is an anonymous action targeting occupation, media representation of military aggression, and our consumer relationship to these events. Choosing the 56th International Art Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia as its platform, the project invites participants to engage in an ongoing occupation of the pavilion of “an occupying power of your choice.” Members of an anonymous team distribute information and uniforms emblazoned with the “#onvacation” logo, asking Biennale-goers to dress themselves as as a military force while simultaneously asserting that they are “on vacation.” As vacationers, these occupiers then document themselves via social media by posting selfies to Twitter and Instagram, creating an ongoing document of the action in digital space. These posts function as both document and entry into the sweepstakes, which promises a “free vacation.” On further examination this “free vacation” is in fact to the occupied Crimean peninsula, in the seaside town of Balaklava, eponymous of the ski mask used by the peninsula’s invaders in 2014. In doing this the fixed role of participant constantly blurred between the consumer media experience of military conflict and the real offer to interface with an actual conflict.
#onvacation challenges the viewer to actualize their opinions and beliefs about their understanding and experience of occupation.
#onvacation rejects conventional forms of art making and functions both in the worlds of the parodic and the real. The project offers an entirely genuine engagement in a well-known structure—the free vacation sweepstakes, but it also positions this engagement in a conflict that is constantly denied by the occupying power.
#onvacation uses social media as a platform for both public engagement and lasting occupation. By visiting the website of the project one can view the constant residue of occupation in the digital realm.
#onvacation uses the fluidity of the internet to reposition art in an organizational context. The viewer is not just an observer, but an actor in the production of the work.
#onvacation defies traditional notions of artistic authorship by remaining stubbornly anonymous, despite the project’s clear address of an extremely polarizing issue.
#onvacation uses media anonymity to mirror the current strategy of action and denial used by many global military initiatives. By denying action but transparently acting with certain themes in mind, #onvacation conceptually mimics these initiatives.
#onvacation welcomes all inquiries and comments: