Breaking the Law (part one)

Gülsün Karamustafa
Lars Erik Frank and Gitte Villesen
Maryam Jafri
Nanna Debois Buhl
Katya Sander
Curated by Sanne Kofod Olsen
Opening Saturday April 19. at 7pm
April 19. - May 30. 2003

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"Breaking the Law" takes contemporary feminist theoretical thinking, specifically its criticism of psychoanalysis, as a thematic point of departure. The exhibition title refers to two related psychoanalytic concepts: the Law and the Name of the Father. These two concepts help to define paternal/male dominance in Western thinking and writing of history. This way of thinking is seen as the Law and has, consequently, set the standards of living in terms of its norms and morality. The different gender roles and ideas about sexuality have been constructed and defined according to this law.
"Breaking the Law" does not express an urge to commit a crime. Its intention is, rather, to change the Law from within: to change history, society, and the gender specifications with which we live ­ in short, to amend dominant Western representations of gender and sexuality.

Although "Breaking the Law" incorporates feminist theory, the artists in the exhibition should not necessarily to be seen as feminist artists, since they do not deal specifically or exclusively with feminist issues. They can, rather, be characterized as artists who imply a thinking of resistance through the way that they describe or perform their chosen problematic and analyze their subject matter. It is a characteristic of all artists that they engage a deconstruction of conventions, and it is through this very act that they break the law.


Gülsün Karamustafa is a Turkish artist. For many years, her work has explored issues of female identity. Karamustafa's work draws experience, referring to situations in her own life. At Sparwasser HQ, she will present a video work titled "..." The work delicately explores themes of patience and resistance.
Gitte Villesen and Lars Erik Frank are both Berlin-based Danish artists. They have collaborated on this project, a semi-documentary video on the subject of a transsexual woman from a provincial Danish town, who describes her experience with transgressive gender.
Maryam Jafri is an American artist who works with video-based performance. Jafri uses herself as the staged subject in performance pieces that problematize identity and constructed subjectivity. Two dialogues on family roles and relationships will be shown in Sparwasser HQ.
Nanna Debois Buhl is a Danish artist who works with video and related media. Her work considers, structurally and analytically, questions of conventions or dogma within society. Her work, "Red light Transistion," will be shown at Sparwasser HQ.
Katya Sander is also a Danish artist. Sander works with transitions in space and signification. These transitions occur sometimes in relation to gender, sometimes to the constant production of signification in our environment, and are often manifested by small changes.
"Breaking the Law" at Sparwasser HQ is intended to be followed by a sequel exhibition. "Breaking the Law (part two)" will take place in Copenhagen in 2004. The curator would like to get in touch with artists whose projects relate to the themes and theoretical concepts presented in the first exhibition.
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