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Lumpen

by

Daniel Ivan

Year of production: 2011

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"What's in a name?", Shakespeare asked. What's in a name, indeed? Lumpenproletariat is a word "invented" by Karl Marx. A category or, to be more accurate, an adjective. Its mean is evanescent, not only because it has undergo many semantic changes through the years -and has been re-interpreted, deconstructed, even appropriated by as many discourses as you can count-, but because its original meaning was, actually, elusive. It included a variety of characters going from "workers with no class conciousness" to "criminals and prostitutes". All of those excluded of any "social change movement" due to their lack of will, knowledge, conditions. Tracking the meaning of the concept, following its implications, some questions emerge: What is lumpen, nowadays? Who are those "not answering the call of the revolution", today? Who are these people "not willing to be liberated"? Is there any lumpen, in the present times? Or, even better, is there anyone who is not?
Lumpen is the third piece from the series "w.o.r.d.s." by mexican multimedia artist Daniel Iván. The series deals with the status of words as "meaning units", with the distance between what's been said and the structure of the message as it is emmited. In a world replete of words, our main problem as human beings is to fulfill meaning. Or should be.

Coauthors: Daniel Ivan

Keywords: lumpen, politics, nature, marx,

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