With specific references to the ideas of leading contemporary political philosophers such as Giorgio Agamben, Felix Guattari, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, the new project of Anna Tsouloufi – Lagiou deals with concepts and issues related to contemporary biopolitics. For the work, the artist chooses eight people that live and are active in the city of Athens; individuals, which the artist respects and admires, and who are involved in the social and political life of the city. They participate in collectives and aim at the preservation of the common goods. Her heroes are personalities who embody multiple roles and identities and represent, for the artist, the singularities of the contemporary multitude that create their own events and care for the commons. Through a series of forty photographic representations of her protagonists –who are presented in their different roles-, eight video – interviews and the respective experiential maps that she designs in collaboration with them, she aims to record and examine the modes of living and the everyday practices of those people within the city. Tsouloufi – Lagiou reveals the various and different faces of each person and poses questions around whether we ought to have or benefit from the existence of different roles in our lives in order to survive in a metropolitan center. Furthermore, the artist is interested in the relations that are developed between the different singularities in order to seek the “unexpected encounters that are created between them”, as mentioned by Hardt and Negri. Finally, she observes the existence of the commons in the framework of biopolitical production and comments on the sub-societies of people that are formulated, as well as their role in the biopolitical city. Working in collaboration with her protagonists and combining real as well as staged elements, she creates a political work with poetic overtones, in order to talk about modes of resistance and survival in regards to the deadlock of the current crisis.
The current work is the fruit, or, at least, the partial fruit of an artistic research, presented through a series of photos, discussions documented on videos, theory texts, poetic descriptions, and peculiar maps. I borrow tools and take up practices from the fields of social anthropology, philosophy, and political science, so as to act as a sculptor. I record and, at the same time, reconstruct eight contemporary city figures. My heroes are real-life persons with multiple identities and facets. They are manifold and plural personalities. I choose them as my models for the purpose of setting up a reverse pantheon. I make use of the museum facilities as a vessel, or, a rescue ark to host this pantheon. Yet, my models equip the rest of us with a survival kit, ready for use in city emergencies. I heavily rest on a cooperation process in order to achieve my goal. I register how my models lead their daily lives. I draw together pieces of their personal histories, their memories and ideas, their political views, their tactics, and their individual style. We both make up the current work. My peculiar models resist, in their own way, to the prevailing ethics that has colonized every day life in the city. As a result, each model, indeed a uniqueness in itself, produces its own alternative mode of living. I present them at specific pointed ends of everyday human affairs: nutrition, housing, motion, information, leisure time for play and creation, caring of oneself, and curing from diseases. At these pointed ends, the personal tempo and diverse daily activities of each model become apparent. We grasp quite a view of their consciousness landscape and their practical and operating talent. With my artistic tools, I set up an installation. My final aim is to unearth my heroes’ daily attitudes towards the city and society, and to bring out a collective social portrait.
Anna Tsouloufi – Lagiou
Curated by Daphne Vitali
With the kind support of: