"Breaking the Law (part one)"

Artists: Gülsün Karamustafa, Nanna Buhl Debois, Gitte Villesen & Lars Erik Frank, Katya Sander, Maryam Jafri

SparwasserHQ 19. april til 30. maj, 2003

Curator: Sanne Kofod Olsen

"Breaking the Law (part one)"

The theme of the exhibition is that of breaking the conventions that we find in society when it comes to gendered roles. Specificly a society that is still structured around the logics of patriarchy and thus patriarchal historical and cultural representations. The consideration is this: every norm that we meet in daily life is a representation of conventions within partriarchal society, and every history written is a reflection of these conventions unless it (the written history) is set forth to analyze and investigate the nature/structure of this kind of conventionalism.

The title "Breaking the Law" is referring to two related concepts within Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis: that of the "Name of the Father" which stands in relation to the "Law (of the Phallos)".
The Law is build upon the fear of the death of the father. The Name of the Father is replacing the fear of the death of the father. It is the symbolic meaning of the father and in virtue of which he functions legislatively. The Name of the Father appears in the symbolic order, when the Mother is set out of the game as the primary person (nutritiuous) and the psychological significance of the father is beginning to take place.

In psychoanalysis these concepts are always connected to the sexuality of the subject and defined in relation to the constitution of the subject. However they can be read on a more abstract level as fundamental concepts of these gendered roles defined in Western society. The Law and the Name of the Father can be seen as key elements in patriarchal representation. These concepts are in themselves seen as conventional reflections of patriarchal representations, since they are indeed reflecting not only gender stereotypes and gendered roles but the constituation of the hierarchies between the gendered subjects.

This is not an attempt to rewrite psychoanalysis, which is merely seen as a reflection in itself, but to analyze some possibilities of how breaking these conventions can be done. Psychoanalysis calls breaking the law perversion, however seen on a more concrete level in relation to sexuality. But this can also be abstracted in relation to generel representation. To call breaking a self-constituted law perversion seems to be an act of protection of one's own hierarchical representation and to criminalize and sicken the tendency to think in other ways.

A poststructuralist critique of psychoanalysis and the signification of the Phallus as a priviledged signifier, that it can have a priviledge status at all, is of course evident. The denial of the conventional processes of signification in relation to the gendered subject formulated in psychoanalysis, which is being found in Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipe is fundamental for this understanding, as well as is Judith Butler's critique of conventional and essentialist thinking about gender. The idea of a performative subject lies within this scheme, as a mere possibility of even attempting to break the law of the patriarchal representational system.

The artists invited to participate in this exhibition is seems to make an attempt in one way or another.