TANK MAN 2 ( Silvio Giordano e Stefano Boring )
It’s most immediate meaning sounds a warning: dictatorship is a reality, freedom doesn’t exist, guerilla warefare goes on daily.
The present-day dictatorship is that of useless machines, fruitless actions, of the cognitive metaphor asserting “big and expensive is beautiful”.
While observing the image, we run up against a confusion concerning where to direct our understanding of it: who is tank man, is he the man standing in front if the tank/hummer, or the man sitting inside? Is it not ironic that the anonymous citizen, who puts his own body against a row of tanks, ends up being defined through those same tanks, becoming himself a tank man?
Moreover, tank man 2 is not an unidentifiable person, nor does he aim to be. Yet, tank man was and remains anonymous, despite the restless efforts to be identified. It’s probably because of his anonymity that his act is meaningful both as a political action and as a mere gesture. By being nobody, tank man is everyone.
On the other hand, tank man’s 2 clear identity is likely to empty his own act, swallow up its meaning.