In Radical Angels, Jaakko Pallasvuo takes on the representation of angels in the history of ecclesiastical imagery. Departing from these divine ministries and angels, they intuitively explore how the footprint of ecclesiastical authority is still pressed onto the image of our hierarchies today. The exhibition is on show at 1646 gallery in The Hague, from 11.09 until 4.10.
In a time when the balance between authority and expertise is proven to be increasingly unreliable, it is easy to be overcome by a flooding abandonment. Pallasvuo invites us to use playfulness as a means to address this chaos of being a lamb in search of a herd.
Radical Angels departs from the work of Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben, who refers to the idea of God’s angels being the first bureaucrats. Both Agamben and Pallasvuo liken ecclesiastical imagery and language of heavenly hierarchy, originally meaning "sacred power", to the way political organization and the nationstate are designed in our world.The "sacred" in hierarchy doesn’t only mean holy, it means "separate": to wield power by rule of law, while at the same time being outside of the law, separated from those you govern. What could angels look like outside of these hierarchies?
This cross-disciplinary project is centered around two collaborations. In a collaboration with artist Viktor Timofeev, Pallasvuo creates a 3D-environment that integrates the living world with Land Art manifestations of different angels. Pallasvuo has also written a libretto for a monologue opera composed by Stephen Webb and Miša Skalskis, sang by Rachel MacIntosh, which serves the function of an angelic choir in the exhibition.