RU  UK  EN
Articles  >  Enjoy  >  No Battery: Tortures with Art

No Battery: Tortures with Art

Author: 17.12.2015 | art, society, personalities
There is a reason why they say that even goods things are good to an extent – even art served in a certain manner may not just bring joy and help experience catharsis but also break psyche down. On how exactly beauty serves as an instrument of torture – read below in Outlook.

No Sleep, No Hiding

French painter and musician Alphonse Laurencic was the world’s first man to prove that art is a perfect instrument of torture and psychological pressure. In 1930s, during Civil War in Spain he actively supported the republicans. Having opted for brushes instead of weapons and being inspired by works of Kandinsky, Dali and Buñuel, Laurencic, who, according to his contemporaries, was also extremely talented, created so-called color rooms with no windows. Their walls were covered in psychedelic installations and paintings in surreal style. Various objects were affixed to their floors not to let a prisoner lie down and stretch out and what seemed to be a bed was designed to make it impossible to fall asleep – body would constantly slide. These cameras were called La Cheka and Francoists, who were at war with republicans, ended up there more often than others. This, at first glance, funny punishment in fact made prisoners go insane for they had to sleeplessly stare at abstract picture art in very bright colors day and night. It isn’t positively known how many people lost their sanity in such a way exactly, but the fact that as nearly as the first thing Franco’s allies did, upon seizing the power in the country, was to sentence Laurencic, not political or military figures, to death tells volumes.

ЭКСПЕРИМЕНТ МАРИИ ПРОНИНОЙ from Mitec on Vimeo.

Burgess Wrote It All

Everyone who has read Anthony Burgess’s Clockwork Orange will never forget scenes of “re-education” of its main character Alex. One of the methods of influence on him was compulsory review of special films and videos. It seems like the book has made huge impression on a British painter Luke Turner and an American actor Shia LaBeouf who came up with #AllMyMovies performance and put into practice. In mid-November 2015 Shia LaBeouf spent three days at Angelika Film Center, New York watching movies, where he starred, without a break. During the marathon everybody, who wanted to, could join the star for free and there was also an online broadcast of the actor’s emotions during review. What Shia went through and how it was for him to see himself on screen in such amounts is still a mystery because after the review he remains tight-lipped and avoids media by all means.

Body Is Canvas

Famous Serbian artist Marina Abramović is considered “Godmother” of performances of all kinds. In over 50 years of creative work she shocked audience on numerous occasions with various actions and almost every time she used own body as the main instrument. Rhythm 0 torture turned out especially remarkable. In 1947, naked, she was locked with visitors of one of galleries in Naples; there were 72 various objects, from roses and candles to whips and knives, placed on the table and a notice hanged saying that the body of the artist was at disposal of people around and that they could do anything with it. At first suspecting-nothing audience were perplexed but then, having realized that there was no way to leave the gallery, they entered the game, as if pretending, however it was more and more painful for the woman every other minute. Several hours later Marina’s body was covered with abrasions, cuts and blood and there was no stopping the public. Ultimately, as doors opened, the artist was dragged out of the hall. According to herself, her experiment turned a success and she easily proved that should you let people, they become violent animals.

Marina Abramovic on Rhythm 0 (1974) from Marina Abramovic Institute on Vimeo.

Ice Attraction

Chinese dissident and sculptor Qi Lei decided to challenge ice and demonstrate that inner creative energy will be enough to melt it. To do that he came up with a cold torture for himself – he trapped his own body in an ice block. However, aside from fans and assistants, the Chinese by and large developed no interest in the performance and decided that Qi Lei required psychological help therefore almost immediately after plunge into freeze the action was interrupted by an ambulance car that took the artist to the hospital with freeze burns. He was very upset that he wasn’t given a chance to compete with ice and was written an administrative fine on top of it, so no one was really surprised when a year later he committed a suicide without recovering from a depression.

Ears Suffer, Brain Melts

As we can see, majority of tortures with art or in the name of art one way or another are connected to painters and artists. They either torture others or voluntarily excruciate themselves. However things that happened (information is classified so nobody knows if such cases keep occurring) in American prisons Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo relate to artists only circumstantially. Popular music is one of the most powerful instruments used during interrogation especially when lyrics were in English and a recipient was an Arab. Hundreds of prisoners, when out of jail, admitted that the most horrible for them was impact of music – when they were made listen to same songs at top volume for 16 hours. Then a break with complete silence came for everything to start over again afterwards. Sleepless and washed-out, they confessed even to thing they never committed. Such cases, that were especially frequent during war in Iraq, became public fare as a result of journalistic investigations. Many famous musicians like Eminem and Marilyn Manson as well as Queen and Metallica bands and others were surprised to see own hits in “madness track lists”, that were published by media; they now intend to sue CIS. Alongside pure ethical cause there is also a legal one – copyright violation. It is yet to be discovered if artists, who involuntarily became accomplices in crimes against humanity, will succeed in punishing those in fault. At times art of completely different styles that is designed to bring emotions, mostly positive, may exert completely opposite influence. And there aren’t many people who have it within their powers to comprehend it!

It will be interesting:
The magnificent world of land-art: Patrick Dougherti
Land-art is not simply the landscape design but also the whole direction in art which in thee 21-st century considered one of the most important when only lazy people do not speak about the ‘green technologies’ and environment. The names of stars of such an activity have sturdily come into the speech of the tutors, critics, and connoisseurs, especially they outline Patrick Dougherti with his unbelievable works.
«Frida and Diego». Photo exhibition in Kyiv is dedicated to Frida Kahlo and her spouse
"Dali in a skirt", "The greatest provoker of the last century", shocking and inspiring confidence in the almost limitless potential of man, Frida Kahlo surprised contemporaries and continues to admire the admirers of her work today. The people of Kiev can now look behind the scenes of the life of the Mexican genius. With the support of the Embassy of Mexico in Ukraine in the National Museum named after Taras Shevchenko an exhibition of photographs devoted to the relations between Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera was opened.
Mandala Therapy
Yesterday I created a Universe. I took some peas, rice, buckwheat, millet, black and white pepper seeds and cardamom. Grabbed a handful of coffee and aniseeds. Then it all acquired a centre. It kept growing and calming my thoughts. When the last seed landed in the circle, I felt forgotten harmony again, heard birds singing through the noise of cars on the avenue, sensed fragrance of violets that a neighbor of mine was growing on her balcony and a recollection of Funtik from floor 5 and his tail evoked a flush of tenderness towards the shaggy monster.
Ghost cities: Detroit, Oradour-sur-Glane, Pripyat, Chenggong
American Detroit was until recently known as the automotive capital. But nowadays it is more often than not mentioned in the context of decline and population outflow. Outlook decided to figure out why ghost cities emerge.
STEP OVER THRESHOLD: THE MAGICAL ART OF THE HUICHOL PEOPLE
Dazzling flashes of ancient knowledge manifested in colourful shimmering beads and in elaborated yarn mosaics by Huichol Indians, captivate the imagination calling for an endless journey through branches of the world tree. Spiritual images take on flesh in intricate ornaments that accompany a Mexican peasant throughout his life. Twilight land of legends always have a shelter for a weary traveller: no one is alone on the paths of spirits.
The Sistine Chapel Illusions
More than fifteen hundred years ago Romans were awe struck when they caught the very first sight of the Sistine Chapel. After that masters of painting were born and dead as well as whole pictural art styles. And contemporaries of you and me gape on the distinguished temple. However, while admiring another line intricacy and allusive painting theme, bear in mind that beneath the plot of glossy surface, as per usual, stand painfully familiar disputes with an impatient client, unpleasant surprises from nature and damaged health of painters-executants.
Filthy creativity
Dirty cars are like a host for an artist. One may treat such art differently. Someone will wrinkle his nose and disdainfully wrestle his clothes. Others necessarily want to put a finger in such a picture in order to check the fragility of the "canvas" and smear its outlines. However, others will definitely make a selfie. However, nobody can pass by.
Flowers in Ukrainian Style. Kateryna Bilokur
In every art there are formats and rules – once in “mainstream” an Artist won’t have to starve. Even more so in totalitarian times when every sphere of people’s life is controlled and affected and selfhood has to be forgotten as such. It is probably in the face of a system natural talents emerge for their work to become immortal. Today Outlook recalls one of them, artist Kateryna Bilokur.
