The tactics and results of Andreas Templin’s intervention, „Hell is coming / World ends today“, which took place in Madrid within the framework of Madrid Abierto 08, are with no doubt multilayered. It is a political statement, but without clumsy activism. It is a playful examination, which is also entertaining, but without the cynical undertones of a hedonistic society. It deals with various elements such as fundamentalism, info-sphere, branding, corporate identity, consumer capitalism, public space and many more, without loosing the coherence of the topic. But primarily it deals with the daily life of the participants of this project. “Hell is coming / World ends today” goes via its participants straight into the public space of the city. While the “preacher-man” is a silent and empty icon, which mirrors the exaggerated excitement about fundamentalism, the mass media and the public find it easy to map him with their cameras and tabloids. He attracts, without interaction, the attention of the public simply with his solemn presence. Meanwhile, all the other participants from all strata of society infiltrate the public and their own private spaces like nano-bodies. Wearing clothes with the names of theoreticians on it, they spoil the expectations of lifestyle branding designed and demanded by consumer capitalism. With duplicity they prove how the impact of theories (for example about camp, power and acceleration to name a few), is hampered by policies of branding which seem to enable easy access and consumption. On the other hand they mock (by wearing these articles of clothing) the concept that you can gain character, or even personality, by wearing branded fashion items while you are only subjected to the branding companies. Not only as a side effect the participants also form a kind of group. It is they, who embody the piece of art. Without being connected in any staged way, without knowledge of all the other participants, they build up a malleable body inside the edifice of the city, with its grid of data information circles, control mechanisms and regulations. Following their personal pathways and rhythms they start to redefine the territory. Thomas Hobbes used to emblematize the state in icon of the Leviathan, where the people are incorporated into its big corpus. While this idea of “body politics” is dead by now and the people gathered into masses, other dynamics of control are exercised. In the terminated timeline of “Hell is coming / World ends today” the participants epitomize this processes in versatile ways.

“Hell is coming / World ends today” is an urban intervention of unique style. The “style” derives from the old word “stylus”, which means to engrave something in wet clay. Something was woven in a subtle way in the gown of the city.

(ALH 13th February 12:08)


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