“The Beast and the Sovereign” was Jacques Derrida’s last seminar. It lent its name to the exhibition – and accompanying catalogue – at the Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart and MACBA, Barcelona (2015). It examines constructs of political sovereignty in the Western intellectual tradition. For Derrida the beast and the sovereign symbolized two opposing figures of the political that are both located outside the law: the beast, who does not know the law, and the sovereign, who is able to repeal the law. At issue are the binary power relationships that can be derived from this peculiar pairing. The exhibition at MACBA led to outright controversy when a work by Ines Doujak was due to be censored. The publication makes reference to this conflict.
Text: Daniel G. Andújar, Hans D. Christ, Katja Diefenbach, Ines Doujak, Iris Dressler, Oier Etxeberria, Jack Halberstam, Paul B. Preciado, Valentín Roma, Rasha Salti a. o.