Alienation and Charisma

Omsk Social Club presents “Alienation and Charisma”, a new short film based on a Real Game Play developed in the frame of their GameChanger residency.

09 December 2022 from 15:00  – 19:00



About the event

/rosa is pleased present the exhibtion “Alienation and Charisma” by Omsk Social Club from Friday, 8th til 22nd. Opening times Friday: 15:00 – 19:00 Saturday: 16:00 – 20:00

Alienation and Charisma by Omsk Social Club

What will have happened when collectivity has won?

When looking into self-organization in the artworld, there is crucial “real-world” work and experimentation being done in building peer to peer healthcare infrastructures, workers unions, regenerative food systems, local economies and so on. Collectivity, sharing of resources and redistribution of power are common flags paraded in these territories. Collectivisation and consensus (as implemented often in decentralized systems) in this context are interchangeable with a just social mechanism. In their residency for GameChanger, Omsk Social Club are exploring the soft underbelly of collective order, consensus and legitimacy through a Real Game Play set in a satirical possible near future scenario. They are constructing a cautionary tale (​​in the sense of Octavia Butler) about the reincarnation of contemporary visions of collectivized futures reductio ad absurdum.

Springboarding off the book “Alienation and Charisma: A Study of Contemporary American Communes” by Benjamin Zablocki, and using role play as a form of inquiry, they will dive into the manner in which alienation and charisma are generative in the emergence of collectivity. In this context, charisma is thought to be embodied by a single charismatic leader, a person whose authority is based on the widely shared belief that he or she is an embodiment of the collective self. Nonetheless, collectivity itself (or some portion of it) is often the charismatic factor, a fact that in most research goes under the radar. It is the seductive gas that keeps the unit together.

The notion of charisma cannot be separated from the concept of alienation. The two are reciprocal. Alienation consists of an inability to make collective or individual decisions in a societal formation. It is characterized by a sense of powerlessness, meaninglessness, normlessness, value isolation or cultural estrangement, self-estrangement or social isolation. Investment of self is an action that can be taken by an individual in the attempt to overcome this inability. Self-organized initiatives in the artworld rarely carve out resources in order to self-reflect on how the two play into the development of governance systems, infrastructures and decision making processes. The RGP Alienation and Charisma will unpack some of these unseen dynamics.

Omsk Social Club will produce a film documenting the RGP, which will be presented in the frame of Videoart At Midnight at Babylon Berlin on the 7th of December, and framed by diagrammatic fictioning exhibited at /rosa Gallery opening that same night and staying on until the 22nd of December. From the 8th of December, the movie will be available on the online screening platform Pylon-lab for two weeks.

About the Artists

Omsk Social Club’s work is created between two lived worlds, one of life as we know it and the other of role play. These worlds bleed into one. That is where Omsk positions their speculative fictions, through these immersive installations they move into a territory they coined in 2017 called Real Game Play (RGP). Their work aims to induce states that could potentially be a fiction or a yet, unlived reality.

Omsk works closely with networks of viewers, everything is unique and unrehearsed. The living installations they create examine virtual egos, popular experiences and political phenomena. Allowing the works to become a dematerialized hybrid of modern-day culture alongside the participant's unique personal experiences. In the past Omsk Social Club’s Real Game Play immersive environments have introduced landscapes and topics such as otherkin, rave culture, survivalism, catfishing, desire&sacrifice, positive trolling, algorithmic strategies and decentralized cryptocurrency.

They have exhibited across Europe in various institutions, galleries, theatres and off-sites such as Martin Gropius Bau, House of Electronic Kunst Basel, HKW, Berlin, Seventeen, London Volksbühne, Berlin, Stroom den Haag, Den Haag the Netherlands and Light Art Space Berlin. They have been included in CTM Festival (2021), 34th Ljubljana Biennial (2021) 6th Athens Biennale (2018), Transmediale Festival (2019), The Influencers (2018) and Impakt Festival (2018). In 2021 they co-curated the 7th Athens Biennale with Larry Ossei-Mensah.