Translated from German, Trieb stands for impulsion, drive, instinct, qualities of life located on the opposite end of the Western conception of human being. To abandon Trieb means to ascend above passions into the space of reason governed by rationality. In the work, I pose a critical question to a tradition of Western thought constructed upon the violent division between sense and senselessness.
In Trieb, the aesthetic critique of humanism is carried through a close examination of a knife. Knife is by far the oldest object of Western civilization, central to our conceptual understanding of human nature. Knife separates a man from nature and allows it to dominate it, to shape it for its own sake, extracting only what is useful or productive, leaving the rest behind. In such a way, the invention of a knife is a symbolic step towards a way of life structured in terms of efficiency by means of violence.
In the research, I ask the following questions: How vast is the impact of a knife upon a human imagination? What are the metaphors related to sharpness which we derive from the qualitative properties of a knife? Would our bodies evolve differently in the absence of knives in the course of history? Who is a woman/man that is NOT a toolmaker? What is her/his language like? What is her/ his ethics like?
Idea and performance: Liza Baliasnaja - Artistic advising: Alissa Sneider and Stefan Govaart - Made possible thanks to: Workspacebrussels, Kunstencentrum BUDA, Kanuti Gildi Saal, Kunstenwerkplaats - Supported by: Lithuanian Culture Council