EXHIBITION: THE DIVIDUAL
Introduction to the project exploring an emergent subjectivity, divided from itself, and always-already part of something.
“You? I? That’s still saying too much. Dividing too sharply between us: all”
— Luce Irigaragy, When Our Lips Speak Together, 1980
“The divisibility of the individual is to be emphasized (as the belonging to several collectives).”
— Bertolt Brecht, Individual and Mass, 1929
“Our mode of hybrid living being alone—this together with our also hitherto always genre-specific bios/mythoi enacted orders of supraindividual conscious- ness—is thereby to arrive on the scene all at once!”
— Sylvia Wynter and Katherine McKittrick, Unparalleled Catastrophe for our Species? Or, to Give Humanness a Different Future: Conversations, 2015
“These days one never sees oneself whole and one never moves as a whole.”
— Robert Musil, The Man Without Qualities, 1943
“The tying of the hands at birth also symbolizes this; that no-one should accumu- late things the rest of the community does not have and he must know how to share, to have open hands.”
— Rigoberta Menchú, I, Rigoberta Menchú, 1983
“The unit itself is not a unit of a self. The unit is a holobiont – an assembly of ele- ments which have taken and kidnapped one another and are overlapping, folded into one another.”
— Bruno Latour, The Anthropocene Lectures, 2018
Since antiquity, the Individual has been defined philosophically, legally, and psychologically as an entity that is distinctively separate from the rest, and indivisible from itself. It is perceived today as an objective subjectivity. As the relations and social institutions that constitute the individual and those that are formed around it are changing, there has been throughout history a constant struggle around the gender, class, race, age, ethnicity, and species of those recognized as individuals.
While the long history of individuation is well documented in philosophy, literature, law, and social sciences, it is in the history of the arts that we find iterations and examples of the dividual and its proposition – from antiquity to modernity all the way to contemporary art. With the second digital revolution, we are now faced with subjectivities that are divided from themselves online and offline and at the same time come to life through networks and constellations. As much as the dividual is a product of our networked computer reality today, it also precedes the individual, as it hints on nomadic, shared, and communal social existence. The dividual denotes a broad set of subjectivities that are divided and at the same time are always in relation to others. Through a multi-disciplinary approach, this exhibition will explore the dividual by a deployment of materials, including contemporary artworks and design pieces, along with historical artifacts, and archival documents.
The term dividual appears at different points when anthropologists, artists, and philosophers tried to describe an emergent subjectivity that does not comply with the logic of the individual. The exhibition explores six different perspectives as entry points to the dividual; In anthropological literature of South Asia and Melanesia (McKim Marriott, Marilyn Strathern), and of the Andean and Ama- zonia (Eduardo Viveiros de Castro), the dividual appears as a form of kinship; In the critique of the society of control and the rise of digital and financial networks (Gilles Deleuze, Gerald Raunig, Arjun Appadurai, Michaela Ott), it is presented as a distributed subjectivity; In black study (Robin D.G. Kelley, Cedric Robinson, MLK, Marronage, Octavia Butler, Sylvia Wynter, Fred Moten and Stefano Harney), it is experienced as a presence that expands historically and by that generates the solidarity of the undercommons; Within the shock of modernity it emerges as a form of being that both expands and divides the individual (in Psychoanalysis, Feminism, Marxism, and Surrealism); In relation to the soviet science of manage- ment and shock work (Platon Kerzhentsev, Andrei Platonov, Sergei Eisenstein, El Lissitzky, Evald Ilyenkov, Bertolt Brecht, Walter Benjamin), it is perceived through new divisions of labour that provide measures or scales between individual and mass, or person and collective; And in the philosophy of biology (Lynn Margulis, Alphonso Lingis, Bruno Latour, Alexander Tarakhovsky), it is perceived as a holo- biont - a unit that is an assembly of elements folded into one another.
These various perspectives are explored in the exhibition The Dividual through contemporary and historical art works, documents, and archival materials. A discursive program highlighting the themes of the exhibition will include lectures, discussions, talks, performances, and screenings.
Opening on Friday, July 2nd, 2021, 18:00, with a performance by Emmanuela Soria Ruiz. From Monday, July 5th, to Friday, July 16th, 2021, the exhibition will be open between 12:00 – 16:00. It will remain closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Please respect the hygiene regulations effective for the campus of the Leuphana University.
Location: Campus Halle 25 (Kunstraum), Universitätsallee 1, D-21335 Lüneburg