Holobiont Society

Dominique Koch

Exhibition from November 11 to December 17 2017

Opening Friday November 10 at 18h30

”I think that doing theory and doing story are very strong, they are like faces at each other, it’s like foreground background (...) Not all theory is story and not all story is theory, but the contact zone between the two is really thick.” These opening statements by Donna Haraway to Dominique Koch’s new film Holobiont Society, mirror the artist’s favorite themes. She pursues an artistic research which often touches on questions of language, approached as much as code, as theoretical or narrative tool, physical materiality, sound, and nature.

Dans son processus artistique, Dominique Koch s’appuie en premier lieu sur une matière théorique, qu’elle augmente et dépasse progressivement par cascades analogiques. C’est dans l’écart entre la langue et la réalité –aussi subjective soit-elle–, que son travail artistique se joue. Koch opère dans les montages de ses films des juxtapositions et des combinaisons de discours, d’images et de sons, qui génèrent des niveaux de sens, de sensations et de perceptions situés au-delà des seuls éléments discursifs. Les installations dans lesquelles Koch insère ses films lui permettent de prolonger et de complexifier cette création par analogies. Malgré les niveaux de complexité qu’elle s'ingénie à multiplier dans ses œuvres, son corpus de travail propose un univers d’une étonnante cohérence.

In her artistic process, Dominique Koch leans primarily on a theoretical material which she augments and pushes progressively through analogous iterations. Koch creates through the editing of her films juxtapositions and combinations of discourses, images and sounds, that generate levels of senses, sensations and perceptions situated well beyond discursive elements. The installations within which Koch inserts her films allows her to prolong and complexify the creation through analogies.

Holobiont Society, Dominique Koch’s latest film, articulates around mixed interviews done separately by the artist. Koch met the American biologist and feminist Donna Haraway and the French philosopher and sociologist of Italian origin Maurizio Lazzarato. Committed to thinking about life in terms of symbiosis, Haraway weaves links of co-dependency between species, questioning the mere notion of individuality. She relies on, among other things, the holobiont concept, a term that describes the phenomenon of symbiosis, the association of different species that form one ecological unit, where one cannot live without the other. As for the philosopher Maurizio Lazzarato, he elaborates on an analysis  of the current neoliberal condition with corrosive lucidity and questions the capitalist system through the multiple wars it inflicts and denies.

The creation of an engrossing audio-visual space allows the artist to lead this pragmatic program in a dystopian atmosphere which is reminiscent of a science-fiction universe. However, far from promoting the heroism of that cinematographic genre, she creates a fertile ambiguity allowing for a change of perspective, stimulating the exchanges between reality, imagination and alienation.

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photos: Anton Satus