OUR HOUSE IS A HOUSE THAT MOVES
Received From Natasa Petresin
You are kindly invited to attend the opening of the exhibition on Saturday, April 8th at 4 p.m. at the Living Art Museum.
The exhibition was a part of the festival Steirischer Herbst 2003, Graz, Austria and was presented at the Pavelhaus in Laafeld, Austria, in October 2003, as well as in the Škuc Gallery in Ljubljana, in May 2004.
Uršula Berlot (Ljubljana)
Ilana Halperin (Glasgow)
Edi Hila (Tirana)
Tim Knowles (London)
Aydan Murtezaoğlu (Istanbul)
The Otolith Group (Kodwo Eshun, Richard Couzins & Anjalika Sagar, London)
Tobias Putrih (New York/Ljubljana)
Steven Rand (New York)
Rubedo (Vesna Petrešin & Laurent-Paul Robert, London) & The Young Gods (Geneve)
Egill Sæbjörnsson (Berlin/Reykjavik)
Einar Thorsteinn (Berlin)
Sislej Xhafa (New York)
Curator: Nataša Petrešin
About the concept of the exhibition:
»When we think of space as being measurable, divisible, and composed of points plotting possible positions that objects may occupy, we are stopping the world in thought. Grids happen. The fact is that with every move, with every change, there is something new to the world, an added reality. The world is self-augmenting.« (Brian Massumi, Parables for the Virtual. Movement, Affect, Sensation, 2002)
»The field of human activities, within which we mortals usually inhabit, is in constant movement. These changing conditions correspond to the fluid opinions that humans have and that are succumbed to the same permanent change. A philosopher sets them in opposition to the divine truth which is in its nature permanent. « (Hannah Arendt, Lying in Politics: Reflections on the Pentagon Papers, 1971)
At the beginning of the 20th century, the uncertainty principle of Werner Heisenberg and the relativity theory opened up the universe of the quantum mechanics and weakened the reference points of the Cartesian-Newtonian system, the belief in the scientific knowledge and the superiority of the mind, through which we have been describing our reality for some centuries. The uncertainty principle has showed that at the subatomic and atomic level the events do not occur with certainty in at definite place and in definite times, but rather one can indicate the ‘tendencies to occur’. In contrast to the mechanistic Cartesian view of the world, the world in the modern physics turned out to be an interactive, organic, ecological and holistic phenomenon. Parallel to these scientific researches, new theories of our perception and the perception of the body, the ‘flesh’ as Merleau-Ponty defined it, emerged. Within them the proofs were made about the mutual interaction and influence between the observer and the observed matter, and the experience of the observer at describing the system has been included. Regarding these shifts in the science, contemporary physician John Wheeler calls for omitting the old word “observer” and use instead of it the new term “participator”. Thus the participatory reality consists of basic concepts of the movement, sensation and affects through which we experience space, realities, time and consciousness. Gilles Deleuze speaks of the “smooth” space, as opposed to the “striated” space. The smooth space is the one constructed by nomadic subjects that move along the trajectory in-between two points, not from one point to another. This subject is no longer a substance fixed between the mind and the body, but a process, a becoming that is being managed by constant shifts and negotiations between various material and semiotic conditions.
The only constant in today’s world is the change in the shape of a non-linear process. The political economy of such world tends to maintain the uncertainty- and fear-management that these changes cause. We can speak of a state of constant crisis. The changes within science throughout the 20th century have proved the relativity of truth in science and how its approximations defined the traditional concepts and theories. Because of the limitations, the rational mind can never provide a complete description of reality. Science and media thus do not deal with truth, but with approximated descriptions of reality. Or as Werner Heisenberg already put it: “Every word or concept, clear as it may seem to be, has only a limited range of applicability.“
The artists within the exhibition Our House Is A House That Moves deal with the continuity of the movement, the changing and impermanence of the phenomena in us as well as in nature. Within the frame of their production they expand and draw together the borders between the disciplines like art and science (The Otolith Group, Uršula Berlot, Steven Rand, Tim Knowles), or they comment on the esoteric sciences (Einar Thorsteinn). In their projects they invent utopias or visualise “science fiction of the present” (Ilana Halperin, The Otolith Group, Einar Thorsteinn, Tobias Putrih), and open up the field of metaphoric and literal confrontation with the reality as an always-evading entity with a simulation (Egill Sæbjörnsson), processual procedures (Steven Rand), manipulated view (Aydan Murtezaoğlu), documenting (Edi Hila), ironic relationship towards the reality and the symbolic (Sislej Xhafa), and with the computer animation and sound (Rubedo&The Young Gods).
(Title is taken from the lyrics by Franz Treichler, The Young Gods, Courtesy Pas Mal Publishing.)
Nataša Petrešin is a freelance curator, living and working in Paris and Ljubljana. In 2003, she was co-curator at Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kassel at the exhibition In the Gorges of the Balkans, curated by René Block. Among the exhibitions she has curated are Participation: Nuisance or Necessity (Iaspis, Stockholm, 2005), Haunted by Detail (as part of the Curatorial Training Programme at De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam, 2002), You Are Not Alone (Pavelhaus, Laafeld, 2002), Sound in Art (Gallery Priestor, Bratislava, 2001), and the sound event series Re-lax (together with Projekt Atol, Ljubljana, 2001–2002). She was assistant curator for the Slovene Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2001. Since 1999, she has been regularly publishing essays in art magazines and catalogues. In April 2004 she conceptualised, together with Gregor Podnar, an international conference Public vs Private. Cultural Policies and Art Market in the Central and South-Eastern Europe, organized by the Škuc Gallery and hosted by Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana. She is a contributing editor of an online magazine ArtMargins as well as correspondent of the magazine Contemporary. Currently she works within the curatorial assistance of the 4. berlin biennial of contemporary art and pursuits her master studies at the EHESS in Paris.
The exhibition is co-organized with the Škuc Gallery, Ljubljana, and supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia; British Council, London and Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap.
Special thanks to Joško Pajer, Škuc Gallery, Ljubljana; Josie Browne, Max Protetch Gallery, New York; Helena Drnovšek Zorko, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia; Pétur Arason, Safn, Reykjavik.