Tobias Bernstrup Sweden, 1970
Tobias Bernstrup uses his body as his main medium that contributes to critical redefinition and showing muted and hybrid identities. By performing, understanding performance as a hybrid practice of resistance, shows an ideal territory for the work's dematerialization, and represents the artist's possibility to develop different interventions influenced by our folklore, videogames or internet, and play with digital technology's poetics and its influence over the body. From that starting point, Bernstrup investigates the tirany of the image, used as a technology for control and repression, and subverts it, vindicating artificiality as a parallel dimension or integrated aspect of daily life. Part of his seekness is based upon the interaction between fiction and reality, and upon the way they interact and mimick.
The use of sound and music, instrinsically linked to performance, is a notorious aspect of Bernstrup's production, specially the emotional dimension they both offer. The musical aspect confluences with the space investigation, physical and social, and its indissoluble relationship with the political body. For this reason, subjects as gender are fundamental in his work. The swedish artist criticizes the effects of normalization and naturalization that traditionally have accompanied the identity as a result of complex technological biopolitics, through different aesthetics as, for example, cyborg. Taking as an example thinkers like Judith Butler, Sue Ellen Case or Eve K. Sedwick, Bernstrup uses performance to denaturlize sexual difference and at the same time confronts the dominating conventions and statu quo.
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