Narcissus Echoes

2009-10

 

an aplastic play

edition of 3 (+1AP)

stainless steel mirrors, megaphone

duration: sempiternal  

A megaphone built into the short end of a protruding v-shaped mirror appears as a multi-petalled flower in Narcissus Echoes. When drawing close, one witnesses a remorseful confessor - the artist - who has gone through numerous répétitions (repetitive interrogations, torture and theatrical rehearsals) only to become another descendent, a new echolalic agent of the ideology of the System. He speaks within a cluster of “truths”, revealed to him under mental and physical abuse in prison. In solitude - where no “alien” thoughts could penetrate - the artist confesses his socio-political, sexual and cultural subversive sins. 

Malignant narcissism that can be found in dictatorships renders socio-political diversities unanimous. Torture is not used to extract truth and information; it is a tool used to impose a cluster of truths; the tortured dissidents usually profess their love for the System, offer their apologies to Him and confess that they’ve become so aware of His wisdom. Remember Bukharin. Months of imprisonment, absolute detachment from the outside world, a situation in which one would beg to be interrogated, with physical and psychological tortures that reduce the confessor to an echo of the system, repeating exact words and phrases, becoming echolalic; it is here that “Narcissus echoes”. Confessors are put through numerous répétitions to become descendents of a system that does nothing but repeat itself; constructing new echolalic unanimous agents. Répétitions prepare them for premieres, televised confessions, identical show trials that are bitterly mordant, with predictable and repetitive words uttered by interchangeable persons. The confessors faithfully quote the state media – television functions as a truth-referent, the successor and substitution of the opium of the masses and its Pastors – pretending to own the words they utter and believing the truth that is is revealed to them in their solitude, where no alien thoughts can penetrate.

Photos by Shirine Gill

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