ViennaDo Nothing. Feel Everything.
Curated by Laura Amann, Aziza Harmel
Laila Bachtiar • Tony Cokes • Henry Darger • Patricia Domínguez • Rahima Gambo • Jakob Jakobsen and Sophie Carapatian • Yesmine Ben Khelil • Stanislava Kovalcikova • Niklas Lichti • Opoku Mensah • Shana Moulton • Tom Seidmann-Freud
To speak about madness or unreason is to speak not only about forms of consciousness but also about the description of historical systems of thought. Whether madness is described as a philosophical or spiritual phenomenon or as an objective medical psychopathology, these conceptions are not discoveries in themselves – rather, they are historical productions of meaning. So, if madness is a phenomenon of culture, curing the mad is not the only possible reaction to insanity.
Some consider the end of modernity to be the year 1977, when Sid Vicious famously proclaimed “No Future.” Back then, this was a shocking realization professed by a cultural vanguard, and at the very least it bore some novelty and perhaps also a sense of liberation. Today, that shocking realization has become normalized and internalized: a common condition.
In this state of shared insanity, we wonder how we can instrumentalize our own condition, or maybe learn from it. Not for the sake of optimizing our yield but because, as humans, we are behavioral strategists and learning is, at its core, a biological process. Therefore, this group exhibition looks into art practices from diverse geographies that understand insanity as a form of knowledge and that use risk-taking as a method to learn, when there is something at stake – practices that through careful bruising attempt to heal.
Do Nothing. Feel Everything: I want to have enough luck, photo: Lesley Braun