Forecast 2012

SUSPENDED FORCES

...'The swarm of reckless aggressive birds, referring to a diverse multitude typically found in a metropolis, has been an area of interest to Anna Lascari, since 2010, when she was working with her animation, Swarm. What was, at the time, presented as an organized and menacing swarm, in attack position, now seems, uncontrollable and self-destructive in this new large-scale black and white drawing. It is characterized by inner conflict and anxiety. In Suspended Forces, the swarm appears to have passed into our private space and to have breached the boundaries of private and public, individual and collective, “inside” and “outside”' - from "Suspended Forces" by Daphne Dragona  

Neocolor II on Somerset 300 g
400cm X 174 cm (157.5 x 68.5 inches)

SUSPENDED FORCES. a.antonopoulou art, Athens 2013

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Suspended Forces by Daphne Dragona - catalogue text for the exhibition Suspended Forces

Suspended Forces

Anna Lascari’s new body of work, Suspended Forces, refers to the contemporary multitude, its ambivalence and irresolute way of being. Bearing in mind that the concept of multitude – as Paolo Virno refers to it – cannot but contain consent and conflict, resistance and destruction, the artist points afresh to the image of a swarm in order to reflect on these opposing forces, and to inscribe the con-formation of this multitude in our existing reality.

The swarm of reckless aggressive birds, referring to a diverse multitude typically found in a metropolis, has been an area of interest to Anna Lascari, since 2010, when she was working with her animation, Swarm. What was, at the time, presented as an organized and menacing swarm, in attack position, now seems, uncontrollable and self-destructive in this new large-scale black and white drawing. It is characterized by inner conflict and anxiety. In Suspended Forces, the swarm appears to have passed into our private space and to have breached the boundaries of private and public, individual and collective, “inside” and “outside”. Anything intimate is now sidelined, and violence is incessantly suspected. The objects that dominate the space, although familiar, are distorted, overturned or mislaid. Colors are absent – the only exception being the thoughtfully selected inverted reproduction of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Drawings, objects and photographs reflect the continuing conflict but also the interdependence of the opposing forces, which seem to remain suspended.

What has happened to the intelligence of the multitude, one may wonder from within this unfamiliar milieu? Why does the swarm appear self-destructive? Why does it destroy the very same structures which it has created? And what is this uncertainty, ultimately reflected in the work, charged with? Suspended Forces captures and comments on a moment from a period of transition – an interregnum, a time of crisis – where the 'old' is dying but the 'new', the upcoming cannot yet be born. In such a time of crisis, a great variety of morbid symptoms appear, as Gramsci writes. But while this may be, one cannot forget that at this precise time, during this break and this point of transition, the potentiality for restructuring and reconstituting again appears.

Suspended Forces comments on contemporary Athens, a metropolis tackling a deep recession and its inhabitants fighting to confront the future. It refers to the pathology of a multitude struggling to be formed and to compose again an organized swarm in order to escape this impasse. The uncanny, the uncertainty and the anxiety that this work bears inevitably derive from an emptiness which is present as long as the new "common" which will unify the multitude is yet to be found.

Daphne Dragona
cultural [net]worker

Translated by Maria Petrides