Negation of Negation Tryptich (2003)

Multitude or Working Class?

A film by Dmitry Vilensky, 8:10 min, 2003

Part of the installation “Negation of Negation”

Paris La Villette – Le Trabendo – 14 Nov – 14h-17h

This film is based on the record of Negri speech at the 2nd European Social Forum in Paris. His speech was a part of the debates run between Negri and Alex Calinicos.

I was focused only on the speech of Negri and a crowd that very emotionally followed it.

We all agree to the fact that we want to fight capital and renew the world. But I think this ain’t conceivable as a poetical process. Because the name ”multitude“ is not a poetical notion, but a class concept. When I talk about multitude as a class concept, I talk about the fact that workers today work in the same and in different ways compared to those they worked some centuries ago. The working class and its class composition are quite different in the distinct periods that followed each other since the beginning of the industrial age.

Antonio Negri

See full transcription of the conversation


A film by Dmitry Vilensky, 2003

Part of the video installation “Negation of Negation”

This video was made at the demonstration organized by European Social Forum in Paris in November 2003, and is shown on one of the two monitors on the back side of the screening wall.

“In the beginning is the scream. We scream.When we write or when we read, it is easy to forget that the beginning is not the word, but the scream. Faced with the mutilation of human lives by capitalism, a scream of sadness, a scream of horror, a scream of anger, a scream of refusal: NO.”

John Holloway, Change the World without Taking Power

The films shows different way of almost all existing traditional demonstration’s chanting slogans in Europe. Due to the cut of the film this activity in film is shown in condensed, almost comic form mixing moment of pure exaltation and concentration. symbolizes

In the construction of the installation this activity symbolizes the role of multitude with its features based on affects, linguistic production and virtuosity in action.

Dmitry Vilensky

Production Line

 A film by Dmitry Vilensky, 8:10 min, 2003

Part of the installation “Negation of Negation”

This film was made in the Gorky Automobile Plant in Nizhny Novgorod, which was build in 1929 by Henry Ford and has since been Russia’s leading car manufacturer.

In ‘Production Line,’ it was important for me to reflect the most basic work activity (work on an assembly line), forcing the audience to look at workers once again after a long break. Approaching the proletariat is important on a symbolic level; in a society dominated by financial speculation and service, the notion of physical labor itself has been forced to the periphery, but work goes on, and never really vanished from post-capitalist society.

The film is based on the parallel montage of the faces and hands of the workers who work on the assembly line on the one hand, and total shots of the factory entrance, as workers leave the factory during the changing shift.It is important to note that the film focuses on conveying the tension involved in the work process, which becomes especially clear if you compare their faces during work and after work. Though work on the assembly is obviously mechanical and demeaning, we can see that the worker gains dignity through concentration and communication while working. At the same time, when the workers leave the factory, they lose their individual quality and become a grey, faceless mask.

Dmitry Vilensky