The question ‘What do you really truly want in life?’ seems like an advertisement for another product, another best selling self-help DVD video series promoting complete control for the disoriented subject. In a lustrous and slick setting, a soothing voice tames an individual and instructs it on how to design one’s lifestyle or career to become free of all the doubts about one’s own identity. The analogy between choice and freedom, as philosopher Renata Salecl has disclosed in her analysis of choice, is one of the deepest delusions of late capitalism. Limitless choices do not liberate us, but rather make us more than anything else constantly on the brink of a mental break down. The pressure of choosing everything puts unbearable pressure on an individual who should not have been taken responsibility for the state she/he is in (e.g. social class). Resonance of this theory echoes in gestures of video artists – we present a selection of four video performances – that create absurd situations to express deep psychological angst. The brilliant satire of their works lies in their clear and simplified narrative that hits the very core of the problem by portraying one small banality of fabricated ideals for a perfectly designed life. The video performances are defined by constant repetitions which bring about a sense of gloomy discomfort and aggressive self-destructive and irrational behaviour. The performing artists seem disoriented or numb and above all anxious, because there seems to be no space outside of their state of mind, they are unable to break free from the constrains. There is no suggestion on how to untangle their unpleasant situation, no instant gratification, only compulsory repetitive behaviour. — Ida Hiršenfelder

Artyčok TV is an online platform for contemporary art, monitoring and co-creating art scene events and related cultural activities. Artyčok TV was created in 2005 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, and though at the beginning of its existence, the platform focused primarily on the local context, it soon enlarged its scope way beyond the borders of Europe. Artyčok TV’s database of audiovisual material in the form of exhibitions reports, profiles, and lectures by theorists and artists has become a unique source of information for artists and art school students, as well as for general public having interest in contemporary art. Since the content of Artyčok TV is developed mainly by artists, curators and theoreticians, Artyčok TV has also become an important articulation tool of the art community.

[featured at Aryč] 17 July 17 August 2011
[link] Desired Restraints video selection @ Artyč
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