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Alicja rogalska
What If As If
Experimental video | mov | color | 13'31'' | Poland / United Kingdom | 2017
What if As If explores legal fictions in international immigration law in collaboration with refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants based in the UK who trained as lawyers in their countries of origin. The video was filmed in a former courtroom and greenscreen, a device for filmic fiction, is used throughout. Legal fictions are used in legal reasoning when something is believed or assumed to be true - they allow for the law to be applied, without changing its text. For example, a refusal to accept an inheritance is legally possible if the inheritor is declared dead and having died before the person who left the legacy; another example is corporate personhood - i.e. treating companies as if they were persons. Immigration law is full of such artificial constructions: legal fictions of sovereignty, political community, the concept of entry, as well as fictions in welfare and employment law, and finally - citizenship and its terms and conditions. The lawyers` expertise and legal imagination combined with their personal, embodied experience of being exposed to the inherent contradictions and absurdities of immigration law, influences the way they see law in society. Legal fictions are used in the video as a vehicle for questioning existing legal structures, a tool for creative lawmaking and exploring speculative legal frameworks as possible resistance.
Alicja Rogalska is a multidisciplinary artist based in London and Warsaw and working internationally. She graduated with an MFA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College and an MA in Cultural Studies from the University of Warsaw. In 2017 she was an artist in residence at KulturKontakt in Vienna and IASPIS - Swedish Arts Grants Committee`s International Programme in Stockholm. She was also a recipient of 2016-17 Artsadmin Bursary in London. Exhibitions include: For Beyond That Horizon Lies Another Horizon, Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst (Oldenburg, 2017), Gotong Royong. Things We Do Together, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle (Warsaw, 2017), Dreams and Dramas. Law as Literature, nGbK (Berlin, 2017), Social Design for Social Living, National Gallery (Jakarta, 2016), All Men Become Sisters, Muzeum Sztuki (Łódź, 2016); No Need For References, Kunsthalle Exnergasse (Vienna, 2015); Critical Juncture, Kochi-Muziris Biennale (Kochi, 2014); A Museum of Immortality, Ashkal Alwan (Beirut, 2014), IMS Project, Flat Time House (London, 2013); Melancholy In Progress, Hong-Gah Museum (Taipei, 2012); Jour de Fête, The Private Space Gallery / LOOP Festival (Barcelona, 2011); To Look is to Labour, Laden Für Nichts (Leipzig, 2010) and No Soul For Sale, Tate Modern (London, 2010).