Try again. Fail again. Fail better.
video, 7 min. 57 sec.
Do symbols construct power or are they mere ornaments of power? Can we free resistance from its own representation? Could there be a revolution without image? What is the connection between ritual and rebellion? Can a protest survive without ideologically reified and commercially fetishized effigies? Are symbols controlling people or do people control symbols?
Intrigued by these questions and enthralled by the motif of the fist as an emblem for resistance, we set up a performance scripted like a puppet show - a play in which we try to control a huge flying fist, by pulling its strings. The clenched fist pointing to the sky is an archetypal image of human disobedience, a symptom of the Babylon complex, a marker of social tensions, an icon of anxiety and anger, a limb evolved into a pugilistic weapon. In our performance the strings connecting the inflated fist with our own hands establish a relation of interdependency, a mutual manipulation ruled by (physical) force. The action turns into a interplay, in which is not clear who controls whom: the inflated "marionette" is at the same time the big hand that moves the strings, whereas we become a sort of living puppets wiggled by the restlessness of the oversized balloon.
The art of puppetry as such is a reflection on human freedom. It might be a key to understanding our own confusing age and the nature of political and social events. For it seems that we are entering a golden age of puppetry in which humans are the puppeteers of all sorts of semi-autonomous machines from space rovers, drones to PC's and artificial prostitutes. On the other hand, we, humans, are also puppets who are often blind to their own strings. Hopelessly dependent on the system through technologies of micro-surveillance for the purpose of self-control, efficiency, progress, connectivity, we are haunted by the specter of the marionette, trapped between the curse of self-consciousness and the illusion of freedom.
The video is set to interrogate how we - both voluntarily and involuntarily - are turning ourselves into a version of automata, and how the idea of control oscillates between the familiar and the troubling, between dream and nightmare. The concurrence of idolatry and iconoclasm emphasizes the slippery area between control and subversion, hopes and resignation creating a paradoxical relation between the followers and the transcending power of the idea.