Bitsy Knox, Christophe de Rohan Chabot, Erik Niedling, Jura Shust, Pakui Hardware, Patrick Fabian Panetta, Paul Sochacki, Sarah Pichlkostner, Sarah Schönfeld
Dead End Galaxies17.3.–5.5. Prague Curated by Marlies Wirth, Christian Siekmeier
The journey through vibrant space begins upon awaking from the realm of sleep, from existence into presence. We reproduce and redesign ourselves, structure our surrounding, subduing everything and anything to our logic, obsessively looking for a way to escape. Is the moon still eligible as a modern utopia? So ask fictional characters Kuy and Kay, who manifest in sculptural settings of metal rods and lashing straps hovering in an ambivalent state of suspension.
A walk through a visual soundscape animated by out-dated screensaver technology and a extreme dystopian dark verse lamenting like a techno priest.
Like a shaman’s travel equipment (a coat of animal fur) the human projection into outer space enables encounters with other states of consciousness, entities, realities, and rules. Space and time seem to bend in the ever increasing stream of ideals until it enters the immaterial void of the subconscious.
Is a painterly portrait of our planet a portrait of humanity itself?
Applying personhood to all our things, be it animate or inanimate, gives them a face to look into as if it was a mirror to ourselves. Yet, looking beyond our ever optimizable self-image we must realize that we are still searching for mythical comfort. Material and matter liquified into objects. Molybdomancy (“lead pouring”) may tell your fortune. Though t resulting shape is not so much a prediction of an individual future but of a collective one, or of many possible futures and their continuous replication and variation. Shiny metallic-glazed ceramics combine archaic, earthly technique with skillfully bent neon pushing fragility to its extreme. Precious ritualistic objects, with any known purpose somewhere lost along the way.
Totemic poles of shattered glass, a protective helmet and an egg in its holder seem to mystify and complicate our state of being as such. The eggs exposed to a otherwise harsh universe. Its fragility subsumed and exposed. A film still taken from Fellini's Casanova literally connects Polansky Gallery in Prague to EXILE in Berlin, where the first part of the group exhibition unfolds, unlocking elysian beaches, fictional mountain resorts, material traces in gravity, cyborg-ian travel cases, translucent one-eyed creatures, ritual replicas and a pinch of quantum mysticism.
Everyone who has thought about parallel universes will know that it is hard to figure out which one of them is ‘real’. The denominators of what we call ‘reality’ have become blurred, a new flexibility of 'truth' rules even over the galaxy we currently reside in. The ‘fake-news’ of the day is poking holes in the sensitive skin of our very own filter-bubbles and within the blink of an eye your day can vault you into the ‘upside-down’. Maybe it is time to travel. Where could we go from here?
‘Introspection’ is the new long distance journey, as we slide through the endless feed of information and images that busy algorithms have chosen for our fingers to scroll through: A gentle touch, a ‘reaction’ of sorts – like staring into the abyss of binary code.
The afterimage of a world seen from outer space, the alienation of the self and ‘the other’ in a dense habitat we share with the digital creatures of our own making. Looking at the remainders of the world we produce and consume, light years filled with the human trace of artificial goods, it is time to enter the void.
The inscription of a seminal painting by the French artist Paul Gauguin reads “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?” (P. Gauguin / 1897), a question still unaccounted for as of today. A promise has been made, and for the longest time it remains unfulfilled.