SUPER DEMOCRACY - The Senate of Things

Three cultural institutions enter into a dialogue with the Belgian Senate during the exhibition SUPERDEMOCRACY, which is on display throughout October. BPS22 in Charleroi, BOZAR in Brussels and M HKA in Antwerp provide a cultural dimension to the Senate’s current issues.

1.10.2017 - 31.10.2017

Superdemocracy – The Senate of Things

Alimpiev victor zhunin marian ode 2001 collection m hka videostill 7
Video , 00:34:30 min
dvd

Ode formulates aesthetics of conformity and uniformity. The actors, all dressed in cotton T-shirts and pants in the same light color, carry out prescribed movements that parody daily actions and reactions. Yet, choreographic perfection is interrupted from time to time. The soundtrack consists of loud, raw music and a text that could well be the ode mentioned in the title.

This is a key work in Alimpiev's early oeuvre. While avoiding a direct visual reference to the social and cultural details of post-Soviet-Russian society, the scenery evokes a ‘collectivistic’ performance of the Russian avant-garde theater from the years just before and just after the Revolution of 1917.

Ode is also a contemporary embodiment of ostranenie, the 'defamiliarisation' that the critic Viktor Shklovsky (1893-1984) theoretically described and closely related to Brecht's Verfremdungseffekt. Shklovsky writes: "Art is a way to experience the artful nature of an object, the object itself is not important."