Twelve guises of South Korea
Only dancing and wearing mask, Korean peasants were able to express their disgust towards rudeness or greed of the hosts or apply to some deity with extraordinary request. Keeping anonymity, the people played out the scenes from life, cried, and laughed. At the end of the performance the destiny awarded the good characters and punished villains.
A jewelry approach to perfection
Behind the window sad eyes of old man peered at Petrograd engulfed by revolutionary fire. This fire spread on his life's work: a proud four-story building was invaded by noisy commissioners and sailors, whose presence seemed a cruel joke after regular customers. Workshop owner Carl Gustavovich Fabergé, apparently, noticed in this chaos approaching decay of his career. However, he could have a secret gleam of hope for another life of his heritage. If only he knew that it would come true, maestro would hardly have lost his spiritual strength...
BALTIC GOLD: AMBER RUNNING THROUGH VEINS
We have amber flowing through our veins, joke the Balts. They believe that a sunny stone comes from tear drops of their goddess Jūratė. According to legend, she was careless enough to fall in love with a mere mortal fisherman named Kastytis who day by day cast his nets to the Baltic Sea. Jūratė forgot that immortal ones are not allowed to enjoy simple human happiness, she fascinated the young man to the bottom of the sea into her amber castle, and there the couple in love lost count of days and nights. On hearing this, the lord of gods Perkūnas decided to punish them: bolt of lightening stroke mortal lover, and disobedient lady was chained within her precious possessions for all eternity. Since then, the grieving goddess cries dropping yellow tears, and waters of the Baltic carry them to the shore for others to enjoy.
The Spouse of the Ambassador of Georgia organized a meeting of the Ambassadors Spouses Club and the show of national clothes
The spouse of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to Ukraine Irina Sultanishvili carried out a meeting of the Ambassadors Spouses Club, in the frame of which some traditional clothes was demonstrated.
Handicraft: persian rugs
In those days when the Persian soldiers were second to none, and both the Roman Empire and the Arabian Peninsula were conquered by their power, skilful fingers of winner nation craftswomen created their first masterpiece. The carpet called The Springtime passed into history as the most precious of all time. It symbolized powerful rule of the Persians, and its beauty told about the divine origin of the king Khosrow I.
Belgian Lace: Waltz of a Thousand Threads
At the sight of Flemish lacework it is hard to shake the feeling that miraculous flowers, artfully braided into a wreath of a pattern, were born from loose sparks that had escaped a magic wand. On the inside of the beauty there are efforts and days of jetsam girls, stolen from life by labyrinth of openwork loops. Having compelled self-will of the thread to a dream about heaven, promised for humility, skills defied despair and need – to secure victory.
Fashion Pioneers
Fashion is an act. Fashion is a demonstration of freedom. Not being afraid to once seem ridiculous and odd, a person risks to become a part of fashion industry. Some names it remembers, some are wrongly forgotten and for some it becomes a pursuit, the meaning of the whole life.
BAJAU: SEA GYPSIES OF SOUTHEAST ASIA
Small ethnic groupshave been always interesting for scientists and artists, who sought inspiration in their lifestyle. The Bajau Sea Gypsies who formally can be correlated with Malaysia, are one of the most popular ethnic groups today.
Play of Minsk Film Actor’s Studio Theater under support of Embassy of Belarus in the capital
In Kyiv academic theater of drama and comedy under support of Embassy of Belarus to Ukraine and Kyiv city governmental administration it was the play ‘Marriage contract’ of Minsk Film Actor’s Studio Theater. The performance was going in the frame of the tour in Ukraine.
WHERE TO GO? TOP FIVE OF THE MOST INTERESTING MUSEUMS OF MODERN ART IN EUROPE
Françoise Barbe-Gall teaches how to talk to children about art. She gives practical advices in her books, teaches to see things invisible to many people, to notice details and forget about labels. But we have to admit that among adults there are very few people who can boast with expertise in this area. If you want to change this order of things, today we offer you to go with us to the museums. Yes, it's a good idea, since we have chosen the best.
Murals: New Approach to Olden Art
Modern cities cannot be imagined without murals – large-scale in size works of picture art that decorate buildings. Not only we have gathered most outstanding works in our collection but also tried to learn as many interesting things as possible about this art movement.
Chinese Sugar Painting: Art From a Ladle
Flowers and trees, animals and birds, dragons and fairytale characters – to put it short, anything that may come to your head can turn into an object of edible art there. Amazing technique of painting with hot sugar is possessed by craftsmen from Sichuan province. Paintings performed in almost caramel can be neither “edited”, nor painted over.
Close
Outlook facebook page