Life is a bitch

The film was commissioned by the “Center of Contemporary Photography in Iași” for the exhibition “Clinical Architectures for a Compositionist Future (Part II)” as part of CAMERA PLUS. Biennial of contemporary photography and moving image, 2016, Iași, Romania
"Life is a Bitch" is a sci-fi video-novel set in a possible future where the Left has the opportunity to build its project on Europa, one of Jupiter’s many moons. The short film follows the struggle of a left-minded couple who couldn’t afford the flight to the “Socialist Moon”.

Dialogue I. (Life is a bitch)

fu7u53: Did you see? They moved H15T0RY from sector 7D to sector 89C.

h0p3: I saw earlier this semester that his hope level was dangerously low. 

Narration I.

There are always some who cannot fly…Conflict and violence are inevitable and seem to be an intrinsic element of human nature. In the face of exploitation, few find a method to enhance their mobility and flexibility in order to evade from the strikes of its pressure. 

After years of rebellion and numerous attempts of uprisings against the capitalist establishment, the socialists have decided that the network of the market has suffocated all the alternatives and have occupied all the spaces, material or not, from where a global socialist society could emerge on planet Earth. They have decided to leave the factory of dreams which planet Earth has become and pursue their communist ideal on another ground. 

The first expedition was named “Communism in space” and settled on Europa, a moon of planet Jupiter and the sixth-largest moon in the solar system. 

After colonising and preparing it for human life, the moon was renamed “Future”. This step was part of their bigger political program that had as its main purpose the materialisation of the communist utopia.

Most of the Earth’s socialist revolutionaries, activists, political figures, and theorists have emigrated to “Future” knowing that, there, humanity will have the chance to reach its true communist potential. 

But there were some who couldn’t afford the flight, couldn’t afford to pursue their dreams and political ideals. The expeditions towards the “Socialist Moon” were subsidised for just a few people and it seemed that the communist reality was not meant for everyone.

“Future” couldn’t physically support all the exploited population of Earth; therefore, those who didn’t afford this expensive dream were left on the blue planet with the promise that a new project, a new “Socialist Moon” will be materialised in the future.

Dialogue II. (Anger)

h0p3: But you saw, they are making the same mistakes over there. You can’t just fly away whenever problems appear.

fu7u53: As if I believe that they are different…Now I can’t hope or even wish to go to the “Socialist Moon”.

h0p3: You can’t just build a new world when the grass is covered by the stones of the same old desire for productivity and accumulation. I just try to think that these issues from the collective union of the “Socialist Moon” will be overcome through cooperation and democratic decision making. 

fu7u53: People are too selfish, but the thing is that I’m afraid that we’re no different, I’m not different, no one is…

Dialogue III. (Total uncertainty)

fu7u53: I had a dream of total uncertainty. It was like I was caught between the possible and the impossible. On one side, there was a river that at the same time, wasn’t a river. The noise of its flow was flooding the void of my uncertainty…it’s hard to recall this experience. On the other side, there was a mirror reflecting my desire to know. My body was fluid and I couldn’t find a shape for myself nor for what I wanted to become…

h0p3: The pressure of continuously competing with ourselves, searching for methods to mutate and enhance the productivity of our bodies and minds…fu7u53: It’s corroding our lives…

Narration II

Now, people on Earth die young. They die in their youth, full-strength bodies, but live and work for uncountable days, weeks, and years. Organic, always healthy machines which can live for hundreds of years due to past genetic mutations operated by capital with the sole purpose of profit. 

They are all part of the Global factory of dreams, conductors forming a great net of energy, a complex system which transforms and capitalises all hopes and desires on Earth.

Now, all relations in the world, all forms of exchange of information have been transferred to the language of money. Life is now characterised by this great network of subjectivities which put together the body of the Global Factory and use as fuel the desires for prosperity and stability within the framework of perpetual scarcity and volatility of the market exchange rates.

Life in this new time and space has become a total bitch, capturing in its game of monetary translation all the potentialities of humankind.

The young people of Earth have forgotten to measure time. There is no reason to be interested in the flow of time when there is no time outside the production and reproduction of the net. There is no purpose of counting the hours of the day when all of them are owned by the factory of dreams. 

Young and healthy, humans cannot escape the accumulation of physical fatigue. After uncountable years of resisting the fluxes of desire crossing their bodies, they burn out. They stop. They die in their young bodies. Being under the continuous pressure to want more, to create newer and newer desires, to wish for more and more, to dream at more and more, the young-old people of Earth find their peace suddenly and with no warning. 

Young, smart, beautiful people closing their eyes exhausted by the centuries of labor. 

Dialogue IV. (Picnic together)

h0p3: I believe that we can build communism here on Earth, we don’t have to fly away to the “Socialist Moon”. There are still a lot of workers (here, on Earth) who struggle to keep the pace with the requests of the Global Factory. I see them every day… they are tired and close to exhaustion. They need communism more than anything; this society needs it, we need it … Only if we would work together, only if there were more of those who understand that compromises are needed in order to achieve common welfare. The collective body should be the main…

fu7u53: Oh, c’mon… don’t ruin my time with your hypocritical speeches! You know that you don’t have an audience here? And you talk about compromises that others should make, but you can’t even handle those needed in this small community of ours. You speak about sharing and building together a global communist society, but you’re not able to cooperate with me. And we talk about (just) one person. I’m getting tired of this charade; I’m sure that you wouldn’t survive without private property or the hope of owning the means of production.

And I don’t think that you understand completely the meaning of collectivity. You don’t even share your thoughts and feelings with me…
s.a.b.a./ Silvia Amancei & Bogdan Armanu (both b. in 1991) are an artist couple living and activating in the city of Iași, Romania. Their artistic practice could be positioned at the border between social studies and visual art, researching for methods and examples where art and artistic means can be instrumentalised in order to overexcite the ability to look beyond capitalism and create a (common) future. Working together since 2012, the two artists have materialised a series of solo exhibitions, exploring the paradigm of life exploitation: “It was always in plain sight”(2020, Ivan Gallery, Bucharest, RO), “If Then What After” (2019, Kunstverein Baden, Baden bei Wien, AT), “Return to Spaceship Earth” (2017, Salonul de proiecte, Bucharest, RO), while their works have been presented in many group exhibitions among which “STRIKE GENTLY AWAY ____” (2019, Salzburg & Stuttgart, AT/DE), “Displacement and Togetherness” (2019, Brussels, BE), “Baywatch” (2018, Berlin, DE), “Alternative Facts” (2018, Stuttgart, DE), “Odessa Biennial” (2017, Odessa, Ukraine), “Between Democracies 1989-2014”, (2015, Johannesburg, South Africa), “Appearance & Essence”, 1st Timișoara Art Encounters Biennale (2015, Timișoara, Romania),  to name a few.