Manifesto of Futurist Woman (Let´s conclude)
2008, 00:10:14, 1080i50, color, sound, C006 01
In their collaborative works, Anetta Mona Chișa and Lucia Tkáčová question gender relationships and their own roles as East European female artists in an art world dominated by men and by the West. The process of postcommunist transformation, with its multiple rifts and discontinuities, stakes out the framework of the subject matter of many of their works. The preferred medium of both artists is video, which in Eastern Europe under communism was appropriated more by male artists. The artists take the liberty of transgressing the past and choose an artistic medium that they have to tear away from a male domain, in a sense. Without explicitly taking up feminist positions of the historic neo-avant-garde, many of their works are intended to address gender politics. Manifesto of Futurist Woman (Let’s Conclude) shows a group of majorettes crossing a concrete bridge in an urban space with seemingly generic movements. Rather than following a conventional choreography, the majorettes communicate a message encoded in semaphore. Semaphore is a signaling language using flags, disks, or bare hands that was developed in the nineteenth century and was used to communicate information visually over great distances. The phenomenon of majorettes, young women who marched in groups in parades wearing quasi-military uniforms, is a relic from the early twentieth century. Synchronized movements of female bodies and skilled baton twirling characterize the movements of the ornament. The message communicated by the majorettes in the video is the last section of the Manifeste de la femme futuriste, which the French artist Valentine de Saint-Point composed in 1912 in reaction to Filippo Marinetti’s notorious call for “contempt for women” in his Manifesto del futurismo of 1909. De Saint-Point’s controversial manifesto calls for a strong, self-confident woman who is like a man, even if society forces her into the role of reproduction and thereby weakens her.