Opening, November 21, 2023, 7 pm
Exhibition, November 22, 2023 – January 12, 2024
“Above and below, left and right do not merely denote physical points of orientation,” writes philosopher Jule Govrin, “but also social relations and political conditions: Above and below signify power and powerlessness, domination and subjugation. The body itself becomes the template for the power relation.”* A multidimensional view of the social contexts of the twenty-first century, always guided by the body, is at the core of Barbara Kapusta’s artistic interests. Her installations, videos, sound works, ceramic sculptures as well as language-based works defy clear classification. In the postdigital condition, the digital has advanced to such an extent that it is no longer possible to identify a before, for all spheres of life are now permeated by codes, and the body seems to have become the site where analog and digital patterns collide.
In her speculative arrangements and artistic methods, often inspired by the literary genre of science fiction, Barbara Kapusta examines technology as a totality of tools and forms of action, scrutinizing them in terms of their gender-political significance. “In connection with our bodies,” says the artist, “the question arises of how politics exerts pressure on them, how it inscribes itself into bodies. Hence, technobodies and thoughts about their materiality play a key role. We are all technobodies, whether autonomous or heteronomous. We are operated on, wear prostheses, medicate ourselves, and hormones are everywhere anyway.”** This entanglement of the body in relations of power and domination, this Gordian knot, is what the artist strives to unravel with her fictional, partial, and queer perspective, in an attempt to distinguish the effects of an all-pervasive toxicity on this very body.
* Jule Govrin, Politische Körper. Von Sorge und Solidarität (Berlin: Matthes & Seitz, 2022), 58. Translated for this publication.
** Barbara Kapusta in conversation with Paula Thomaka, “Wir sind alle Technobodies, selbst- und fremdbestimmt,” www.pw-magazine.com/2019/barbara-kapusta-wir-sind-alle-technobodies-selbst-und-fremdbestimmt. Translated for this publication.
Barbara Kapusta (b. 1983 in Austria) lives and works in Vienna.