Radical Passivity: Politics of the Flesh (22.10.2020–07.01.2021)

The gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig is realizing an exhibition project dedicated to new forms of sensibility and corporeality in the arts. Drawing on philosophical and feminist discourses, the exhibition distinguishes between body and flesh in order to draw attention to the current modes of passivation/ activation of flesh. This addresses not only the increasing digitalization of life or the increased use of psychotropic drugs, but also all forms of targeted affection to which individuals are exposed today. This radical being exposed is not freely chosen, on the contrary: according to Paul B. Preciado, it is subject to the regime of a „patriarchal-colonial capitalism“ that regulates processes of subjectivation in such a way that individual desire adapts to processes of capital production and the heterosexual, colonial reproduction of life. This articulates a hegemonic aesthetic that limits the field of perception and holds sensitivity and individual desire captive.

But how does art deal with this form of the affect-controlled production of society, and how does it succeed in intervening in this "new politics of affection"? Among other things, it does so by differentiating between body and flesh, and by conceiving as flesh that which transcends the body: in the form of rampant bulges, transgressions with uncertain outcomes, as well as by creating new precarious pluralities. The artists in the exhibition show how conceptually different such a practice of "affect deregulation" through affection can be. Their unifying element is the question of the social shaping of a sensibility that is no longer subject-centered.

The exhibition will be contextualized by a workshop by Kathrin Busch and Ilse Lafer with guests (19.-21.11.20, registration: galerie@hgb-leipzig.de).

A more extensive variant of the exhibition is shown at nGbK Berlin from 12.09. to 01.11.2020.

The gallery of the Academy of Fine Art sees itself as a membrane between the interior and exterior of the institution. The gallery's aim is to supplement and extend both the teaching contents and practices of the various departments as well as making a contribution to current inquiries in the arts, thereby establishing connections between internal and external discussions and - being situated in the centre of the academy - offering a social and discursive place for carrying out such debates. In the framework of the academy's specific capabilities, the gallery affords students, lecturers, invited artists, curators and theoreticians an experimental and reflective form of exhibition practice that can incorporate, beyond the presentations themselves, the active involvement with the exhibition and the reworking and reformulating discursive material.