Catalogue > Un extrait vidéo au hasard

Jan Adriaans


Vidéo | hdv | couleur | 6:24 | Pays-Bas | 2016

In a car workshop type space, between the pristine surfaces of car parts, archetypes of mass production, a construction of power is unfolding between a Dobermann Pinscher and its owner. A Dobermann is a special breed, it’s gracious, loyal, and potentially aggressive to strangers. It needs severe training. Both the owner’s and the dog’s consciousness are formed within this relationship. By the obedient appearance of the dog, it seems to concede to the rules it’s been given. But by knowing the rules it starts to gain power itself. The impression the video gives moves between floating through an abattoir where fresh slaughtered livestock is vertically stored and moved around in this almost perfectly hidden horror of death, and a peek into a shop window, where commodities are on display, waiting for a buyer in their best possible appearance. Starting from Wilfrid Sellars theory on the self: If the abattoir represents our scientific self; our matter, our genetic material, our flesh and bones without moral or ethics. In the image of the shop window our manifest self is reflected, a self constructed in a social context, a world of abstractions, of language and reasoning.

Jan Adriaans graduated from the Dutch Art Institute in 2015. His video-works explore human selfhood in its evolutionary context. By drawing a parallel with the animal, the set of constraints we are subjected to become more apparent. If we take these constraints into account, how can we redefine human agency, will, and control? “Selfhood is tyrannical precisely insofar as it is merely a congerie of drives. The act supplants the tyranny of the impulsive self with the rule of the subject. But it is the act itself that is subject. It is no-one’s.” Ray Brassier