Cleanliness is next to Violence

PERFORMANCE 2019

An evening with Federica Dauri & guests. Hosted by MEME http://www.meme-athens.com/. Curated by Hermes Pittakos and Angel Torticollis at Communitism https://medium.com/@communitism, Athens

Ne serait-ce donc pas son entrée en société, sa mise en compagnie de quelque autre (être ou chose), enfin de quelque objet, qui permettrait à quiconque de concevoir son identité personnelle, de la dégager de ce qui nest pas elle, de la décrasser, décalaminer?

Francis Ponge, Le savon

The performance took place at Communitism (ex Kunsthalle Athena), an abandoned neoclassical building in Metaxourgeio, Athens whose owner couldntmaintain it alone so an artistic, creative team use it in order to create a common space, where Greek and foreign artists can coexist equally, co-create and exhibit their work. Through collective movements, exhibitions, workshops and social activities they try to save the building for the local community and to find solutions where the state fails.

When I visited the building I noticed around many kind of chairs most of them old and half-dissolved. This was for me a visual metaphor for the current situation. Old fragments that are recollected to compose something new.

The chair is a product of culture, symbolising the difference between the human and the animal; while one the other hand, it is a violent object, executing forceful and coercive practices of limitation and regulation on the living body. Culture is aimed at reducing violence in order to guarantee coexistence. But as we have seen, this product of culture called chair turns out to be a violent machine.

On this site specific performance I tried to put my body in all possible positions of a chair while I covered myself with a big amount of liquid soap. The use of soap had double meaning first as a cleanser that without water is becoming something else and in this case as a mean to transform the identity of the chair during the action.

Photos by Bassil Wed Benedict