ejercicio
fiesta
securite
Esgrima
Es500
referendum
SOS
tres armas

The Digital Arts Gallery proudly presents a survey of the extraordinary work of Enrique Ježik. Ježik’s oeuvre hinges on conceptual premises derived from his investigation of institutionalised forms of violence. Issues such as migration, surveillance security, the rationalisation and representation of war, appear as central subjects and core concerns. To tackle them he deploys different strategies and tools, from drawing to video, from sculptural installations to action performances.

FULL EXHIBITION TEXT

Since the late 1990s, Enrique Ježik has surveyed the imaginary of social violence in its manifestations as police, military, technology and the media. This approach has featured the following peculiarity from the outset: it places emphasis on the physical connotation of the notion and operation of what we call "law enforcement agencies" rather than on the State's ideal/incorporeal function of watching over its subjects.


In videos such as The Endless Party. (2001), Ježik documents instances of various repressive agencies' performance—agencies which distinguish themselves for staging public force in public space, sometimes demonstrating deliberate brutality and arbitrariness in order to most efficiently spread terror. Repression and representation: Enrique Ježik's interest does not lie in security forces' precise mode of operation, or in researching their forms of abuse, but rather in their formalist role as a visible expression of and tangible shield for power. He does not explore power's invisible facets: espionage systems, political police, data bases about citizens or the panoptic deployment of contemporary technology. Instead, he focuses on the recurrence of repression as a sort of ceremonial: the everyday confrontation of power with the raw materials of social resistance.


It is in his pieces made with firearms where Ježik makes this meta-sculptural projection most explicit, examining (both politically and physically) the effect of force against a physical or social surface. Shotguns are indeed weapons designed so you do not need to aim: they riddle their target with lead. In metaphoric terms, Structure Built by Manual Laborers and 500 Twelve-Gauge Cartridges is not based so much on "the vision of the State" but rather on the moment of blindness of its exercise of force. One could consider these pieces as somehow inverting the notion of point of view, since rather than examine the watchful eye's reception, one experiences its devastating effect.


The fact that Ježik provides us with an entire catalogue of reflections about violence is not solely based on the obvious aestheticizing that sheathes the operation of law enforcement agencies. It is not in vain that Ježik has created a series of almost dance-like actions with heavy machinery: the battle between two backhoe-loader-mounted hydraulic hammers in Fencing (2001) or tracing a circle of holes using one of these machines as if it were a compass inside a gallery, effectively writing the piece's title, S.O.S. (2002), several times in Morse Code into the floor. What connects these expressions of force is the percussive action, the action of a shaft (human or mechanical) breaking through a mass. It derives from a shift: first focusing on the act of sculpting, Ježik then considered the moment of effort and violence involved in the act of work in general, and from there he leapt forward to examine the formalized repertory of violence.

Extract from a text by Cuauhtemoc Medina. Published in the catalogue of the exhibition “Otredad y mismidad“, Contemporary Art and Design Gallery, Puebla, Mexico.

 

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