Daniel Nagy: O. Project, Part I
The worker in his human functions no longer feels himself to be anything but animal.
What is animal becomes human and what is human becomes animal.
Karl Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844
The starting idea for the project is the political satire written by George Orwell, Animal Farm. The book explains in a metaphorical way the birth of totalitarianism. Repressive regimes and dictatorships still exist in our times therefore the Orwellian text is more than relevant.
Orwell might be more topical today than he was at the moment he wrote his books, articles and essays. The doublethink, big brother, the surveillance of the state, the new-speak, self-censor, manipulation, rewriting the history, cancel culture, populism, post-truth era, elimination of political opponents, the overwhelming amount of information you can access anytime and disinformation are all in a way reminiscences of the Orwellian world.
The text is a sharp critique of the Russian revolution from 1917 that led only to the change of masters. The animals are overthrowing their exploitative human master to establish an egalitarian society of their own. The pigs start to gain more power over the other animals and they establish a merciless dictatorship. In the end, the animals are rising against the new ruler and they overthrow the existing corrupted power. The humans in the book represent the capitalists and the aristocrats and the animals represent the communists and the proletarians. Behind each animal stands a real historical figure. There is Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, Nicholas II, Rasputin, Molotov, Hitler, Ribbentrop, Churchill etc.
The works in the exhibition are depicting real political figures and historical events on which the storyline of the book is built on. All the animals become humans and the enclosed farm becomes the Soviet Union.
Daniel Nagy (b. 1981, Romania)
Graduated in 2006 from The University of Art and Design, Cluj, Romania.
Lives and works in Oulu (Finland).