Given today’s political climate, Leonard’s manifesto is currently reverberating with renewed force, and the text serves as the starting point for the Subjektiv exhibition that will be on display at Kunstnernes Hus from November 24th. Featuring eight other artists as well, the exhibition will attempt to define a more multi-layered political subject in today’s politically charged environment.
I want a dyke for president. I want a person with AIDS for president and I want a fag for vice president and I want someone with no health insurance and I want someone who grew up in a place where the earth is so saturated with toxic waste that they didn’t have a choice about getting leukemia.
- Zoe Leonard, “I Want a President”, 1992
Subjektiv explores the relations that can arise in the nexus between art, politics, and subjectivity. The exhibition presents artists who either explicitly or implicitly touch on the current political situation and who explore subjectivity and its political potential, or its powerlessness. They all use the camera as an artistic tool, and by means of photography, film, installations, texts, and collage they investigate the tensions between society and perceptions of the self. Several of them query the very notion of how identity is defined, presented, and regulated through images.
In today’s online society, we all live in digital social spaces where emotional statements constantly flow by, and where we photograph, articulate, and distribute ourselves to an entirely different degree than before. The spaces that are thus created are intensely personal, but also politically significant because of their potential collective punch.
Subjektiv has been curated by the editorial staff of the Norwegian art journal Objektiv, which for the occasion has changed its name to Subjektiv for two special issues. The exhibition is a collaboration with Malmö Kunsthall (SWE), where it ran earlier this year from 2 June to 10 September.
Eline Mugaas and Elise Storsveen (NO), Basma Alsharif (USA), Sara Cwynar (CAN), Liz Magic Laser (USA), Deana Lawson (USA), Zoe Leonard (USA), Sandra Mujinga (NO) og Josephine Pryde (UK).