Assemblages. Angela Melitopoulos and Maurizio Lazzarato
ms1, Więckowskiego 36
Opening night: Friday, the 2nd of February 2018 6 p.m.
An assemblage is a collection of phenomena and things that emphasizes their fluidity and the lack of stability of its singular parts. An assemblage can be used as model of dynamic cultural phenomena, which are divided into separate research objects by traditional science. An assemblage, as well as the theories of animism, doesn’t separate the physical world from the spiritual one and as a result objects can be treated as living beings.
Assemblages by Angela Melitopoulos and Maurizio Lazzarato is an audio-visual research project dedicated to an anti-authoritarian, revolutionary practice of psychiatry, philosophy, aesthetics and anthropology of Félix Guattari (1930-1992). Melitopoulos and Lazzarato concentrate on his interest in animism, conceptions of subjectivity and ecosophy. The authors elucidate and develop these in relation to Guattari’s practice at the experimental clinic, La Borde, and a presence of his thought in Brazil and Japan.
In the work of Guattari, subjectivity is not only a property of the human – it loses its exceptional status, separating it from other parts of the environment. In this respect, Guattari’s work resonates with animist cultures. Guattari construes subjectivity by way of assemblages – multi-dimensional arrangements that organise a coexistence of singularities with collectivities, objects, animals, machines, concepts and various cosmic forces. Expressions of the animist, trans-personal subjectivity interested Guattari particularly in artistic creation, sexuality, psychosis, in the world of childhood and in religious rituals.
The exhibition at the Muzeum Sztuki w Łodzi is composed of two three-channel video installations: Assemblages and The Life of Particles. They take up, trigger and transpose Guattari’s thought, in an essayist form, presenting it in new contexts.
Part One, Assemblages, consists of fragments of documentaries, interviews with friends of the philosopher and with his collaborators. The piece elucidates the activities of La Borde clinic and develops Guattari’s search for a contemporary, micro-political potential of animist strains and cultural traditions in Brazil.
Part Two, The Life of Particles, is dedicated to Guattari’s interest in animist cultures in Japan. It is a starting point to a dialogue on post-WWII energy politics and the current state of affairs in the country in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster in Fukushima. The Life of Particles traces relationships between subjectivity, animist spirituality and modern technology. In developing Guattari’s thought on three co-dependent ecologies of – mind, society and the environment – Angela Melitopoulos and Maurizio Lazzarato construe the issue of radioactivity as a weave of relationships between geography, psychology and ecology. Their work touches also upon the complex issue of ‘energy millenarianism’, which is an expression of faith in the transformation of the world via science, technology and new energy sources, as well as its counterpart: protests against the construction of a new nuclear plant.
Each installation forms a distinctive triptych, parts of which intensify various modes of reception: seeing, hearing, reading. Not only does the stratification magnify impressions dedicated to particular senses, but it also directs the viewers’ sight and attention, leading us through an assemblage of image, text and sound.
The exhibition will be accompanied by workshops devised by Bartosz Mroczkowski, a seminar with Agnieszka Kotwasińska and a lecture from Joanna Bednarek.