Law of Ruins (Alexander the Great)

In the video Law of Ruins (Alexander the Great), London-based artist and former web resident Léa Porré was interested in the cyclical nature of destruction and construction, and how the symbol and fetish for the ruin has been very present at various times and places throughout history. How remnants of past cultures have been appropriated in their decayed form, as a symbol for authentic and higher culture, becoming copies of copies with no clear original.

The starting point was her interest in the Ancient Greek civilization — particularly the use of marble for sculptures and buildings during that period, and how ancient Greek forms have been appropriated by Roman culture, Neoclassicism, Fascism, Surrealism, and global popular culture, especially by contemporary art movements like Vapor Wave (and other post-internet movements). These series of reenactments created an archetype for the Greek white marble forms and sculptures, even though they were originally never white. Their later appearance created a higher regard for the Whiteness, to the detriment of the Other.

It became relevant for her to construct this fully-white landscape in 3D imagery, thinking about the reproduction of images and symbols that are part of our collective consciousness, appearing to us as in a dreamlike state.

The video Law of Ruins (Alexander the Great) is a hypothetical excavation of the set for the 2004 blockbuster movie Alexander and bring together an (archeological) site and a (movie) set, exploring their similitudes in the framing of a particular kind of relation to our past. She writes: »I was really interested in this figure of Alexander the Great, recurring throughout history as a fluid and reproduced form, each time gaining new information and meaning and used for different purposes. In this reproducibility I was exploring its relation to the notion of authenticity. If the aura has been associated with a quality of uniqueness, it seemed here as if this archetypical form was generated from its constant reproduction, in time and space. In this work as in the rest of my practice, the tension of the sacred and the profane are key points. I believe that their relationship is much more complex than a simple binary one; to me, they are in a constant state of tension by mutually reinforcing each other. For this project, I was really interested in ideas of high and low culture, the classical and the blockbuster, and how reenacting a popular fragment of history could reinforce its sacredness, in a (commonly seen as) profane massively diffused form, add additional layers of understanding of a complex narrative.«