The claim tends to have negative connotations. Contestable, forceful and spurious, it harks back to a history of colonisation and theft: an unsolicited form of fiction performed by a coercive entity, leaving the less powerful party no choice but to obey. We could also consider the strike as a claim, when workers take back the rights of which they have been deprived. This reclaiming, from the Latin reclamare ‘cry out against’, forms a counterpart to its original meaning of closure and private ownership, especially when carried out collectively and for all. The claim has hypothetical, utopian and speculative powers; it does not seek permission. We can (re)claim anything – first on a conceptual level, before we later inhabit and use our claimed constructions.
Right Now! will look at the possibilities of the claim from perspectives of feminist politics, historical and current, through speculative fiction and feminist theory. Art can be useful to make certain claims, as it is the area where speculation can take place on a broad and experimental level. Art could re-claim anything, but due to art’s symbolic nature, a genuine political and social commitment becomes debatable. In its search to become more ‘real’, contemporary art refers back to itself. Can we overcome this loop of fiction when claiming through art?
Script of the lecture-performance.