Alexis Milne

Goldsmiths, University of London, London

Goldsmiths, University of London


Alexis Milne’s performances and videos offer a critical analysis of the artist’s potential for being a political activist from a rather detached position. In order to achieve a certain level of involvement on the part of the viewer, he makes use of an alter ego, slapstick, parody, absurd language, and an aggressive modus operandi.
Milne’s works State Weapon (2009) and Safe Riot (2010) were made after his experience with the anarchist protests during the G20 summit in London in March 2009. The artist looks at the moment when a situational protest is transformed into a grandiose spectacle and spontaneously takes on the characteristics of a kind of staged performance. This happens on the basis of media images lodged in our collective memory and in situations fuelled by the presence of the media.
Milne also attended a demonstration against police brutality after the death of I. Tomlinson, who died from injuries sustained after being attacked by police dogs. In the video performance State Weapon (Re-enactment of the manslaughter of Ian Tomlinson), he created and rehearsed the part of a police dog. He screened the event in an authentic space just as it might have been experienced by the dog.
In Safe Riot, he looks at the increasing sense of engagement and excitement felt by the participants in a demonstration, including the moment when they are subsumed by an uncontrollable rage and animalistic aggression. The video was made using found film material of the G20 protests. Here, the artist interacts with imaginary members of the police riot squad from a movie projected onto the wall. In the part titled “Ultra Safe Riot,” he uses scenes from riots in 1968 and from present-day Greece. The works include a live performance by Chamber Music for the Disenfranchised (with Noam Enbar).
Mira Keratová

*, GBR