Too Many Kings (2014-2016)
Fipsi Seilern takes her own questions concerning collective behaviour and social interaction as inspiration for much of her work. For the following series of drawings, she researched some of the most unusual group scenarios (some of which ended in tragedy) in history, in order to understand more about shared ideologies under an extreme influence or leader. From the Jonestown group suicide of 1979, the mass wedding ceremonies of the Unification Church and modern day laughing epidemics to the Dancing Mania of 1650 in Strasbourg and the famous medieval witch hunts throughout Europe, Seilern has varied her subjects and timelines with a chilling consistency highlighting the dangers of influence.
“I’m fascinated by the flexibility of the human mind and how it responds under certain constraints. Furthermore, when we are part of a group, everything is enhanced! Our actions and rituals, no matter how out of the ordinary, can become normal. Anything can happen when the correct combination of ingredients come together. For this work, I was struck by a number of things, and spurred on by an urge to study the most devastating examples of group behaviour after learning about notorious experiments such as the Stanford Prison Experiment, conducted by scientist Philip Zimbardo at Stanford University. It raised some important questions, not least of all due to its controversy and subsequent debunkment by sociologists and anthropologists worldwide. Today we have other epidemics, such as online viral challenges ending in disaster, internet grooming and new cults being formed every year.”
Hammer of The Witches. 60 x 80 cm. Pencils on wood panel
Battle of Dan-no-ura. 60 x 80 cm. Pencils on wood panel
Sati. 60 x 80 cm. Pencils on wood panel
The Fight for Most Power. 18 x 24 cm. Pencils on wood panel.
Love at First Sight. 60 x 80cm. Pencils on wood panel.
The Battle Between the selves. 60 x 80cm. Pencil on wood panel.
Don’t Drink the Koolaid. 60 x 80cm. Pencils on wood panel.
A Time to Dance, A Time to Die. 60 x 80cm. Pencils on wood panel.