Pictures by Helge Mundt
In her solo exhibition “I Am Here to Protect You”, the German-American artist Alice Peragine, one of the winners of the 2020 Villa Romana fellowship, presents the fruits of her collaboration with the Institute of Lightweight Engineering and Polymer Technology (ILK) at Technische Universität Dresden.
In performances, installations, and photographs, Peragine probes the ways in which technology sustains power structures and mechanisms of control, but can also open up freedoms and help safeguard individual and social self-determination.
Since 2018, she has been a research associate at ILK, studying the potential impact of lightweight engineering materials in the mobility industry. The venture is an extension of her creative interest in the relationship between human bodies and protective technologies.
Technoid power structures in relation to the underlying physical and technological processes— including the various ways in which bodies and technology become similar to and complement each other—are a key subject of concern in Alice Peragine’s artistic research.
In the spring of 2019, she presented initial results of the venture in a performative experimental arrangement as part of the project “DEAR HUMANS, …” organized by Technische Universität Dresden’s Office for Academic Heritage. In the performance, her focus was on interaction with non- human technological actors; the solo show at Kunstverein Dresden, by contrast, explores utopian questions: How can the human body be protected in the twenty-first century in the event of a systemic failure, be it the collapse of the planet’s climate system, the society of control, or, on a smaller scale, the failure of materials in a crash? What remains of bodies, technology, and materials? These reflections inspired the artist’s arrangement of new photographs and sculptures in a poetic and delicate installation.
Alice Peragine (b. Munich, 1986) lives and works in Hamburg. Her works and performances have been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions including, recently, at the art space VIS, Hamburg (2018), the Bangkok Art Biennial (2018), and Sammlung Falckenberg, Hamburg (2018).