What rules does our society blindly follow?
The blind leader
Rachel Monosov has withThe blind leader designed an installation that deals with the mechanisms of social and political control. How do authorities gain power over people? “When someone asks you to sit on the floor together, that's one thing. But if someone asks you to sit on the ground while the other stands over you, that's a different matter. ”This sentence, which is part of the installation, describes a power mechanism that moves on the verge of violence. The reality of state authority is not infrequently characterized by strategies aimed at intimidation and deterrence. What impact this has on society in the long term is one of the questions Rachel Monosov raises.
The Space In Between
The blind leader is composed of four scenes, each of which includes a spatial installation, a performance and an image-text combination.The Space In Between consists of two cacti attached to the wall, separated only by a narrow space. In order not to injure yourself on the thorns of the cacti, a strenuous and dangerous balancing act is necessary. Any wrong movement can have painful consequences, both physically and emotionally.
The second installation is entitledWaiting room: A fine, flexible wire mesh defines a narrow space in which two performers squeeze themselves together. We encounter the effectiveness of markings, even if they do not represent a real limitation, in different contexts, but often in waiting areas. They function as invisible, but mentally highly effective barriers, secured by the rules of social consensus. Rachel Monosov is alluding to the fact that for many people in crisis situations, waiting has become an existential condition that forces them to remain in a narrow, strictly regulated space.
The artist is helping to design another scenario Fingerprint. The installation consists of a wall construction to which narrow brass loops are attached, through which one performer sticks his head and a leg, while another performer takes his fingerprints on the back of the wall. This alludes to the latent feeling of criminalization that arises when a fingerprint is taken. Originally developed to trace and identify criminals, fingerprints are now often also taken in other contexts, for example as a mandatory procedure when entering certain countries.
The fourth sceneForced, consists of a device on the wall that gives the performer a certain posture. The metal frame requires a rigid, uncomfortable position that requires tension and self-control. Movement is not possible at all or only to a very limited extent. It is also about individual freedom and the question of who is allowed to enjoy it and to whom it is denied. There is by no means global equality in the distribution of free rights, and there is little fraternity in the pursuit of it. Last but not least, it is our origin and our nationality that largely determine the degree of individual freedom that we are allowed to claim.
Too high a price?
Against the background of the global situation, which is characterized by political conflicts, humanitarian crises and the resulting migration, the resilience of our liberal and humanitarian values is proving to be fragile. Do various forms of violence and strict restrictions find social acceptance too quickly? Isn't the price we pay for a (supposed) sense of security too high when fundamental rights are violated or restricted? Rachel Monosov directs these questions to us by designing concrete situations in which we - partly mentally, partly physically - can empathize. With the titleThe blind leader it refers to the inadequacy of an authoritarian power apparatus that is blind to the individual, and to the dangers of a society that blindly follows their rules and accepts injustice without resistance. Approved by religious, political or ideological authorities, social rules and conventions are sometimes passed on over generations without questioning them. Instead of a newly awakening social consensus, we are often witnessing the consolidation of authoritarian structures and mechanisms.
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