Homo Sacer

James Bridle


Homo Sacer is an installation consisting of a projected 'hologram,' of the kind increasingly found in airports, railway stations and government buildings. The hologram speaks lines from UK, EU and UN legislation, as well as quotations from government ministers, regarding the nature of citizenship in the 21st century. Beginning with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights' 1948 directive "Everyone has the right to a nationality," the hologram's monologue steps through the various laws which repeal this right, culminating in the text of the letter which stripped young Mohamed Sakr–who was later killedby a drone strike–of his British citizenship, and the UK's Home Offices oft-repeated mantra "Citizenship is a privilege not a right." Homo Sacer walks visitors through the process by which a citizen can be translated through various forms of identity, and ultimately reduced to the state of homo sacer, the accursed man, who may be killed at any time.