Frenzied Chirping at Daily Lazy Projects, Athens
April 4, 2017
Coined by sociologist Ulrich Beck in the late 80s, the term Risk Society refers to a mode of living marked by intense individualism. His theory claims that in a society where social classes are no longer static, where the narrative of “finding oneself” is ever-present and where inner fulfillment is associated with quantitatively measurable success, individual freedom is at an all-time high. But so is the risk of personal failure. Add the threat of modern warfare and the anthropogenic certainty that humanity is very well capable of complete self-elimination, and you are left with an ever-present sense of uncertainty.
Lukas Hofmann aka. Saliva is part of a generation that was born in these very conditions. As an artist who grew up in Prague during the 90s and who is now staging performances across the countries of an increasingly unstable European Union, contingency and informality are reoccurring elements in the narrative of his life. He spends his time moving from place to place, leaving behind drops of lavender oil on the bedsheets he sleeps in. A nature child living within urban surroundings, he uses performance as a means to create archipelagos of increased presence that block out the feelings of desentisation and dissociation awaiting outside the gallery door.
Hofmann’s works involve a carefully curated group of actants chosen from his immediate social surroundings. While he does take a leading role during the preparation of the pieces, he blends in with the crowd as soon as the performance starts. Along with his peers, he slides down museum handrails, deforms his face by pressing it against panes of glass and forms a red line between his body and theirs using thread and a sewing needle. At some point, the group stands still in formation as if posing for a fashion editorial, pretty and unbothered faces clad in deconstructed garments. For a moment, their attire takes centre stage.
Text by Donna Schoens
Photos by Yiorgos Mavropoulos
Performed by Aris Parchalidis, Penny Rafferty, Marcelo Alcaide, Hara Kiri, Lukas Hofmann, Marianthi Kousentou and Nicolas Walker
Clothes provided by Stefanie Biggel