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Citizens

Curator: Neta Gal-Azmon 6.4.2017 - 5.8.2017

Federico Solmi conducts a grand, decadent ballroom dance with some of the best loved as well as most hated leaders in human history participating. Outstanding past leaders, identifiable in meticulous caricatures, are depicted by Solmi as foolish, Narcissistic, and arrogant. Ramses II, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, Napoleon Bonaparte, George Washington, Marie Antoinette, Benito Mussolini, Pope Benedict XVI, and other figures pop out of the pages of history, transpiring before us to the sound of an ongoing waltz at a banquet which is all self-gorging, gluttony, and excessive opulence. Capital holders, government, military, and religious leaders, fearlessly equipped with cigars and champagne, engage in dancing and what appears to be idle talk, while weaving among themselves a tangled net of international contacts that crosses continents and years. The grotesque is enhanced by the ludicrous attire, the medals, and the expensive-looking jewelry (purchased, or possibly received as gifts), as the viewer's consciousness is flooded by a strong sense of incorrectness.
Solmi points a blaming finger not only at the leaders, but also at us — for the complacency, the blindness, the destructive tendency to perpetuate crooked self-myths. The video screen thus functions as a mirror, reflecting the danger inherent in the excessive trust we put in leaders back at us, urging us to observe them closely at all times. Because power — as we learn time and again — corrupts.


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