“The intruder is not just any foreign body in a world that would otherwise be seamless; the intruder is the principle of the seam itself.”
Ten years after Jean-Luc Nancy underwent a heart transplant, the philosopher reflected on how the intrusion of a foreign organ into his body revealed the estranged and the foreign within the seemingly familiar. While his organism requires this ‘foreign body’ for survival, there is always the danger of rejection, and his potential death. The delicate state of his circulation, brought about by the workings of countless intangible processes, forces, and mechanisms, is a balancing act between neediness and dependency. The inaugural exhibition of the Am Schwarzenbergplatz project by KOW (Berlin), LambdaLambdaLambda (Pristina), and Simone Subal Gallery (New York) presents works by eight international artists whose practices include painting, sculpture, installation, and film. They each engage with questions of human identity, not as a rigid or isolated entity, but one that is shaped and altered by various influences. The works on view make visible the complex and fragile workings of the foreign body within the ‘seamless world.’ In the works of Candice Breitz, Brilant Milazimi, Sharon Franklin, Baseera Khan, and Mie Yim, bodies appear as fragments of human physiognomies – dissidents of a controlled and normative reality. Meanwhile, the works of Marco A. Castillo, Dierk Schmidt, and Hana Miletić, point to the historical and political contexts of identity formation and belonging, through abstraction and an absence of distinct bodies. The porous boundary between body and heart, probed by Jean-Luc Nancy, is as difficult to define as the inseparable connection between critical self-reflection and social consciousness within the presented works.
Parnass, February 2024