DEL+REW: A Digital Exhibition to (Re)Sound the Aftermath
"Not even nothing is free of ghosts." (Karen Barad)
When we see pictures and videos of forcefully emptied out places such as Tahrir Square, Gezi Park, Euromaidan or even the Favela Café at ArtBasel, we encounter the sites of struggle and protest that faced their own destruction. Being themselves ruptures or negations of certain conceptions of order, reality or normality, these spaces are subject to another type of negation. The violent clearings bare witness to the desire of the policing state to do away with dissensus and struggle in an absolute, irreversible manner.
Nevertheless, for all the cleansing and purifying desires that provoked the evacuations, these spaces are haunted by the events that preceded such actions and that remain entangled with their present. Their emptiness and vacancy are not part of a smooth transition from one state of order to another. They are rather fractured and wounded by that same order which they try to defy; the tranquility of the aftermath is full of horror, desire, suppressed struggles and unexpressed fears. “The quiet cacophony of different frequencies, pitches, tempos, melodies, noises, pentatonic scales, cries, blasts, sirens, sighs, syncopations, quarter tones, […] are threaded through the silence, ready to erupt, but simultaneously crosscut by a disruption, dissipating, dispersing the wouldbe sound into non/being, an indeterminate symphony of voices. […] A jubilation of emptiness.” (K. Barad) Is there a way we can sound out the presence of all the reverberating cries and whines that continue into the future, piercing through the silence of the present? The jubilation of emptiness can be the site of unfolding a potential for other, more “inhabitable narratives” (D. Haraway) of the future, but it can also be the paralyzing gesture of celebrating order and tranquility.
In our project, we would like to occupy once more that moment of erasure and negation and explore it in its multiple temporal entanglements (suspended between past and future, between the necessity of bearing witness and the potential for change) as well as in its dependencies on power and institutional relations.
If, as Bergson puts it, negation is more than what it negates, if it entails this something as well as the operation – generalized and particular – of negation itself (G. Deleuze, Bergsonism), how can we make sense of the act of erasure? Is erasure the scar of a cleansing operation or is it itself marked by frictions and traces that could be touched upon? Where do we have to position ourselves in order to be able to hear the quarter tones of past events resonating the aftermath? To start answering these questions, we are inviting artists to join us in an ongoing conversation around the topic of erasure. This is an open call to articipate in a co-curated online exhibition which will focus on the aftermath of both physical and virtual spaces.
In the context of the visual cultures postgraduate programme at Goldsmiths, we are currently trying to research and rethink critical practices through our upcoming collaborative and experimental online platform.
The DEL + REW project aspires to create a new type of dialogue between artists, curators, the audience and the artworks themselves, thus giving essence to an alternative exhibition space.
In order to realise this project we are calling for artistic or applied research projects and we are accepting all kinds of creative works. These could be pre-existing or yet to be produced in the context of DEL + REW. Your work can be in media as different as photography, video, digital art, moving images, texts, sound, collage, etc. Works in progress are also all welcome.
The DEL + REW project is organised on a voluntary, unpaid and non-profit basis.
The exhibition will be launched on March 28th and will run for a minimum of 2 months.
To apply please submit an artist’s statement and a biographical note, alongside images or links of your work for review to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The work should be submitted by March 7th, 2014. Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions.