Body Hegemonies 2017: An Experimental Transfer
Body Hegemonies is an artistic project aimed at exploring and making transparent some of the themes of epistemic violence and hegemonic orders resulting from the legacy of colonialism and slavery, as the hidden flip-side of modernity and enlightenment. Our aim was to examine the Eurocentric logic of dehumanization and processes of exclusion from the perspective of bodies and their embeddedness within these hegemonic structures. The goal was to use artistic methods as tools to research topics commonly examined within an academic framework. The project focused on aspects of bodies that have been/are being excluded or made invisible within contemporary and historical discourses. “Body Hegemonies” worked on the trans-disciplinary interface (entanglement) of theorists, performers and everyday practitioners (experts), in an attempt to make possible other forms of knowing and knowledge production. Specifically, we tried to performatively re-inscribe the historically erased body within the production of knowledge. To engage with and explore these questions, a one-week laboratory was held in which six artists/(social)scientists gathered in a secluded location near Cologne Germany to hold video conversations with international experts over three days on the topics mentioned above. Resulting from these conversations, the Cologne participants presented individual performative responses to the group, which in turn were worked into a “performative score” presented to the public on the last day of the laboratory. This was flanked by a mini-symposium with two international scholars on the topic of body-hegemonies to expand the discursive field within which to locate and understand the artistic explorations.