States of Exception
For this solo exhibition, Thameur Mejri chose to explore fundamental notions of power in a democratic context. The title of the exhibition is drawn from the philosopher Giorgio Agamben, whose work of the same name reflects on the nature and use of power in a democratic context and questions the legitimacy of the state’s use of power in extraordinary circumstances beyond the law. Through painting across a range of media, drawing, installation and a reflection on the studio itself, Thameur Mejri creates a composite and polymorphic space of expression and action in which the bodies of visitors can engage visually, physically, and mentally. Together they deconstruct the nature of violence and resistance within and outside the law. His artworks are based on the pictorial tradition of emotional expression, using color applied on large flat surfaces. From these colored forms emerge iconographic elements and inscriptions in a skilfully controlled chaos. Fragments of bodies in tension, objects taken from everyday life, and symbols of authority and consumerism become weapons which, combined, seem able to denounce, attack or defend.