Astera Mortezai constantly try to find ways to make communication between space, time, body, and voices. By exploring small cracks in the social order, she tries to find some moments of spontaneity to share with the public, like a living poem. After her migration to the Netherlands, she started to explore the terms of displacement, passing the borders, hybridity in combination/confrontation with the different layers of the body, society, and literature. For her, the body as a poetic object/sculpture connects to its environment and expands in it, penetrates, then builds other organs.
Nicolas Manenti creates a body without organ and focuses on the social space. He recreates the Kafkaesque situations in which our body is confronted. His works are filled with cold monuments, costumes, signs of an ideal modern society: but the ominous tension emanating from a collapsing furniture piece or the laborious gestures and petty jokes that Nicolas raises into absurd proportions subvert the marketed esthetics of postmodernism. In accordance with Debord in his Society Of Spectacle, Nicolas demonstrates the fallacy of rhetorical techniques disguised as discourses and values.
As different as our individual journeys may be, we come to similar ideas and comparable concerns in the treatment of the themes of our work: Social constraints, authoritative arguments, the reaction of individuals to coercion play out for Astera at the carnal and emotional level (Pathos) and by the means of attitudes or behaviors (ethos) in Nicolas’s work. The common projects are trying to combine the two approaches in a poetic synthesis.
Our projects are built as dialogues between our two approaches, sometimes contradictory, sometimes complementary, each of the forms proposed by one is enriched by the cultural references or the plastic vocabulary of the other, in order to widen the context of the work, in order to achieve a balanced proposal that encompasses several levels of understandings in a common form. Thus, we revisit the themes of exile, tradition, productivism, social etiquettes to point out their fallacious nature as different arguments of authority forms.
Our work offers a set of dialectical situations, to which we look for exits, by escape, by diversion or humor and commentary, to question the fatalism, the acceptance of the arbitrary in a seemingly free society, and in order search for alternative means of creating dialogue. We propose a materialistic approach of poetry.
Astera Mortezai and Nicolas Manenti, 2021