“Mystery of the State: Pervasiveness of Power, Diffusion of Resistance” text by Beppe Caccia, 2007, eng

Whoever enters the installation created by Andrea Morucchio is surrounded by an atmosphere of mystery. This is the mystery surrounding the exercise of political power, which seems to reinforce itself ruling over the life of human beings - as Kantorowitz discussed - to the point of almost making it become invincible in every space and at every time. 

The question we are called to answer is if such mystery does result unfathomable, a Gorgon’s glance capable to annihilate any claim of effective freedom from it and to oblige to the mere alternative between defeat and testimony, or if such mystery could be in any way penetrable and to which extent deconstructable. That is if this would not effectively result into the effect of a permanent unresolved tension, the aura produced by a conflictual, antagonistic relationship that of this mystery is indeed the primary engine, anything but still. 

Although sovereignty can only be considered, in the last analysis, as exercise of bare force - or as better Weber put it - an attempt to monopolise the use of the coercion instruments, it is absolutely clear that it works, and has always worked through processes of consent building. As Foucault argued - it works through the continuously renewing of the subjectivation processes in a both meanings, as a production of subjects in both meanings. It is not simply propaganda, in terms of public opinion formation or conscience manipulation, but it is mainly the subject-building in the power relation. This paradigm particularly applies - as Agamben has recently argued - to the inquest about the link between liturgical acclamation and ritual of sovereignty, a invariant character of the political power.

The laudes ritual should not fool us: the power, even when it does show as such, is not a centre that run over its subjects in univocal unidirectional terms. It is always a relation. As a relation it is always a force relationship, that means relation between forces. It is always a problematic and unstable tension between conflicting forces that produce the power as a relation. Before and after the power there is life in its multiple forms. These lives resist the continuous attempt of sovereignty to reduce them to the Unum.

The sneering smile that seems to be projected by the red figures, looking equal each other but also radically different from each other, crowding Morucchio’s work, remembers us that is the diffusion of multitude resistance that precedes and corresponds to the widespread of power, not allowing it however to become a total and totalised dimension. As often happens within the most interesting expressions of contemporary art, the installation Laudes Regiae opens one’s mind to a further direction: that of the paradoxical turn around of the path described in Schmitt’s “political theology” according to which each concept of the most absorbing of State’s modern doctrine are secularised theological concepts in the apparent regression to our present “political theology”.

A.M. seems to indicate, the passage from the secular tragedy of the formation of the categories of modern politics to the farce, nevertheless charged with violence and suffering, represented by the reappearance of the political and religious pretence to condition the freedom of forms of life, reveal itself as symptom of profound weakness of that power in respect to the excess which are expressed precisely by these life forms.