“Be Water Again” at koraï, Nicosia
Water is between bodies, but of bodies, before us and beyond us, yet also very presently this body, too. Deictics falter.
Our comfortable categories of thought begin to erode.
Streams, lakes, oceans and bodies, waves of thought and fluid movements.
Humanity evolution histories out of the sea and our microscopic ancestors. The water percentage in our body. We are water indeed; yet we have to become water again and again. But who are we? This exhibition tries to reflect on what is meant with this first-person plural pronoun. It is interested in a ‘WE’, beyond human, which is living relationally with others, that is constantly becoming.
Moving like water, it brings together artists exploring the dislocation and diminishment of the natural/culture divisions linked to patriarchal histories, observing forms of community between human & non-human agents. By looking at trans-species, cyborgs as forms of multi-becoming that blur categorical distinctions of human/machine or nature/culture, male/female born/man-made, this group show acts as an invitation to think of new kinds of bodies, or non-bodies as mediators of feelings, sensibility and intuition.
It looks back at Dona Haraway’s cyborg myths, inviting us to understand the becoming animal of Deleuze as an allegorical representation for the hybrids we are. The works presented encourage coalitions through affinity and emphasize moments and decisions that this affinity is made possible. It is the animal pack we choose, our dancing bodies, our questioning of nature and science, the monsters we want to be, the molecules we are.
Digital water topographies: the mutual and interconnected production of space and identity is no longer assumed only through a lens of geographical positioning. Instead, the virtual here is a spatial reference point, a realm of potential in which the body – accumulation of forces, vibrations – is being produced.
This leads us to investigate new ways of unification and multiplicity, that escapes the presumably efficient bodies imposed by capitalism strategies, hence, moving away from systems that preserve sexual oppression and put animals, women, queer entities, black and brown bodies -others- at permanent and actual physical threat. Becoming “water” is a tool for destroying the foundation that has been hosting heteronormative and ethnocentric ways of being; becoming water is to desire and seduce differently and through this to cause the sense of self to collapse, diffusing it with others.
Be Water Again: once more and continuously. Be water repeatedly. This ironic -yet not dry- review of the past creates a counter-ritual in an effort to shake the formed regulative discourses. Rituals of becoming are being theorised in an attempt to understand methods of visualising and acquiring queer-feminist life, creating unique hybrids surpassing any sexual chronicle. These kinds of hybrids fight our tendency to anthropomorphise everything and seek no preservation for their own future. Like fluids resisting the spatial and sequential nature of existence, they are in a constant mode of transformation, permanently mobile, spatially in-between, affecting their surroundings.
Re-thinking the becomings of Deleuze and Guattari, and their feminist critiques, the works showcased are seen as calls to such processes. Becoming animal, becoming monster, becoming germinal, becoming machinic, becoming intense, becoming imperceptible.
Ultimately, Be Water Again focuses on assemblages, flows and tensions that produce a new social field, breaking the flow of one in relation to another. Entering into “perverse” alliances and creating new forms of connections with tech-others, the exhibition brings to the fore the politics of desire and pleasure of in-between identities, identifications and disidentifications. Distancing itself from the human, it detaches from the heteronormative and patriarchal hierarchies. It takes a closer look at the animals, the plants, the (desiring) machines and the microcosm, and tries to imagine a shift from an anthropocentric way of thinking to one that is tracing of associations with actors/actants that are considered non-human.
Panos Giannikopoulos & Theodoulos Polyviou
Eleni Bagaki, Maurizio Bongiovanni, Lito Kattou, Orestis Lazouras, George Henry Longly, Theo Michael, Petros Moris, Eleni Odysseos, Anastasia Pavlou, Theo Triantafyllidis
at koraï, Nicosia
until 11 January 2019