non binary

„non binary – curated by Victoria Dejaco“


**Lisa Caligagan**

**Julia Frank**

**Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński**

**James Lewis**

**Olga Micińska**

**PPKK (schoenfeld & scoufaras)**

**Signe Rose**

**Amy Stephens**

Eröffnung: 21.04.2019 / 16 Uhr

Ausstellungsdauer: 22.04. – 19.05.2018

In a first instance, the concept of „non-binary“ challenges the relationship between the (art) object and the maker or viewer conceived as inherently and necessarily binary, meaning that objects are defined by their relationship to the human subject.

“Today, the ‘post human’ has invaded aesthetic debate. The emergence of speculative realism and of object-oriented thought, as well as the recent revival of animism, has created an intellectual climate where the object holds our attention. […] to its credit, this new theoretical framework contributes to the uncoupling of the conceptual duo on which all Western aesthetics is based: the link between subject and object, between human consciousness and the exterior world; aesthesis, or sensation, would not exist without the participation of the human subject. But the question arises, is it possible to envision an aesthetic (in the wider sense of ‘style’, perhaps) that does not have the human mind at its center?“

The second context the exhibition title touches on is „non-binary“ as opposed to the binary roles of male and female, a buzzword in social discourse, politics, and media. Conversations are sparked in a collective effort to promote a more open approach to gender identity that could benefit the mental health of all individuals and help humanity develop in a direction of inclusion, understanding, and empathy instead of separation, extremism, and aggression.

Progressive forces in Hollywood and activist communities worldwide aim at more inclusivity in matters of race, sexual orientation, or body type. Netflix has influenced this development like no other broadcaster before by producing shows like „Shrill“ (body positive), „Sex Education“ (LGBTQ-inclusive), „Dear White People“ (challenging racial stereotypes), „Grace and Frankie“ (against ageism), „A-Typical“ (ableism), or „How to Get Away with Murder“ (powerful and multi-faceted characters of color) and many more. Apart from gender and orientation, even biological sex itself is not a binary matter. There are seven characteristics of biological sex. Besides genitalia, we have chromosomes, gonads (testicles or ovaries), internal sex organs, hormone production, hormone response, and secondary sex characteristics like breasts and body hair. All of those factors can vary and act in contradiction to one another. Acting like gender is a matter of either male or female is toxic and has violent consequences. Intersex people, for example, make up 2% of the population (approx. 150 million) and most intersex children are operated on, their genitalia mutilated without their consent, at times without their knowledge, and often the procedures are never revealed to them. Binary ideas about gender, race, religion, or any other topic of humanity are blocking tolerance, understanding, equality, and empathy.

For the next step in evolution, humanity won’t only need a different relationship between the sexes, the object and the subject, humans and nature, but also the human subject to the entirety of its surroundings, moving away from exploitation towards new ways of coexistence and exchange. The artists in the exhibition „non-binary“ propose various approaches to those different aspects of new strategies of involvement with each other and the world around us.

*Victoria Dejaco*