Le berceau, Marseille
Toni Schmale, Anne-Lise Coste
For Art-o-rama 2023, Le Berceau brings together two works that address the power of domination, police violence and the erotic ambiguity of violence: Fisting (2020) by Toni Schmale and Police (2022) by Anne-Lise Coste.
Fisting, a closed concrete fist linked to a metal chain, responds to the blue neon letters that form the word Police. Both works are at once direct and ambivalent. Police is imposing in its size and luminosity. The neon lights, stiff as stakes, could embody police rigidity. But their color makes them attractive. Like the use of truncheons by police officers in Alain Guiraudie’s Ici commence la nuit, they become objects of erotic submission. As for the clenched fist, it initially brings to mind the communist sign.
But here, the thumb is placed inside the hand. As the title suggests, the solid concrete hand echoes a sexual practice. Connected to a chain, it also becomes an unstoppable weapon that could be twirled to shatter everything. Despite their difference in size, both pieces display an obvious imbalance, an imbalance found in the balance of power and the means deployed to impose authority.