snapshots of the movie:
RIGHT ARM OF THE FREE WORLD
masses will come up with a way to deal with the problem of
their enemies, with those who have harmed them both on the
individual and the collective level. They will invent methods
of retribution ranging from punishment to rehabilitation,
without having to resort to the institution of the courthouse,
which is to be avoided. (Michel Foucault, On Popular Justice,
a Discussion with Maoists).
|The right arm of the free world, 2001-02, video, 3 minutes
Right Arm of the Free World is a work based on a simple assumption.
It assumes that the average citizen is armed and has taken
it upon himself to ensure his personal safety as well as to
see that justice is done both on the individual and the collective
level. Guns become a common commodity and a necessary tool
|Bleed, 2002, 139x132,25 cm, mixed media
Although the end result is a work that belongs to the realm
of fiction, it nevertheless makes use of certain data drawn
from real life to support its initial assumption; data on
guns and the way they are sold on the internet, as well as
the respective slogans used to promote them (the title of
the work is in fact the slogan used by www.fnfal.com, an arms
Sources for such data are sites that preach the necessity
of the average citizen being armed with a view to ensuring
self-protection (the truth about gun control myths etc.).
These sites also give rise to questions as to whether the
desire for modifications to existing legislation regarding
the possession and use of guns stems from a need felt by citizens
terrorized by the prospect of survival in the big cities and
by their lack of trust in the police and the justice system
or whether this is indeed an indirect way of propagating and
justifying the reality of guns by the arms industry.
|Shopping cart, 2002, 68x68x110 cm, mixed media
The second body of data used is drawn from the world of news
and journalism. The text of the titles that accompany the
work is inspired by the style of newspaper writing. A distortion
of the truth through dramatization of facts, a novelistic
attempt at attracting the interest of the reader by emphasizing
a kind of popular heroism that might sometimes even manifest
a disregard for existing legislation but that succeeds in
obtaining wide social approval. (It is also interesting to
note how the way the truth is perceived changes by the application
to an image of an exaggerated title and how this affects the
readers emotional response to the facts and, consequently,
the shaping of public opinion.)
|Shopping cart, 2001, design for installation
The snapshots that have been used depict everyday scenes from
the street market. Women between 50 and 70 years of age have
been selected as a representative consumer sample. Women buying
at the street market can be considered as food bearers. Their
dynamics and general disposition manifest that families, or
other people in general, are in their care. Most of them look
tired and although they do not seem to be particularly concerned
about their appearance, they exhibit a remarkable likeness
in terms of style (1).
The street market is a vibrant theatrical quest for the discovery
of good and cheap food (2).
At first one could perhaps assume that women buying food at
the street market would be the last to succumb to a merciless
advertising campaign, even a hypothetical one, aiming to persuade
them to buy guns. However, we could turn this hypothesis to
a question, namely what would these women do if they found
themselves in the midst of adverse conditions, if there was
no food, if crime in their neighbourhood threatened their
children, or other members of their family, with death (3)?
|Bleed, 2001-02, design for installation
In the course of recent events at Scopje (an example of an
area in a state of war) we watched television broadcasts showing
citizens gathered on a square in front of a government building
calling for guns to be handed to them. What can you do if
you cannot or will not escape? The battle between a male logic
of violence and gun and power fetishism with a female logic
that clings on the concept of safety and survival, void however
of all power to intervene and change things, may signify yet
again the adoption on the part of women of a male way of fighting
based on war and replete of death.
In the animated part of the work this hypothetical case is
presented as a fact. The ladies are perfectly trained and
ready to fight. War in the cities has begun. The last fort
The body of these women seen as reaction to the body as war
machine in simulated form as the aesthetics of the era, from
video games to the matrix, dictate.
2. A semiotic transition from a refined market
for guns with the respective license, to the creation of a
popular market where the surplus of guns is freely distributed.
3. Taking the law into ones one hands is
not an immediately acceptable concept, however Greek society
is relatively tolerant in the face of it.
'Bleed' is part of the project 'The right arm of the free world'. International Young Biennale BIG Torino 2002, 19 April - 19 May 2002, Turin, Italy.
see bleed (99 Kbyte)
Tirana Biennale 2001, Tirana, Albania, Curator Marina Fokidis.
Installation and video, International Young Biennale BIG Torino 2002, Turin, Italy, Artistic director Michelangelo Pistoletto.
Fusion Cuisine, Curator Katerina Gregos, Deste Foundation, Athens, 2002.
M-ARS. Art and War, Curator Peter Weibel, Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz Austria, 2003.
In den Schluchten des Balkan, Fridericianum museum, Kassel,
Curator Rene Block, 2003.