Oliver Luker
Since 2007

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Emanuel Licha - It's Like Being in a Movie

Tue Nov 13, 2007 00:00 - Tue Nov 13, 2007


Dispatx Art Collective is pleased to announce a further addition to the Eminent Domain collection currently published in Show: Emanuel Licha’s It’s Like Being in a Movie. This project, developed online in Make, explores the ritual systemisation of violence and destruction, particularly through modern media. The assumed persona of the War Tourist is an amorphous spokesperson for the unsettling combination of war, disaster and tourism, a coupling of event and response that is tied with a drive for sensational imagery and compartmentalisation of global problems. The presence of this freewheeling persona is suitably complex, and its curiosity and hunger for destruction are often couched in a jovial, innocent manner, with a near childlike emphasis on the motives that he is frank enough to admit to.

The central concerns around the theme of Eminent Domain, focusing on various explorations of obstacle and negotiation throughout a creative method, strikes immediate and unsettling chords in the War Tourist’s own inevitable progression. His desire to assume control over the chaos he seeks leads him to invent and construct war zones - and even spurious reasons for entering into one - further ensuring that such events are happening in places that he can master and profit by without threatening the security of his home.

Emanuel’s project, charting the War Tourist’s growing “disillusionment” with his virtual environments and the desire to reintroduce his fabrications into the real world, has employed various techniques and conceits in its development including evidence of shifting control between authors and the fabrication of material. These methods have been used to compose a layered body of material that effectively and amusingly questions the gap between tongue and cheek. Its culmination - a qualified, somewhat ambiguous communiqué redirecting his destructive focus onto a figure of potential support in his campaign - seems an apparent, though pointedly uncertain, gesture of renunciation.

This signing-off report from the War Tourist is a fitting conclusion to the project’s unruly positioning somewhere between farce and seriousness. Ultimately, the work manages to circumvent all manner of distancing affects to approach a stark encounter with the absurdity of events, broaching immediate and challenging implications for political and ethical responsibility, whether set up via ‘thrown voices’ or in elaborate fabrications ready to be destroyed.


Dispatx is a curatorial platform that provides the tools of a socialised internet for the development and presentation of contemporary art and literature. It was created in 2004 by Oliver Luker, Vanessa Oniboni and David Stent.


Eminent Domain - the new collection from Dispatx Art Collective

Eminent Domain examines notions of blockage, recourse and resistance that can emerge in diverse contexts - and what it can mean when these manifestations are channelled into artistic product.

The seventh collection of Dispatx Art Collective includes works developed by visual artists, musicians, writers, dancers and performance artists. The collection, which can be seen in Show (dispatx.com/show), includes works developed online as part of the site as well as submissions of completed work related to the theme. In addition, and as a part of an ongoing investigation of curatorial practice, the Eminent Domain forum will remain open throughout the duration of this collection.

The curatorial narrative is best articulated through a correspondance between various readings. While projects such as Hospital 106 4º1ª by Jordi Canudas and Isabel Banal and Someone Called Me... by Emma Wilcox are the works which most directly address the theme at hand, projects such as Green Screen by Neil Chapman and David Stent, or Ellen Zweig’s My Language Overwhelms Her Text, use literary fiction to generate multiple attempts and points of inflection.

We are also pleased to announce the start of exploration of works related to the theme Appropriation in Creative Practice, which can be followed over the coming six months in Make (dispatx.com/make). These pieces, including works by Sandra Gamarra, Scott MacLeod, Asa Stahl and Adad Hannah, also include among them the projects funded through our inaugural commissions program. The completed collection will be published in March 2008.

For more information on how to collaborate, please visit dispatx.com/submissions/

Oliver Luker
Director, Dispatx Art Collective
Barcelona, Spain

Dispatx Art Collective is the leading curatorial platform for the development and presentation of contemporary art and literature. Make is a showcase for work in progress related to the current theme, Appropriation in Creative Practice. Projects are developed online via integrated documentation tools allowing artists to post regular updates to their work in a continuous investigation of the creative method.