20/05/2006 > 08/07/2006
Opening on 19/05/2006, from 7 pm to 9 pm
Swedish artist ANNIKA LARSSON is one of the most renowned video artists of her generation. She was able to develop original themes and characteristic aesthetics. Her videos stage exclusively men and deal with primarily male themes and their symbolic language, questioning concepts such as expressions of power, submission or violence.
For her second show at Cosmic Galerie, ANNIKA LARSSON introduces a new video, Fire, along with a set of photographs from it. In the dark and claustrophobic environment of what seems to be a hangar, the piece puts on stage half a dozen of young men busy with the preparations and then with the execution of actions of riots or urban guerrilla – unless it could be a training.
Filmed individually, each character is absorbed in a specific action: fabrication, lighting, throwing of a Molotov cocktail, firing of a AK47 weapon.
The precision of the framings reinforces the singularity of the icy setting. Zoomed in alternate with close-ups of significant or banal details, sometimes fixed or almost, made monumental by the projection format. The characters do not show any emotions, absorbed in the execution of slow and ritualized actions.
The electro soundtrack, composed of mixed sounds, paraphrases of the Karlheinz STOCKHAUSEN's piece Freitag aus Licht, imposes a deaf and exacerbated pulsation and emphasizes the inner tension of the images and their hypnotic character.
As in her other videos, ANNIKA LARSSON institutes this way an anever ending waiting of the senses, of a probable outcome in an atmosphere nearly dramatic of uncertainties. However, the artist doesn't try to develop a narration, she niether takes position nor makes politic commentaries. What interests ANNIKA LARSSON is the relation between the public and the actors and his look on signs and objects showed in the video. By this way, if Fire directs violent and spectacular images, these images are also familiar to us. From the protagonists' gestures preparing the bottle of Coke in order to make a Molotov cocktail, to branded street wear outfits like the activist's uniform, the video is mainly based on documents found in the papers and on the internet.
The activist's figure which takes place in the heart of an anti-terrorist paranoia and of fear caused by these groups of activists, stands out in the news. Being familiar to us the way he is represented, his behaviour and social codes spread out in the news it begins to influence our reality. Going through this situation, and the trouble the spectator can feel, ANNIKA LARSSON confronts us to a new aesthetic of violence.