Magdalena Mądra

A certain quantum of anxiety in a free state

floats here on the surface

Installation: photographs, objects, film and sound

Wrocław 2020

Anxiety lives in us from our conception, ruling, weakening and protecting us at the same time. It was a topic of Socrates’ talks, Freud’s studies, Dante’s writings and Goya’s paintings. Full-time employment was given to it by politicians and lobbyists. Science divides it into (first) parts, selects and diagnoses: fear, anxiety, awe, panic, phobia, dread. Each of them is slightly different, but fruitful: from combat to dodging and escaping.

Susan Sontag wrote that photography protects from fear, while being an instrument of power. And just as biopolitics manipulates the sense of threat, the culture that arises in response to fear is also its generator. Antoni Kepiński’s “undefined anxiety” in Zygmunt Bauman’s “liquid modernity” fills the void of unknown danger with imaginary scenes.

Starting from the issues that arouse fear in the contemporary world (financial crisis, diseases and pandemics, climatic destruction, Other / refugee movement, minorities, differences, hunger, weakness and death), I would like to say something about us for myself. To tame the fear that paralyzes me and also to blur this anxiety in you. And in the Other – the same or different, in plants, animals and humans.