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Ellen de Bruijne Projects

Private Gallery
Falke Pisano at 13th Istanbul Biennial
  "Mom, am I barbarian?"
Curator: Fulya Erdemci
14 September - 20 October 2013

Venue: Galata Greek Primary School

The core of Falke Pisano's work to date lies in the political and theoretical figurations of speech and bodies, and the potential transfiguration of both within the field of art. Her projects often revolve in cycles (through iterations, involving minimalist sculptural forms, videos, and diagrams), whereby the artist deepens her inquiries into history and discourse. Pisano's own interlocution of these more material presentations, in lecture performances and voice-over narratives, makes manifest the role of language as a pivotal construct, capable of forming relations between herself and the diverse realms of her artistic investigation, namely subjectivity, authorship, agency, and representation.

Disordered Bodies Fractured Minds (Private M., Patient A. & Traveller H.) (2012), Pisano's work comprised of two videos, is a part of her much larger project, The Body in Crisis, which she began in 2011. In this project, Pisano focuses on six historical moments, in which living conditions have changed, triggering moments of what she calls, the body in crisis. These events pertain to shifts in various arenas of social life, ranging from the institutional and geographical, to the personal and physical. They include the development of the theory of the four humours in Pergamon; the transition from feudalism to capitalism and the Dutch colonial experiences in the 1500s; as well as the establishment of the first medical educational clinics in France introducing a new approach to the sick at the end of the 18th century; and the privatization of prison labour in the United States in the 1980s. In the case of Disordered Bodies Fractured Minds (Private M., Patient A. & Traveller H.), it is the trauma of modern warfare in Europe during the first half of the 20th century. In the first video, Disorder of Composition, this trauma is narrated by the voice of (what is presumed to be) the subject or subjects of crisis. The breaking down of text, image and language, in the second piece Composition, is reconstituted by the artist's visual and verbal inscriptions. The duality of these pieces in their aesthetics and register, looping asynchronously, actualises the kind of disjuncture between mind and matter, memory and history that forms the basis of much of the Western philosophical inquiry around questions of corporeality. Similarly, the multiplicity of subjectivities named in the title brings to mind what Foucault called the 'carceral archipelago', in which, through the state's implementation of various disciplinary and surveillance apparatuses, citizens, patients, and outcasts are left stranded on a series of disconnected islands. - Clare Butcher

Ellen de Bruijne Projects
Rozengracht 207a
1016 LZ Amsterdam

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