Review/ Katalog – Zombie Proleterian (ENG)


DATE: 15/01/2017

“THE RISE” by Aleksandra Sekulic

When we think about the zombie apocalypse, we tend to identify with the survivors (forgetting, for example, that in capitalism one survives at the expense of the other – isn’t this fact already absolutely unbearable?), but what if we are not among those happy survivors? What if we are already on the other side? Forget hope: revolution starts in hell*.
Oxana Timofeeva, Manifesto For Zombie Communism, Chto Delat

FEMICOMIX MAP_Zombi Proleter2

“But what if we are not alive? The zombie is the one who is dead, who therefore does not have any hope, but still has a desire, and consciousness, or bodily feeling, or even a kind of instinct or inertia related to the fact that the extreme injustice of his situation cannot be tolerated – this is the ultimate despair. As already dead, he just cannot live, and that is what, paradoxically, makes him undead, or a living dead. His decomposing body is not individual any more, it does not belong to any person.” / Full text on Chto Delat magazine web site!

А zombie does not have an individual life, nothing to take care of, and yet he does not consent to rest, he still desires, and his impersonal body acts.

Ivana Armanini rises the zombie proleterian for us, which evokes the words written by Oxana Timofeeva (op.a. – and recently said within the perfromance “New People” in CZKD, Belgrade), about our usual identification in Zombie apocalypse fiction. In Armanini’s Katalog, the proleterian is a visual zombie, copy-pasted, repeated image carrying the Marx’s words. So, the comics sequential narrative is inverted, the visual narration is reduced to the sign of the zombie proleterian, the same repeating sign, the text is the unravelling action. The text is that desire that gives this zombie unrest. Even when zombie shouts “Fuck off!” his movement is in the words, no change whatsoever happens in his body or face. The text is the movement that is left, his driving desire.

If I could draw one impression from a journey through the Katalog, that would be the literature bravely joining the free experimental dance of variety of visual styles from overwhealming poster images to the infantile miniatures. Both literary texts and visual texts are comfortable in this game so they can hide each other, change places, shift meanings to each other…  Aware of the pretexts – comic strip conventions, usual teams of charcters, detective fiction genre typologies, common modes of the translation of the historical avant-gardes, they can intentionally fail those conventions, just to show how irony is still possible and cathartic to the contaminated textual production. It is time to grow up!

Characters of women are given to play with, the houswife’s advice, the cases solved by Gloria, the detective,  Natasa’s childish masqerade. Also, the perspectives are multiple, three little pigs are re-read through the Wostok warning of behavioral typology of the pigs towards their final purpose, the church can be perceived like a dog house from the position of the adventurous animal shadow play,  re-visited Harms warns on dissapearing people and and the journey through Golgota as Mrozek’s parable of social order lead by professional intellectuals making our choices. Be ready to associative play, or search for safety of the “Smurf illustrated bed lanens”.

The abundance of visual styles which sometimes evokes intertextual network of the Katalog with a long and wide experience of comics and graphic art,  only emphasises the choice of visual characterisation. The tabloes of singular images conclude the book with the powerful aberative statements, above them the most promissing: Femicomics is rising!