The Measure of All Things: On the (In)Human
29 June – 22 September 2019
Ulrika Gomm, Hanni Kamaly, Santiago Mostyn, Sandra Mujinga
The title The Measure of All Things: On the (In)Human refers to a famous formulation of an anthropocentric notion of the world and the self that is attributed to the Greek philosopher Protagoras (6th century B.C.). This formulation would later become the Latin phrase homo mensura which means “Man is the measure of all things”. Many claim that these words are to be taken to refer to how human beings use themselves as benchmarks for understanding the world. This is a controversial opinion that has been the subject of philosophers’ debate for centuries, and which is problematised by the participating artists in the exhibition.
In Sandra Mujinga’s works, the human body is expanded and allowed to interact with technology, fashion, and digital media. In the video ILYNL (It’s Like You Never Left), sequences from Malmö and the Congo are alternated in a film where the digitised and manipulative protagonist appears to be living through her smartphone. The piece is shown together with Touch Face 1–3, consisting of three sculptures made to resemble giant bodies, or test dummies, and that have been inspired by elephants’ behaviour.
In their work, both Hanni Kamaly and Santiago Mostyn refer to repressive, often racist, structures that limit people’s room to manoeuvre, thus excluding individuals and groups from social networks, welfare systems and legal protection, among other things. Kamaly has produced a new film, DINGS, shown at the cultural history museum Kulturen in Lund. At the gallery space, another of her films, HeadHandEye, will be shown together with a selection of her characteristic sculptures, which are often named after victims of structural violence.
Santiago Mostyn presents two installations, both with newly produced elements: The Warming Plateau, which takes the history of the island of Tobago as its subject matter, and Red Summer Edit, shown as a wall-papered series of images in which historical footage is juxtaposed with first-hand photographs taken by the artist himself. The violence seems to repeat itself in the images, which bring to light the consequences of the politics of excluding and dehumanising black people in the USA today.
Ulrika Gomm’s audio and text installation Building Nation and Bodies (1914–2014), compiles excerpts from declarations of government penned in Sweden between the years indicated in the title. This piece deals with ideas about the body, and political discourses aiming to control its existence. Gomm’s work HORIZON, is being shown at Lund’s City Library, and takes as its point of departure notions of democracy in present-day, authoritarian China.
Hanni Kamaly new film, DINGS, is being shown at the cultural history museum Kulturen in Lund. Read more here
Ulrika Gomm’s work HORIZON, is being shown at Lund’s City Library.
Curators: Hans Carlsson, Åsa Nacking