Aperto Raum presents Political Animals by Alina Bliumis, her first solo exhibition in Germany. The title of the exhibition references Aristotle’s term in his politics. “However, instead of meaning, as Aristotle did, that we build society by practicing good social relations in organized establishments called cities (polis), Bliumis mockingly takes this expression at face value through a comic, yet productive form of literal mistranslation by focusing the use of birds, bears, and so forth, in political theater. Regardless of biology, states divide the world into two types of fictive persons: their citizenry, and everyone else. So as to keep this exclusionary set-up under control we had to invite something bestial, but sadly, something all too human: the police. Although boarders are themselves fictive, try to cross one without your identity papers. But really, what is identity anyways? I mean if your documents are expired, does your name do so well? Or perhaps, your height and eye color vanish in a puff of smoke, poof!” – excerpt from Adam Kleinman, “Plucked,” exhibition catalog.
Political Animals presents four series: Amateur Bird Watching at Passport Control, If There Is A Bear, Political Animals and Most Of Us Are. Amateur Bird Watching at Passport Control focuses on the birds that are featured on passport covers from countries around the world. From eagles to doves, from Albania to Tonga, this series explores the intersection of nation and nature. The series If There Is A Bear is inspired by the TV ad titled “The Bear,” created by Hal Riney for the 1984 U.S. presidential campaign of Republican candidate Ronald Reagan. This example of the Cold War narrative make us aware that using animal imagery for the purpose of politics is not merely an aesthetic choice but in fact a political strategy. While Political Animals is blurring the boundaries between the human and the animal, Most of Us is a study of the human species based on statistics of the “most typical” person worldwide.
Alina Bliumis, born in Minsk, Belarus, is a New York-based artist.
Alina Bliumis “Political Animals” @Aperto Raum
Sophienstraße 21, 2|3 Sophie-Gips-Höfe
Opening: 12 September 2018, 6 pm
Exhibition: 13 September – 22 October 2018
Artist Dialogue: 20 September 2018, 7 pm
*Text & Photo: Aperto Raum