Database > Exhibition / Event > No Man is an Island

No Man is an Island

Einladung: No Man is an Island. 2015

27.06.2015 - 25.07.2015

Ha'Riviera Gallery, Yisra'el

„No man is an Island, entire of it self“. The sentential statement goes back to the british writer John Donne (1572- 1631). Since then the quote was frequently used as a title and became a known plea for solidarity in popular culture.

Contemporary philosophy defines the subject as always socially and culturally constituted. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari show that power is not exercised on the individual, but on diversities who populate, colonize and dwell on territories. In “A Thousand Plateaus”, the philosophers write that the territory is „an act, a practice, which affects environments and rhythms that are territorialized”.... It is not only the space we live in (a house, hospital, church, university or museum), but it is a converging point of semiotic, linguistic, discursive and non-discursive components - a hard-fought space. Territories enable our existence in the first place: at the same time they represent the cage of our submission, but also the point where potential shifts can happen.

With this premises, the exhibition “No man is an Island” would like to bring together contemporary artists from Israel and Switzerland who are reflecting through their artistic practices on the present time and the history of structures and territories. The artworks take a position, occupy a point of view and approach spatial phenomena on analytical, poetical or subversive ways.

The exhibition wanders through various territories and exposes their function as carriers of cultural memory. Cultural memory plays a fundamental role in the formation of national or collective identities and it has its punctual fixed points. The Germain Egyptologist, religious scholar and cultural scientist Jan Assmann defines such punctual fixations as points which represent fateful events of the past whose memories are kept alive through cultural forms (texts, rituals, monuments) and institutionalized communication (recitation, inspection, observation). Thus cultural memory is also topographically organized. In every present time it is appropriated, interpreted, preserved and altered - it is the present-day which updates memories and puts them into perspective.

The works in the exhibition “No man is an Island” show how certain territorial discourses in Switzerland as well as in Israel are connecting with subjective bodily experiences. They start from main intersections where society and territory exist in relations of tension and open up new perspectives within the sociology of space. During this process, the critical angle is defined as an imagined outside perspective which is aware of its own impossibility.

Neither art is an island. Instead, we propose to consider art as a space of tension in which works and practices position themselves. Within this field, it becomes possible to examine always anew how concepts of artistic autonomy and plurality of practices act in relation to critical thought and political agency.



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last modified at 20.07.2015

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