I CAN'T BREATHE at ATHENS DIGITAL ART FESTIVAL
Performance Curator: Francesco Kiàis
Artists: Francesca Fini (IT), VestAndPage (Verena Stenke [DE] Andrea Pagnes [IT]), Francesco Kiàis (IT).
After the violent death of an innocent (George Floyd) the four artists focus on the universally symbolic force of one of the last sentences he uttered: “I can’t breathe”. This sentence ideally summarizes the condition that thousands of people in the world live every day, thanks to the fragility of their position in society. To these forms of “suffocation” of entire parts of global society, corresponds a movement of civil indignation that is expressed through the Web.
The four visual artists / performers physically cross the territory of the World Wide Web, creating an ephemeral path between breaths, biographies, places, boundaries, and cultures, poetically investigating some aspects that are touched by this ” suffocation “, such as: freedom, identity, safety of the weakest, equality, difference.
My intervention consisted of three actions; three ‘performative episodes’ that will take place one after the other. The general theme of my intervention is “control”, understood in its ambivalent meaning of self-control, the governance of ourselves – investigation which is the fulcrum of much of my research as a performer – and the control, partially interconnected to the former, which is exercised on our bodies and minds from entities external to us: authority, power, society, through forms of vigilance and repression that manifested themselves in a plastic way during the pandemic and the consequent lock-down.
“I can’t breathe” therefore becomes a moment of reflection on the power and nature of control, which emerges and sinks through my intermittent action like a sea monster.