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British Pavillion

Viale Giardini Pubblici

30122 Venezia

Italy

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Escaping the Lawscape: a participatory game in the Giardini of Venice Art Biennale

Look around you. You are in the lawscape. Here, law and space are tautologous. You have a right to be here, you follow specific paths when you move, you mostly respect other people’s property, you don’t usually crash into walls. All this is law. All this is space. No space without law, no law without space.

Is there an Escape from the Lawscape?

A participatory game that will make you roam in the Giardini of the Venice Art Biennale, rendering you aware of the way you interact with the norms and laws of space, other bodies and other flows of movement.

The lawscape enters your body and mind, bypasses your conscience and controls how you move, when you pause, and what you desire. Internal norms, external regulations, historical commands: everything is law. Your body obeys and resists at the same time, contributing to the deepening of the lawscape.

Escaping the Lawscape explores the possibility of escaping our internalised norms and external regulations, on three levels: first, by going deeper into them; second, by running against them; third, by changing the discourse and opening up to other possible configurations of the lawscape. The game invites participants to become performative bodies, aware of obedience and disobedience, social pressure to conform or to resist, sedimented ways of dealing with otherness and difference, habits, rituals and spatial norms that operate within and upon us, as we move through shared social spaces in transition.

We are all bodies moving on a flat lawscape. We must respect the principle of indistinction – there is no fundamental ontological distinction between the various bodies – and yet be aware of the foundational inequality of the lawscape: the lawscape is flat but tilted. Stronger, heavier bodies, ranging from corporations to deeply embedded illiberal cultural traditions, control the tilt and determine the movement of other, more isolated, less strong bodies.

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British Pavillion

Viale Giardini Pubblici

30122 Venezia

Italy

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