Drawn by Reality: Encapsulated in Life

Miriam Backstrom (SWE), Rick Buckley (GBR), Neil Jordan (IRL), Dagmar Keller & Martin Wittwer (GER/SUI), Saskia Olde Wolbers (NED/GBR), Joao Onofre (POR), Femke Schaap (NED), Antoine Schmitt (FRA), Thomas Steffl (GER), Oliver Schwabe (GER), Carl-Michael von Wolffshausen & Thomas Nordanstad (SWE)

10/1/2004 - 12/31/2004

In the present time, our notion of experience has undergone an intense makeover. Its status as ‘real’ has been gradually eroded by the increasing and overwhelming manifestation of carefully developed and standardized models of living. We seem to consciously choose to replace our personal experience by a mediated relationship with the world: instant gratification over profound reflection. Our indulgence in this is not just a powerless surrender since it is we who create this transformation ourselves. It can actually be considered a perfectly logical, even rational, reaction to the outside world presenting itself as reality when it so clearly isn’t. Within a world where there’s no space or time left for subject, it becomes almost unacceptable to be involved in individual reflection, or to look for subjective meaning. Authenticity has become relative, to the point where we seem to be celebrating this achievement as if it were a true liberation.

Within the visual arts, we expect artists to anticipate these tremendous but elementary changes, to translate the inconceivable into the individual. The problem being that, in order to imagine and represent the unimaginable, one needs a reality to refer or submit to. But what to do with a reality that has become fictionalized to such an extent that true and false seem indistinguishable?

Drawn by Reality – Encapsuated in Life presents the work of artists who permeate the creases of reality and bring to light its contradictions, calling on our inner forces in order to engender subliminal interpretation. In a setting that calls for vigorous involvement, these works enter into the subconscious and reveal concealed instincts that we so anxiously suppress. By appealing to our guy intuition, our coveted desires and our intellectual exigencies, they sharpen our senses and evoke a decent into the vault of our core.

This exhibition is a part of the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts. 72-page catalogue available.