Crowd Crystal is a video-performative project conducted by
Through her performative action - that took place in London
between 2017 and 2019 in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum vote - Anna
Jochymek explores the concept she developed and named the ‘space of fear.’ She
came up with this concept because she felt that there is a lack of terminology
to express her personal experience of the dynamic of ongoing socio-cultural
transformation. The project is driven by a need to speak up about the issue of
limitation of perspectives, its relationship to power and how it affects the
social atmosphere of our time.
For the purpose of this project she wears her father’s
military field uniform, combined with inline skates. This unorthodox fusion
became the instrument for addressing the social climate in Europe suffused with
tension, gravitas and absurdity.
Military uniform symbolises archetypical armour while
skating - freedom and rebellion. The latter is associated with a process of
experiencing the space creatively and unconventionally, challenging yourself
with every given surface. It is also a high-risk sport; essentially a death
The route she chose was the original historical border of
the city of London - the Roman Wall. London (Londinium) was established by the
Romans who invaded Britain in the 5th century. In the city’s complex and
multi-layered history, she marks her ephemeral presence along the historic
border of the city founded and expanded by invaders.
Crowd Crystals are a phenomenon introduced by Elias Canetti
in his book ‘Mass and power’. He explains them as small structures within
society, which are the nucleus of power. Having pure potential without real
power, the structure can become stronger and more significant when the
political or societal situation is favourable. Expanding upon Elias Canetti’s
concept the figure of a lonely inline skating soldier becomes the embodiment of
the potential we all carry within ourselves to influence change.
The outcome of the project is a video installation, which is
designed in a way in which viewers can almost physically feel the space of fear
surround them -yet they are located in a peaceful centre.