Hiding In Plain Sight: Studies On Symbolic Violence Vol. I

Symbolic power and violence, discipline and domination are the mechanisms of control that are hiding in plain sight in almost every aspect of our society: from the dictatorships of totalitarian, capitalist, democratic or viral character, to the naturalisation of self-surveillance, -optimisation and -exploitation. Despite being constantly surrounded by symbolic power, we are mostly unaware of it – just like fish that don’t know they’re wet.

How does symbolic power and violence affect the body and the mind? How can we recognise and make visible the symbolic mechanisms of power? How can art function as a site of resistance?

Inspired by the philosophical discourse on the subject, personality cults in politics and art, as well as video-tutorial culture, "Studies On Symbolic Violence" explores mechanisms of symbolic power in social and private contexts through performative and artistic means. Through the "studies" the four performers create diverse spaces that alternate between home-workout and stand-up comedy, commercials and interrogation, political party gathering and a party.

The piece premiered on 30. July 2021 at Flutgraben, Berlin.

By Symbolically Violent Overworked Young Artists:

Yana Novotorova - concept, development, performance

Sophia Seiss - development, performance

Véronique Langlott - development, performance

Vitalii Shupliak - development, performance

Claudia Barths - dramaturgy, technical support

Pitt Wenninger - technical support, photography

Hannah Rettl - production assistance

Photo: Johan Levis

Supported by the NATIONAL PERFORMANCE NETWORK - STEPPING OUT, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media within the framework of the initiative NEUSTART KULTUR. Assistance Program for Dance.

Supported by: event center Tor 28, Tanzfaktur Köln, IZONE Kiew, FLUTGRABEN Berlin, Tanzfabrik Berlin.