Exceptio-nal bodies

Francesco Moraca | Serenella Martufi

Exceptio-nal bodies is a performance-installation on personal aspirations and social control.  


Medeber Teatro will be in residence at Zsenne Art Lab for a week, where they will transpose the materials elaborated over three years of research on the notion of exception inspired by Giorgio Agamben’s philosophical project Homo Sacer.  

Exceptio-nal bodies is a theoretical and practical research project that investigates how the performance event can be a moment for artists and audiences to reassert their political agency. The performative event is considered as an opportunity to fabricate a new imagery that from a linguistic standpoint can serve to challenge prescribed narratives and significations of contemporaneity.


Specifically this research focuses on the subject of migration to show how a different representation of the phenomenon can in fact reveal the political potential of migrants, who by exposing their bodies are directly challenging contemporary sovereign structures.

The title of this research project - Exceptio-nal Bodies -  derives from the concept of exception that is crucial to Agamben’s theory regarding the possibility of sovereignty to place its legitimacy beyond the legislations and principles to which society is bound. The exceptio(n) represented by migrants and refugees is also that in which they are put by sovereign nation state rule, which by not recognising them as citizens tries to justify the suspension of fundamental human rights. Migrants’ subversive trespassing of institutional demarcations of space poses a direct challenge to some of the founding concepts of neoliberalism such as nation-state, citizenship and human rights (Agamben, 1998). In this sense their bodies become exceptional as they become bearers of universal questions regarding contemporary sovereignty. The body thus becomes the focus of the research as it is from the body that a performative investigation can relate to such a complex political and social topic. 



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