au JUS  

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 Il/legal Fictions

Il/legal Fictions is a participatory and artistic event series that explores law as a socially constituent and speculative force.

At au JUS we use prefigurative play and (re)enactment as research. With the project Il/legal Fictions we propose to investigate and alter societal legal structures in the frame of a game. While we cannot change the laws that govern us, we can change the rules of a game as small scale speculations for the rules we want to live by. Within the next few months, various resident researchers, artists, activists and advising lawyers will invite the public into playful simulations to radically re-imagine and enact the way our social lives are organized.

Given that the body is a precondition of human experience and reference point for legal structures, Il/legal Fictions offers to explore law on two vector lines juxtaposing the body and the law. The project traces the body from inside to outside from private to public law, zooming from the ways that laws become inscribed in our notion of self and our bodies to the way we relate to each other and our environment.

The project uses role play to create temporary zones in which the public can come together with professionals from different disciplines to exchange insights and inspire each other in the creation of collective fictions. The combination of psychological, philosophical and political theory allows for a reframing of reality that is both speculative and concrete, offering a deep tissue treatment of the structures we inhabit.

Il/legal Fictions is supported by De Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie and LUCA School of Arts.

February - March 24


with Danae Theodoridou
With III: ASSEMBLIES, the final chapter of the participatory event series Il/legal Fictions, au JUS explores the enactment of the 'public body' on the intersection of performance and political action. It presents Danae Theodoridou’s artistic research and her book "Publicing – Practicing Democracy Through Performance". Considering politics as a performative act, linked to the body's public appearances and forms, she invites participants to experiment with performance as a means to reconstruct public space and time beyond capitalist organizing principles. Putting emphasis on bodily presence and collective action in public discourse, a key activity involves participants forming their own citizens’ assembly, guided by a script that assigns roles and actions, and invites reflection on the ways in which legal frameworks enable or constrain social coexistence. Reflecting the diminishing presence of 'demos' in democratic processes, Theodoridou and sociologist Rudi Laermans will discuss the role of art in reimagining and rehearsing forms of civic participation and how differences can be confronted in a constructive manner. In this vein, THE ADVERSARIES guides two groups into a playful, performative conflict, to create a new, shared space born from the synthesis of their perspectives and reflect on conflict as a vital democratic practice.

17 February
Performing the Public Body - Creation of public space and time through performance workshop with Danae Theodoridou

18 February
An Attempt To Devise a Democratic Assembly participatory performance with Danae Theodoridou

19 February
Democratic politics as ‘publicing’
book presentation with sociologist Rudi Laermans and Danae Theodoridou in dialogue

24 March
THE ADVERSARIES - On the practice of conflict work-in-progress presentation by Danae Theodoridou

November - December 23


with Tom K.Kemp

Part II: ORGAN-IZATION moves straight into the heart of political anatomy. The state, itself a corporeal entity, is examined through the dissection of the body and its internal organs. From collective study of body politic metaphors and the construction of personhood in the history of law to embodying the individual interests of organs, au JUS invites you to the conceptual dissection table where the organisational paradigms and claim for natural legitimacy of the state are laid bare and re-organized through anatomical speculation. In part II, au JUS also deals with the construction of its own (legal) body, which is speculatively designed in parallel to the public program in a collective process in order to question the boundary between organisational, legal and artistic structures and to explore the "artistic collective" as a dynamic in itself.

13 & 27 November
About (J)us
with Katinka de Jonge

3, 7 & 13 December
After the Maestro with Tom K. Kemp with legal advice by Talya Deibel

6 December
Reading group: The Politics of Immunity by Mark Neocleous

October  - November 23


Part I: BORDERS explores the body as a site of struggle in which psychological and physical borders cross and constitute one another. How do we identify, negotiate and protect our own and each other's boundaries? Where and how borders are drawn in the first place between ourselves and others and what are the interests and affordances to keeping things separate? How is the paradigm of security contingent with the fundamental fiction of property and ownership over land and bodies? How is our sense of self constructed alongside those fictions and what is left of us if we let down our guards? Attuning ourselves to our bodies' mechanism of self defence, (auto)immunity as well as the states of becoming permeable and affected, what politics could be derived from this? Attending to the needs and functions of our bodies, how could we scale care and consent up to laws that govern the public body?

 4 & 11 November
with Susan Ploetz

9 November
artist talk and discussion with Susan Ploetz

14 November
Self defense and spatial freedom against cultural norms workshop with philosopher Karin Verelst