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Citizens

Curator: Neta Gal-Azmon 6.4.2017 - 5.8.2017

A football match, a demonstration, a coup d'etat, a nationalist show of force — all share a similar audiovisual aesthetics, stimulating fervent manifestations of group cohesion and power. The flag waving, the ecstatic masses, the rhythmic singing of the national anthem, the orchestrated motion in space, the homogeneity, the shared goal, the enemy defined as other — all these furnish the individual with a sense of power, belonging, and security.
The preamble to the American Constitution reads: "We, the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." The individual defines himself by affiliation to a group which forms the basis for the generally accepted treaty — but this social cohesion might transform into a power trip by the masses, whose dangers have filled history books.
The football event featured in Eyal Segal's La Rivoluzione — Italy's loss to Spain in the UEFA European championship finals — may serve as a point of departure for contemplation of nationality. A straight line is drawn from the football stadium in Rome to the Colosseum, an emblem of the link between sports and politics, where gladiators traditionally fought. The same primordial instincts bubble under both fields: the same need to belong to a group, the same competitive urge to fight and win. The editing transitions between the game maneuvers seen from the audience's point of view and their reflection-projection on the screen, between a sharp, clear image and a blurred shot, between light flashes and shadows, call to mind Plato's Parable of the Cave. In this instance, the moral is that the ignorant masses perceive the reflections and echoes as reality incarnate.


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Eyal Segal, La Rivoluzione, 2015, HD video, 5:07 min Original lyrics & melody: Gianni Pettenati (1967) Editing: Yotam Shaw Soundtrack design: Noa Kornberg Filmed in Circo Massimo, Rome (2012)

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