The tank Polemos

Time and again, documenta is also about war. The tank Polemos, which Andreas Angelidakis set up during documenta 14 in the Fridericianum, was a reminder of this. In 2017, the artist arranged seating modules made of vinyl and foam into a flexible tank. As a performance, the modules in stain camouflage were assembled into a full-size tank twice a week. The tool of war was repeatedly dismantled to form a cuddly oasis, yet a sense of war and destruction emerged in the viewer. Since February 22, 2022, with Russia’s attack on Ukraine, this Angelidakis’ art performance has become a shattering reality for Europe. Tanks are rolling again and their dismantling to seat modules, that is, the return to diplomacy, as still desired in the performance of Andreas Angelidakis, seems out of reach.


War – always a theme at the documenta. Seat modules in stain camouflage were assembled into a full-size tank twice a week in a performance. (Here on the Internet, it simply works with the mouse) / © Photos: Georg Berg

Polemos, the personified conception of war, was married to hubris, which he followed everywhere. Therefore, one should give no place to hubris (“arrogance, presumption”), because otherwise war would also come.

(quoted analogously from Wikipedia )

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