project image
Monika Sobczak

first performed on December 16, 2014
2nd Venice International Performance Art Week, Palazzo Mora, Venice, Italy
performed once in 2014


Venice, Italy


The work is part of an ongoing research about Power.

Power is investigated on different levels and forms: political, social or personal and by using various media like performance, video or visual art.

The main aim behind this performance is to question the audience about the meanings of the actions, symbols and images they are seeing.

1st image: I enter the stage with a flag sewn on my body and I start to remove the pins and set myself free. The flag, black and empty, is an archetype, that can be read in many different ways: as a symbol for nationalism, social identity, ideology, restriction, tyranny, oppression, corruption. But it also symbolizes classification, boundaries, both innate or imposed, that wrap our mind and body and that is hard to get rid of. Then I start to wave the flag, stomping the boots, with sounds of drum rolls in the background. The movements are paramilitary, as a black army parade, predicting the next actions. I put down the flag on the ground, I tear it up and start to sew it.

2nd image: the flag, the object, becomes an execution hood. I put it over my head and finish to sew it around my neck. Following the rite of execution, I attend my gallows speech, my last opportunity to speak. So I pull out a knife and cut a hole for my mouth and put a microphone inside, holding it with my teeth.

3rd image: I am being executed, black hood over the head, microphone inside my mouth I start to shout a statement ‘The power is necessary’ ‘The power is necessary’. My words are distorted with loud and noisy voice effects. At the same time a television hanging behind me runs a video where I am saying the same sentence but using sign language, to create a dualism, a contrast and conflict of communication. The gestural sign language is also very animated, based on facial expressions, while in front I am a static person, blank, standing still.

The statement is ambiguous. Is power necessary or not? and what kind of power are we talking about? The shout goes louder and unclear, louder and louder, in continuous loops, louder and louder. BANG. The sounds cease, the performance is over.