50:
Bühne – Daniel Kötter
Incident Urbain – John Lalor + Q&A
Minus ten anarchocommunistic minutes – Zbyněk Baladrán

Featuring new commissions by Sarah Pierce, Andreas Bunte, Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnec and Trust Your Struggle (mural already visible on the outside of cinema 1, Whitworth Street West) alongside existing work by an array of acclaimed artists including Eoghan McTigue, Pocas Pascoal and Jun Yang, Anguish and Enthusiasm will be accompanied by two Artist Film Forums showcasing shorts contributing to the exhibition’s themes, a film programme and other events further investigating the outcome of a revolution. Please visit for further details.

The impact of the moment invariably overshadows the aftermath of an event. But while revolutions often serve as landmark shifts in the history of a nation, people or cause, it is the post-revolutionary period that reveals most about the mind-set and outlook of those that map the new terrain. Frequently followed by Civil Wars and purges, many ideological principles and people themselves fall by the wayside.
Curated by Declan Clarke and Sarah Perks, this exhibition takes its title from the third chapter of Victor Serge’s compelling book Memoirs of a Revolutionary, focusing on the period just after the Russian revolution and Civil War prior to the founding of the U.S.S.R. The author gives first-hand testimony of the transition from the initial euphoria of the revolution’s success to a growing unease about the manner in which the Bolsheviks began to implement their revolution.

Following the critically acclaimed socio-political exhibitions Contemporary Art Iraq (2010), New Cartographies (2011) and Subversion (2012), this Cornerhouse group show aims to explore the painful and divisive process of building a new society along the hastily prepared guidelines of a spontaneous uprising, and the bitter battle that emerges in the race for a new power elite.

Declan Clarke, Artist and Co-Curator of Anguish and Enthusiasm said: ‘I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Sarah Perks on such an exciting exhibition. As we struggle to find our feet in the 21st century it seems an appropriate time to consider the precedents of perceiving, reflecting upon and depicting societies in the midst of seismic transition.’

Sarah Perks, Artistic Director of Visual Arts and Film at Cornerhouse and Co-Curator said: ‘This exhibition feels like the logical climax of our commitment to investigating international socio-political concerns, which I started with Contemporary Art Iraq (2010). It’s vital to look at the moments after the outburst and the hype, and not just to keep moving on to the next conflict zone.’

Art Cinema