• 05.10 > 18.10.2020

Translated from German, Trieb stands for impul­si­on, dri­ve, instinct, qua­li­ties of life loca­ted on the oppo­si­te end of the Western con­cep­ti­on of human being. To aban­don Trieb means to ascend abo­ve pas­si­ons into the spa­ce of rea­son gover­ned by rati­o­na­li­ty. In the work, I pose a cri­ti­cal ques­ti­on to a tra­di­ti­on of Western thought con­struc­ted upon the vio­lent divi­si­on bet­ween sen­se and senselessness. 

In Trieb, the aes­the­tic cri­ti­que of huma­nism is car­ried through a clo­se exa­mi­na­ti­on of a knife. Knife is by far the oldest object of Western civi­li­za­ti­on, cen­tral to our con­cep­tu­al under­stan­ding of human natu­re. Knife sepa­ra­tes a man from natu­re and allows it to domi­na­te it, to sha­pe it for its own sake, extrac­ting only what is use­ful or pro­duc­ti­ve, lea­ving the rest behind. In such a way, the inven­ti­on of a knife is a sym­bo­lic step towards a way of life struc­tu­red in terms of effi­ci­en­cy by means of violence. 

In the research, I ask the fol­lo­wing ques­ti­ons: How vast is the impact of a knife upon a human ima­gi­na­ti­on? What are the metap­hors rela­ted to sharp­ness which we deri­ve from the qua­li­ta­ti­ve pro­per­ties of a knife? Would our bodies evol­ve dif­fe­rent­ly in the absen­ce of kni­ves in the cour­se of his­to­ry? Who is a woman/​man that is NOT a tool­ma­ker? What is her/​his lan­gu­a­ge like? What is her/​his ethics like? 

Idea and per­for­man­ce: Liza Baliasnaja | Artistic advi­sing: Alissa Sneider and Stefan Govaart | Sound: Jokūbas Čižikas | Made pos­si­ble thanks to: Workspacebrussels, Kunstencentrum BUDA, Kanuti Gildi Saal and Kunstenwerkplaats | With the sup­port of: Lithuanian Culture Council