The Upper Hand presents a selection of videos that directly or indirectly address the exercise of domination: over the self, otherness, resources, nature, representation, etc. Domination as a social practice is not limited to authoritarianism or the overt use of force. It may well involve the creation and observation of a system in which submission is legitimised by the involved parties. The hidden mechanisms that are in operation guarantee asymmetrical relations at various levels and sub-structures as well as interdependence. Beyond anti- or semi-democratic nations, domination is nurtured at homes and societal institutions alike across our so-called developed world: much of this development owing to the very anatomy of domination. (Necessary? Justified? Wished for?). At its foundation, it was the ‘that’s how it is/was’, ‘boys will be boys’, ‘God’s will’ and other principles that naturalise individual and collective conduct. From toxic masculinity and the legacies of a colonial past to a seeming symbiosis between nature and technology, The Upper Hand depicts the systemic presence of domination in our society.
Works by HISK laureate candidates Che-Yu Hsu, Aziz Hazara, Helen A Flanagan, Diego Lama and Paulius Sliaupa & Elia Claessen.