The Second Strike | Group Exhibition

Curator: Ori Dessau
Oct. 10, 2011 - Dec. 24, 2011

The title of the exhibition “The Second Strike” is taken from the vocabulary of bilateral strategic doctrine. The concept emerged during the Cold War, and it refers to the capability of a country, which has been surprised by a nuclear attack, to launch a nuclear strike of its own despite the devastation it will have suffered. The concept of a second strike bears the potential for mutual destruction the very possibility of which creates a balance of terror that can forestall the use of nuclear weapons in advance and prevent any other kind of attack as well. In other words, the scenario enfolded within the concept of a second strike includes a surprise attack, a counterattack, and the deterrence which concurrently expels those attacks themselves from the realm of possibility. The second strike is supposed to render the use of a first strike utterly unprofitable, or even to remove it altogether from the agenda. The exhibition’s attempt to connect with the scenarios encapsulated by its title is aware that it is both possible and impossible: it is a form of connecting by negation, because a second strike, that spectacle of Armageddon, contains within it, among other things, extremely powerful potential for both thoroughgoing avoidance and fundamental impossibility.

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