TOK's Creative Association of Curators presents 'The New Subject': A 4-part exhibition series exploring body challenges in biopolitics and technology from June 2to August 19, 2023.
The New Subject is a partnership between the curatorial pair and four European art institutions: Sweden’s Konsthall C, Denmark’s Kunsthal NORD, Finland’s Oksasenkatu 11, and Germany’s KINDL—Centre for Contemporary Art. During the year 2023-2024, each participating venue will host an exhibition co-curated by TOK and a local curator(s), addressing global body-related issues while also respecting the unique settings and concerns of the local community.
Drawing on the ideas of Achille Mbembe, who claims that today’s control societies rely on the “manufacture of a new subject that is at once a physiological assemblage, a synthetic and electronic assemblage, and a neuro-biological assemblage,” the project seeks to decode and expose the repressive and manipulative mechanisms incorporated into various constituents of the modern state. The exhibition series will investigate new forms of life that defy the coercive machinations of state engineering by analyzing the body as a disputed venue for ideological and political power games.
The inaugural exhibition at Konsthall C, Mutating Rights and Conditions of Living Bodies, relates to the idea of a sovereign body being regarded as disposable by companies and governments. The show examines how power structures and state apparatuses effect the body via diverse creative forms, using law as a weapon for control, frequently resulting in violations of rights and freedoms. The exhibition invites spectators to consider the ethical and moral elements of such acts by presenting examples of violence and oppression carried out under the pretense of legal structures. The artists examine how bodies are utilized as resources in conflicts and technological/military/medical experimentation, which frequently end in the exploitation and maltreatment of historically underprivileged groups of people.
The New Subject’s second exhibition will take held at Konsthal NORD in Aalborg (Denmark) from September 29 to November 25, 2023. This iteration will concentrate on public health issues and the stigmatization of unusual mental states and bodies. The exhibition will also address systemic disinvestments in state health policy, the rise of new illnesses as a result of post-capitalist labor and environmental circumstances, and the pharmaceutical industry’s disturbing practices of exploiting vulnerable people.
Public program on June 3, 2–5pm
2–2:30pm: Curatorial tour
3–5pm: Manipulation and Resistance: Gendered Bodies under State Instrumentalization
Public discussion with artists Ajla R. Steinvåg, Björn Larsson and Carl Johan Erikson, Oshin Siao Bhatt and Anna Ådahl
Anna Bitkina and Maria Veits created TOK, a nomadic and transnational curatorial group, in 2010. Their work is founded on historical study and political imagination, resulting in multifaceted projects that investigate the origins and repercussions of shifting realities and oppressive political regimes. TOK infiltrates social structures, bringing their tensions and corrupt functions into public debate in order to reconsider the duties and powers of social institutions and redraft their potential future. Their research focuses on local governance, public space, media, educational, and legal systems, with a particular emphasis on excluded histories, communities, and experiences, built environment politics, and the imposed hierarchies across various cultures and geographies.
TOK’s efforts include exhibition curation, socially conscious public art initiatives, educational events, and publications.
Ulrika Flink is the creative director of Konsthall C, a major influence in Sweden’s socially involved art sector. Flink is the director of Konstfrämjandet Stockholm, as well as the curator of Black Archives Sweden. She has co-curated notable exhibits such as Momentum 9, a significant biennial for contemporary Nordic art, in 2017. She will co-curate the Bors Art Biennial themed “Deep Listening for Longing” in 2021. Flink has a wealth of expertise dealing with art on a local, national, and worldwide scale. She graduated from the Royal College of Art in London with a master’s degree in Curating Contemporary Art.
Artists: Ajla R. Steinvåg, Albina Mokhryakova, Anan Fries & Malu Peeters, Anastasia Alekhina, Anders Sunna, Kyuri Jeon, Ofri Cnaani, Oshin Siao Bhatt, Tabita Rezaire, Tore Hallas
Curated by TOK, Anna Bitkina and Maria Veits, and Ulrika Flink.
SE-123 57 Farsta