Mathis Gasser: WORLD GUARDS

9 September  – 6 October 2017.


But if individuals – the people themselves – are truly the source of each nation’s authority, it follows that humanity as a whole rather than any nation is the highest source of authority. 
-Garry Davis


World Guards inaugurates a new series by Mathis Gasser, that will develop over time in the spirit of both his In The Museum and Regulators series. This new body of work takes its title from a term coined in Garry Davis and Greg Guma’s 1992 book Passport to Freedom. Disillusioned with the perpetual condition of global warfare and the often conflicting interests of nations, Davis advocated —in this book and through various associated political actions, including the creation of a ‘World Passport’— to dismantle the nation-state in its current form as a self ruling individual entity and proposed a singular global government, which would in its idealized form; eliminate documents “that permit the continuous consolidation of… power” (passports, visas, permits etc.); regulate environmental degradation as one worldwide interconnected condition; and create peace and stability by truly serving the needs of all global citizens without nationalistic hierarchy.


The exhibition and performance, although informed by Davis’ ideas, is grounded equally through current geo-political conflict, environmental disaster, fantasy, film, and science fiction. Gasser orchestrates the performance as an encounter between three figures and respectively and their corresponding sculptures and objects; the hazmat suited scientist; the time-traveler; and a human wearing a shirt with a United Nations logo. The last character represents the potentiality of a global representative institution like the UN to actively facilitate a coexistence between humans and earth itself, irrespective of national interests. The work materializes and at times breaks from the limits of, our terrestrial reality and imagines a coalescence between forces, of and outside of, this world and time.

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Photos by Roberto Ruiz.