Soma is a series of artworks by Lanfranco Aceti exhibited at Supermarket 2015 in Stockholm which focus on the use of the human body and the contradictions and failures of contemporary social politics in Europe. Soma consists of an installation, a series of drawings, texts (oil paint on canvas) and a performance. The artworks are directly inspired by the socio-political conflicts in Turkey and by the tensions between the EU and Turkey. The performance, part of this series, and titled The Slap, will provide the public with the ‘opportunity’ to slap, for a fee of 500 euro, a ‘worker, protester, a muslim and a migrant’ who will be standing on a ‘preaching’ box (also known as soap box).
“What you need is a gramme of soma,” Brave New World, Aldous Huxley, 1932. Inspired from this phrase in Brave New World the artworks explore the relationship between the individual’s body and the need of the State and corporations to control the last impenetrable fortresses: the body and the mind.
The artworks, that are a reflection of the current sociopolitical crises in Northern Europe (Britain, Norway, Sweden and Germany) and in Southern Europe (Greece, Italy, Turkey and Cyprus), create an experience of the unresolved contradictions and hypocrisies that characterize contemporary politics and capitalistic frameworks of exploitation.
The body itself has become the last tool to assert independence from increased levels of surveillance and control that within contemporary capitalistic and authoritarian frameworks, even in the 21st century, continue to present workers, protesters and migrants and their dissent both as diseased and disease.
With thanks to Batu Bozoglu, Performance Artist.