Etat d'Exception. À Oksana*
Galerie Dix9, Paris
curated by Fabien Danesi
photo credit: Charlène Flores
On November 1, 2017, the state of emergency ended in France, after having been in force for 719 days, following the attacks of November 13, 2015. A new anti-terrorist law had been passed by Parliament on October 3, 2017 to replace this regime which is akin to a state of exception. In his book on this political and legal paradigm, State of exception. Homo Sacer, II, 1, published in 2003, the philosopher Giorgio Agamben explained that this continual extension of the executive power over the legislative and judicial powers is emblematic of modern states in their security logic. The inclusion of four measures directly resulting from the state of emergency in the common law, through the antiterrorist law, expressly expresses this perspective, which undermines the democratic principles of republican societies by relying on this indistinctness peculiar to rights, whose foundation rests paradoxically on his own suspension or anomie.
For her first exhibition at Galerie Dix9, Katya Ev decided to refer to this notion, not because it would be a subject her work would deal with, but because this notion informs about the social situation in which we live and which conditions any cultural approach. One might think that the legal framework has little to do with the aesthetic field. But it is without counting on the devices, performances and other installations by Katya Ev, which seek to work the fault lines of our contemporary governments and to question, through a set of frictions, the rules of life of our communities. Thus, by replaying several earlier plays on the mode of dissemination and fragmentation, this monographic exhibition applies to itself one of the logics visible today in the public space: a tensioning state.
Aurelia Declercq, Katya Ev - Etat d'Exception, Point Contemporain
Fabien Danesi, comments on artworks (FR)
* Oksana Shachko, artist and co-founder of Femen, passed away in July 2018