21st century, social practice, video

Simon Senn, Just Let Go (2012)

October 15, 2014

Athens: cradle of Western civilisation, and in more recent times the canary in Europe’s coal mine. On the face of it, the perfect setting for Simon Senn’s dionysian artwork.

Just Let Go is (so far) a single video loop in which three angry locals rampage the length and breadth of a concrete wall, starting fires and throwing black paint.

They are rendered anonymous by balaclavas and a motorcycle helmet, and go about their anarchic business with what appears to be quite some joie de vivre.

Well, the good news is that you can join them. What might have remained a diverting 53 second film is in fact an ongoing project allowing for frustrated folk worldwide to let off steam.

The low budget film comes with a low budget A5 flier: “Do you need to let it go?” it asks. “How do you personally deal with this climate of instability and austerity?”

It looks like the kind of thing you might stumble across in a local daycare centre. State-funded, you would think, if you came across it anywhere outside a gallery.

Indeed, Just Let Go, is registered as a non profit organisation. But in Switzerland, rather than here. This only adds to the play of shadows in a truly subversive work.

Each of the resulting films, and one hopes there will be some more, is more than an act of therapy. It is a warning shot to governments everywhere, all the more potent for its obscurity.

If Warhol said art is what you can get away with. This is art which lets non-art people get away with the unthinkable: riot, destruction, nihilistic frenzy and revolution.

It is at once the most artful and the least artistic thing in Bloomberg New Contemporaries, this year. Don’t wonder how it will all end. One doubts even Senn knows that.

So, as the flier says, to arrange a session please email: info@justletgo.ch

Bloomberg New Contemporaries can be seen in the World Museum, Liverpool until 26 October 2014. It will be seen again, in a varied form, at the ICA, London, between 26 November to 25 January 2015.

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