Anna Papathanasiou | Infantry Square

 

"In this work I approach Omonoia Square as a strategical location, which is one of the most controversial junction points of the Greek capital. The stereotype of the "balcony" symbolizes the leaders' podium, the highest ground of a general at combat, the conductors' place among the orchestra or even the pedestal awaiting the placing of a public statue. The spokesman-woman, automatically stands apart from the rest of the public and earns a "prominent" place, either through election or via enforcement. He/she gains a greater "status", his/her own weight all of a sudden becomes heavier than that of the collective. One mouth influencing many ears. The message has a clear direction while the audiovisual stimulus resembles a theatrical performance in many occasions.
Omonoia, the "Concord" square, is a heavy gray platform, a gravestone, the tip of the iceberg, an old boat left useless in the middle of a desert, motionless and hostile. It literally sums up the "welcome to Greece" banner visible from the square, and from the Bagkeion building.
  "Infantry square" as an experiment-performance-experience exploring the reality of addressing a speech to an uninvited audience,a random one constituted by the inhabitants of the square, a non-audience. A group of multinational people, passerbys etc. The persona that I manufactured for this purpose concentrates some of the characteristics that are required for a cause like that with some additional contradictional traits. A military uniform,a pair of high heel drag shoes, asexual facial features, some stuffed toy animals hanging from a belt like hunting trophies and a distinctive big red woundlike mouth(the tool of speech as a weapon,threatening and forbidding, aiming to cause damage to the receptor). A militaristic clown, .mashing up everything in one joke, an attavistic asexual politician figure.

Historically an infantry square, also known as a hollow square, is a combat formation an infantry unit forms in close order usually when threatened with cavalry attack. With the development of modern firearms and the demise of cavalry this formation is now considered obsolete. 

The speech was based on some antiwar quotations that vary from Karl Marx to George Carlin. The choice of ready made phrases is conscious and underlines the characters' nature that functions as a reproductive medium and not as a creative, .thinking and expressive force."


"Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons"(D.MacArthur)

"Heroism on command, senseless violence and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism."(Á.Einstein)

"Powerful states can maintain themselves only by crime, little states are virtuous only by weakness"(Bakunin)

"People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because tough men stand ready to do their violence on their behalf."(G.Orwell)

"You cannot have capitalism without racism."(Malcolm X.)

"Humanity is the keystone of stupidity in power"(A.Behrer)

"Reason has always existed but not always in a reasonable form"(K.Marx)

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom"(M.Luther King)

"Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body"

"Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms"(G.Carlin)

"War is like food, sometimes a fucking necessity"(K.Fioretos) 2016