A Song of Tyranny is the first part of the Chinese Democracy and The Last Day On Earth series, a project by Federico Solmi which was commissioned by the Guggenheim Foundation of New York (the artist was awarded with the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for video). In this swarming animation, the artist investigates the self-destructive nature of mankind through the examples of political dictatorships and authoritarian behaviors. Beyond the apparent Manichean character of such a vision, the video is articulated as a fictitious portrayal or the hagiography of an imaginary leader of the mid-21st century, idolatred by his crowd of subjects. Solmi’s playful aesthetics integrates a series of visual metaphors to present viewers with a comedic-grotesque parabole on power and its excesses. This sarcastic and irreverent tone allows Solmi to target the epitome of human folly, greed, and thirst for power, preventing him to reproduce a too simplistic vision of good vs evil.
A Song of Tyranny centers on the protagonist of the series in the phase of becoming a dictator, while he gets permeated with values and models that will influence his successive actions and decisions in the process of rising to power.
Solmi’s complex technique combines traditional hand drawn animation with digital models, utilizing computer gaming engines. The result is an absolutely unique hand-made texture within a real-time 3D framework, created in collaboration with 3D artist from New Zealand, Russell Lowe.