home about database texts conversations exhibitions publications galleries team partners contact search


PW mailen


_5 Factories - Worker Control in Venezuela Dario Azzellini & Oliver Ressler _ALMOSTREAL ECF _AnArchitektur Jesko Fezer _Arizona Road Azra Aksamija _Balkan Konsulat rotor _Bata-ville: We are not afraid of the future Nina Pope + Karen Guthrie / www.somewhere.org.uk _Black Benz Race krcf in collaboration with Felix Stalder, Arben Gecaj, Faton Topalli and Osman Osmani _Black Sea Files Ursula Biemann _Camp La Jolla Military ParkOwen Mundy _CHANGE REALITY: Renaming the Streets of Zagreb REINIGUNGSGESELLSCHAFT _Conceptual Paradise. There is a place for sophistication Stefan Roemer _de-regulation Irit Rogoff, Kutlug Ataman, Stefan Roemer


Bloomberg SPACE, London
____________Kumu Art Museum Tallinn
____________Open Space, Open Systems - Vienna
____________CAA 2011 Conference, New York
____________Forum Stadtpark, Graz
____________Symposium, Istanbul
____________lungomare, Bozen/Bolzano
____________Metropolis Biennale 2007-17, Copenhagen
____________new publication available now
____________Mestna Galerija, Ljubljana
____________Livestream of Networked Cultures documentary



United We Stand

location: New York, Berlin, Barcelona, Vienna, Bologna, Bangalore

date: 2006-01-01

'United We Stand. Europe has a mission' is the punchy title of the non-existent, fully EU-produced Hollywood-style blockbuster: "A brilliant mix of espionage and sci-fi political stereotypes in which Europe, not the USA, saves the world from impending doom". The project that consists in the invention and promotion of this nonexistent movie is hitting public and media space all over the world through city-scale urban installations and viral communication tactics.

Isn't there something odd about this poster?

The streets of Berlin, Brussels, Barcelona, New York, Bangalore, Vienna and Bologna have been plastered with thousands of posters of this fake movie, as the first stage of a long-term communication strategy that began in late 2005 and gradually covered the whole media spectrum. Full page United We Stand ads have been spotted all over Europe, in magazines devoted to art, youth culture and life styles.

«I'd heard about this new project» comments Spanish art critic Nilo Casares «but it was only when I saw the poster at the entrance of the European Parliament that I understood what Franco Mattes meant»

'United We Stand' the movie

It is the year 2020. With the excuse of halting North Korea's nuclear arms proliferation, the USA has declared war on China - a development long expected by international analysts.

«We have a problem. Make that two: America and China», with these words, the European president calls for the intervention of a special Task Force: an undercover emergency team composed of five highly trained individuals only known as the English, the French, the German, the Italian and the Spanish agents. Their mission: to work behind the scenes to resolve the international crisis before it's too late and disarm the two superpowers without resorting to brute force.

«The power of the United States is a thing of the past» claims the French Task Force agent «How can you go around like John Wayne in a globalized world, where anything you do affects everything and everyone? In the networked world that we live in, the European model is fated to win».

Through international espionage, hi-tech sabotage and after many ups and downs, the Task Force comes close to achieving its aim. But when victory is within their sight, the mission apparently fails. How will Europe resolve the international crisis?

The European Dream. Propaganda for the 21st century?

United We Stand touches on themes of subliminal art, cultural propaganda and European identity, clashing against expectations and exploding cultural stereotypes. «Everyone remembers Peter Fonda in Easy Rider» says Eva Mattes «nobody is surprised by a leather jacket with an American flag, while the same jacket with a European flag would only make you laugh». Why is the patriotic iconography of the USA commonly accepted, while when it is applied to Europe it completely changes its meaning and actually becomes ludicrous?

Like Mattes' previous large-scale work Nike Ground, United We Stand provokes an unexpected wave of collective hallucination where over-identification, falsehood and consequent disclosure are key elements that foster critical thinking and provoke discussion around a topic.

«How do people perceive recent geo-political developments in Europe?» asks Nilo Casares «Is the European Dream the human and social project we will have to comply with? The issue is not whether or not people would like to see United We Stand; whether real or fake, this movie is a brilliant representation of the zeitgeist».

Public disclosure

Postmasters Gallery in New York has been the first of a series of art venues to host the disclosed side of the United We Stand project. These exhibitions run parallel to the ongoing communication strategy. «We are working simultaneously on this double track, the fictional and the real» explains Franco Mattes «in this sense, spectators in the gallery who are aware of the multiple layers are passive voyeurs, while the unaware spectator, or passerby, is actually part of the artwork»




+ Ana Dzokic and Marc Neelen
+ Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri
+ atelier d'architecture autogérée (aaa)
+ Asya Filippova
+ Sophie Hope and Sarah Carrington
+ Branca Curcic
+ Christoph Schaefer
+ Campement Urbain
+ Claudia Zanfi
+ Despoina Sevasti and Poka-Yio
+ Erden Kosova
+ Helmut Batista


Radio as Spatial Practiceby: Paulo Tavares Survival Kits: Artistic Responses to Globalizationby: Marga van Mechelen What Ever Happened to Cultural Democracy?by: Sophie Hope I don't know how to explain ...by: Anca Gyemant Trading Placesby: Peter Moertenboeck & Helge Mooshammer Milosevic as Architectby: Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss When the Unavoidable Knocks at the Door ...by: Gulsen Bal Tracing Translocality: The BlackBenz Raceby: Felix Stalder travelling lexicon towards a global positioning systemby: Celine Condorelli