Assemblages. Angela Melitopoulos and Maurizio Lazzarato
ms1, Więckowskiego 36
Assemblages by Angela Melitopoulos and Maurizio Lazzarato is an audio-visual research project dedicated to the anti-authoritarian, revolutionary practice of psychiatry, philosophy, aesthetics and anthropology of Félix Guattari (1930-1992). In an essayistic form, Melitopoulos and Lazzarato take up, trigger and transpose Guattari’s thought, presenting it in new contexts while concentrating on his interest in animism, conceptions of subjectivity and ecosophy. The authors elucidate and develop these questions in relation to Guattari’s practice at the experimental clinic, La Borde, his travels and the presence of his thought in Brazil and Japan.
For Melitopoulos and Lazzarato, Guattari’s work is a proposal of the decolonisation of thinking, a model of work on new expanded subjectivities and their capacities for environment-making. Guattari offers a line of flight beyond the Western paradigm of the transcendental human subject, separate from the world of objects as well as other parts of nature and fields of science, seen as a tool to conquer the non-human world. According to his concept, subjectivity functions in the form of assemblages – multi-dimensional montages of heterogenous phenomena that organise flows between singularities and collectivities, humans and objects, animals, machines, concepts and various cosmic forces.
Research into Guattari’s interest in animism, on which Melitopoulos and Lazzarato concentrate in the first part of the installation – Assemblages, functions as a collective indigenous reservoir of life practices undivided into separate spiritual, material, human and animal phenomena. In their work, the motif of animism resonates with Guattari’s complex, assemblage-like approach to patients at La Borde clinic. They also search also for an actualisation of animist subjectivities in contemporary micro-political practices and projects towards the decolonisation of life in the Brazilian context. Assemblages comprises fragments of documentaries, interviews with friends of the philosopher and with his collaborators.
Part Two, The Life of Particles is dedicated to Guattari’s interest in animist cultures in Japan. It poses questions about the production of new subjectivities and environment by modern techno-science and capitalist economy. These issues are examined from the perspective of the question of radioactivity in Japanese history. The historical context is determined by the nuclear attack on Japan towards the end of World War II and the rebuilding of the country on the foundations of science and energy-consuming technology. It is juxtaposed with the crisis that struck the country after the nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima in 2011 and contemporary protest movements against nuclear power.
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 psychology , geography, and economy.
The exhibition at Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź is part of the pursuit of reviving the utopian premises of avant-garde art, which makes up the core of the institution’s collection. This pursuit highlights the potential of art as a medium of shaping world-ecological imagination in relation to any project of redesigning the complex web of life.
The exhibition will be accompanied by workshops devised by Bartosz Mroczkowski, a seminar with Agnieszka Kotwasińska and a lecture by Joanna Bednarek.