The New Body
SALTS / BIRSFELDEN (Switzerland)
24.03.2018 – 19.05.2018
SALTS presents The New Body, a solo exhibition by Amsterdam-based artist Astrit Ismaili, proposed by LambdaLambdaLambda, a contemporary gallery space established in 2015 in Pristina, Kosovo.
The New Body includes a live work performed by the artist on the occasion of the opening, of which the video recording is presented as a hologram in the exhibition space. As a continuation of Ismaili’s interest in using performance and theatrical channels to explore a body politic, the exhibition explores the role presence and absence play in articulating political gestures. Ismaili’s use of hologram technology is propositional—extending the body beyond the standardised frames of representation through which we perceive race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and class. The shift from live to avatar performatives can thus be considered a way of relating to human bodies outside the temporal and spatial confines of performance. Central to Ismaili’s interest in performance is how identities are constructed and interpreted through contemporary mechanisms, but also how they are heard, asking what it means to sonify a body politic. During the performance, sonic adjuncts installed onto the artist’s body trigger different soundscapes as they move through the gallery. By translating the body’s gestures into sound, the artist aims at disrupting prevailing narratives around representation, imagining new and utopic ways of thinking about how bodies inhabit and occupy space.