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Brentford: Anna Jochymek

January 14, 2021 - March 14, 2021

Crowd Crystal, exhibition view, Watermans Art Centre, 2021, excerpt

Crowd Crystal, exhibition view, Watermans Art Centre, 2021, excerpt



Crowd Crystal is a video-performative project conducted by Anna Jochymek.

Curated by Klio Krajewska and exhibited at Watermans.

This exhibition is the culmination of Jochymek’s PhD project.

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Through her performative action – that took place in London between 2017 and 2019 in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum vote – Anna Jochymek explores the concept she developed and named the ‘space of fear.’ She came up with this concept because she felt that there is a lack of terminology to express her personal experience of the dynamic of ongoing socio-cultural transformation. The project is driven by a need to speak up about the issue of limitation of perspectives, its relationship to power and how it affects the social atmosphere of our time.

For the purpose of this project she wears her father’s military field uniform, combined with inline skates. This unorthodox fusion became the instrument for addressing the social climate in Europe suffused with tension, gravitas and absurdity. Military uniform symbolises archetypical armour while skating – freedom and rebellion. The latter is associated with a process of experiencing the space creatively and unconventionally, challenging yourself with every given surface. It is also a high-risk sport; essentially a death drive.

The route she chose was the original historical border of the city of London – the Roman Wall. London (Londinium) was established by the Romans who invaded Britain in the 5th century. In the city’s complex and multi-layered history, she marks her ephemeral presence along the historic border of the city founded and expanded by invaders.
Crowd Crystals are a phenomenon introduced by Elias Canetti in his book ‘Mass and power’. He explains them as small structures within society, which are the nucleus of power. Having pure potential without real power, the structure can become stronger and more significant when the political or societal situation is favourable. Expanding upon Elias Canetti’s concept the figure of a lonely inline skating soldier becomes the embodiment of the potential we all carry within ourselves to influence change.

The outcome of the project is a video installation, which is designed in a way in which viewers can almost physically feel the space of fear surround them – yet they are located in a peaceful centre.



January 14, 2021
March 14, 2021
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Watermans Arts Centre
40 High St
Brendford, TW8 0DS
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