Tuesday May 10, 2016 – 7pm
Curating Against The Grain: Frontiers, Scripted Spaces And Groundlessness
HEAD, Boulevard Helvétique 9, 1205 Geneva, seminar room CCC, salle 27, 2nd floor
“A recent piece in the New York Times collected incidences of people taken adrift by their GPS. It reports of a couple that “plunged off a bridge in Indiana” last year because it ignored «Road Closed» signs, and of park rangers in Death Valley that are confronted with so many incidents involving drivers following disused roads and disappearing into remote areas that they gave them a name: «death by GPS.» In each of these cases, the GPS had insisted and the drivers had readily or finally abandoned doubt. The map has taken priority over the territory. The world is no longer the measure for the accuracy of the map, but the other way around: an imperfect reality is measured by the standards of what is considered to be increasingly “perfect” map. For a GPS to be wrong, would not the entire order of the cosmos and the course of the planets (or satellites) have to be upset?
In this talk I will speak about a series of curatorial projects from 2010 until today. In different ways, these projects sought to engage with the question of positivist forms of knowledge and vision, their history in relation to exhibition making, and their resurgence in the form a new data-positivism. I will discuss a research-intensive curatorial methodology that seeks to transform the exhibition into a space of cognitive (un-)mapping, and apply a binocular vision onto aesthetics between power and technology. How can the exhibition as a medium un-ground knowledge and epistemological certainties? How can a completely controlled and scripted space like an exhibition engage with the possibility of the unscripted and unpatterned? Is art perhaps offering ways of leaving a scripted space or a cognitive scheme, reflexively inducing a cognitive crisis, an experience of ontological groundlessness?”