In his 2016 documentary “Hypernormalisation”, the British filmmaker Adam Curtis turns to Jane Fonda and the start of a “new revolution” she initiated in the mid 80’s: workout videos as a retreat to the body in the face of growing and inconsumable global complexities. The concept of reality had become something that was manipulated and handled, in an effort to manage perception. The body and self, however, could still be controlled.
The ties between power and the individual are anchored now in the psychology and affect, in the dreams and imagination of the self. The disciplinary society, up until the beginning of the 20th century, was built on enclosed environments of family, school, prison, hospital, factory to ensure productivity in space-time. It succeeded the society of sovereignty, ruling death rather than to manage, optimize, and increase life. As today it becomes increasingly hard to understand how the world is governed and presented to us, the deregulated control society has introduced a new handling of concepts of life and death, alienation and deeper reality, body and agency through individualism, competition and self-optimization.
The works by Oscar Enberg, Barbara Kapusta and Sydney Shen are gathered under the motif of what Mark Fisher proposes as the weird and the eerie: modi of fiction and experience located in fiction, film, and, suggested here, in art works. The weird and the eerie bring a charged strangeness to a place, unsettling the propriety and property lines that delimit a zone of activity or knowledge with “that which does not belong”. This outside cannot be made familiar (different to Freud’s notion of the uncanny), but to the contrary, makes it, as Fisher claims, possible to see the inside from the outside and to denaturalize relationships between bodies and their environments.