NOTES ON THE EXCESS AND THE POLICE
Here I am writing about some insights on the research project. Note, however, that this project is currently unfinished, also here.
Could it be possible to expose the order behind the "distribution of the sensible" by focusing on the excess, or by taking the viewpoint of the excess towards the sensible of the Biennial space? The Humanoid exercise was one of the methods that I used, to change the perspective of the one visiting the Art Biennial, in order to transilluminate the conditions through which the Art is distributed in the context of the Venice Biennale. Through the few experiments with the humanoid exercise, it became apparent, that the constituting conditions for the sensible, would not become visible, without the intentional research work, of interviews etc. The alienating effect of the exercise produced both hypercritical or overly receptive perceptions. In the hypercritical mode it made things "too simple" (Katarina's notions) and "uninteresting". On the other hand, it could produce a radically accepting mode of experience, in which anything (furniture etc.) could be wonderful and miraculous (Ralo's notions). Either way, the Humanoid exercise disrupted the social interaction, that constitutes the Biennale as institution. I used the Humanoid exercise, as the mode of seeing, while photographing. The backside of the screen in the Nordic Pavilion was as visible as the front side of it. Venezuelan Pavilion was not invisible, or without a sensible, even thought there were no Art show in it. The speech by the Minister of Culture in the opening of the Nordic Paviion was part of the performance as much as the art works themselves.
The Art Biennial would not hide any of these things, like the use of the low-paid migrant workers. The overflow of tourists destroying the city would only be the matter of logistics. The concept of the excess is problematic, when used to study the distribution of the sensible, since the excess may only be recognized in the definition of its subject. It becomes visible only in a certain discource, that preceeds the perception. The challenge with the concept of the excess is, that one cannot recognize the intent separate from the said. This belongs to the logic of the paradox, that Waldenfels argues about. A mode of excess, that is apparent in the Biennial is, that there are lots of intentions, motivated from the elsewhere. When artists were presenting their works in the Pavilions, that happened during the "preview days" when the place was not open for the public. However, the media, art market and the curators would be there, and their presence would benefit the artists more than the publicity.
Why Research Pavilion was set into the context of the Biennial, is yet to be studied further. There might well be some reasoning, that makes it beneficial to be in Venice, even though it becomes expensive and makes the physical conditions for the research (traveling with Vaporettos, logistics of the materials etc. quite challenging). Since many of the research projects, that happened in the Pavilion, were not directly motivated by their placement in Venice, or they would not comment the space of the research, was it then the other way around, did Venice enable the research?
It seems, that the uncertainty is not just the condition of the artist and the curator entering the Biennale, but also that of the research happening in Venice. Many of us collaborating in the Reseach Cell got to know one another face to face, first time in Venice. The conditions for the research and life during the research, were shaped only a few months before the time of the research. In the temporality of the Research Pavilion, this seems obvious, for the "projective temporality" (Kunst 2015) we artists and researchers know pretty well.
to be continued...
See:Kunst, B. (2015) Artist at work, proximity of art and capitalism. Winchester, UK; Washington, D.C.: Zero Books.