It's this question that artists Yvon Chabrowski and Anaïs Héraud-Louisadat are addressing in the exhibition Territory, curated by Kira Dell, and on show at the project spaces uqbar and COPYRIGHTberlin. The artists are focusing on the drawn boundaries of global territories as well as the boundaries of personal space – the outlines/contours of our individual comfort zones.
Yvon Chabrowski’s two-channel video installation Territory (2016) is projected onto the floor and demands an immediate self-positioning from the audience. The bodies of one self forming mass of people come together and are constantly moving. They are clinging together and climbing over one another. It alternates between faces that are pained, and those that are resting. For the duration of 21 minutes, Chabrowski creates an artificial territory. Its boundaries are defined by the frame of the camera. The artist gives her performers just one instruction: “Take your space”. This could happen peacefully but instead the protagonists fight for their freedom within the temporary society. Battles over boundaries are fought on an individual level, while the question of spatial and emotional boundaries of the personal comfort zone also arises. In her work Chabrowski also questions the construction of media images. She reduces them to basic image-formulas to create new ties among their decontextualized signs with the help of her performers.
Anaïs Héraud-Louisadat’s practice also revolves around the topic of collective and individual territorial fights. Time and time again she poses the question of the individual’s actions within a societal setting that has many weak spots, is exclusive, and does not scrutinize its own constructed boundaries sufficiently. The centre of her focus for this exhibition produced performative installation is Daniel Dafoe’s novel Robinson Crusoe (1719). This novel inspired multiple follow-up versions, the so-called Robinsonades, which among other ideas, work with the literary motive to enunciate anticolonial and feminist statements. Héraud-Louisadat sees the motive’s examination as a continuation of her artistic research on Germany’s colonial past and the multiple violations and crossing of collective and individual territories that come along with it.
Two workshops, based on the Brazilian theatre director Augusto Boal’s methods, replenish the exhibition both in terms of space and content. The workshops are a cooperation with the theatre project space KURINGA. Both artists constantly expand their artistic practice through Boal’s image and statue theatre method which they use to aesthetically explore oppression within the territories of our society. The performances that will evolve during the workshops will be presented at the finnissage.
A project by Kira Dell, in cooperation with uqbar, supported by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe.