16:00 – 17:00
Under Amour addresses the fragility of the body that we seek to hide under the guise of strength. This theme emerges as the artist tries to distinguish between the concepts of armour (French: armour) and love (French: amour), which in fact turn out to be extremely close to each other, as they are both related to the problem of human vulnerability.
In his afterword to the Politics of aesthetics by Jacques Rancieres, Slavoj Zizek interrogates: “when three decades ago Kung-fu films were popular, was it not obvious that we were dealing with a genuine working-class ideology of youngsters whose means of success was the disciplinary training of their possession, their bodies?” Similarly, Indian Marxist historian Vijay Prashad, in his book African-Asian relations, notes that historically martial arts culture has created political solidarity and interracial identification among oppressed peoples around the globe.
Jimmy Robert’s project revolves around a series of pictures of trained people reenacting various poses from Kung-fu in the circus premises, which are normally reserved for animals. This is not without evoking the human fairs of the turn of the last century where Asian and African people were exhibited. The artist puts forward such questions as: How are martial arts viewed today? Is it still empowering knowledge? Does this act of self-defense still protect us? What is our relation to the East through this embodied cultural knowledge? What do we learn from the animals, and have we become wiser?
Besides photographs, the artist re-activates the space of the circus by introducing a series of choreographies acting as interventions in the guided tours of the biennial.