Tolia Astakhishvili, Mark Barker, Co Westerik “The Main Entrance” at Shahin Zarinbal, Berlin

By Last Updated: December 1, 2022Views: 578

Possibly all of the buildings we depend on are based mostly on a type of lie. Possibly mendacity will not be so dangerous. Who actually needs the reality? Mendacity is a protecting measure, it’s a type of privateness. Additionally it is a type of leisure, a thrill. Mendacity is the fiction we assemble to sublimate the elements of actuality that can’t be coped with as they’re. And as I write this, I’m mendacity, I hope.

A personality in Fanny Howe’s novel “Indivisible” stated that the Holy Spirit was in all places should you simply paid consideration. “Not as a rewarded prayer however as an environment that threw your physique wide-open.” Howe writes that this character “had sacrificed intimacy and changed it with instinct.” It takes a minute to wrap your head round what this would possibly imply. To take heed to an environment that throws your physique wide-open ends in such a skinless publicity to at least one’s environment that instinct could be a substitute for intimacy. That’s, {that a} type of pure, pre-discursive impulse (any motion in any respect) can really feel as loving as a caress or as tender as a wound as a result of the world is simply that shut.

Maybe Co Westerik was somebody who had sacrificed intimacy and changed it with instinct. Within the swollen vein, directly pale and darkish blue, that forks throughout a hand like a river, we sense a few of that wide-openness, that radicalised sensitivity. What’s it, in the long run, that separates inside from outdoors and stops us from bleeding everywhere? A skinny, the truth is, transluscent materials, thinner than gauze and equally perforated. Pores and skin: one of many elements of actuality that may be troublesome to bear when you concentrate on it. The actual fragility, the phantasm of our containment. However there aren’t any two methods about it.

In one other work by Westerik, a single crumpled finger factors to a unadorned, stitched-up panorama of physique. There’s a refined obscenity to the barrenness of this image that has already proven us an excessive amount of, allow us to in too shut. The finger recollects Adam’s reaching for God’s within the Sistine Chapel, and Saint Thomas’s when he needed to poke Jesus’s wound to know that it was actual within the portray by Caravaggio. Westerik’s wound would virtually be extra bearable if it was, like Caravaggio’s, accessible to penetration. As an alternative it’s neither protected nor sorry. A skinny line, like an untrodden path or a silent creek.

Is that this wound an entrance or an exit; the location of intimacy-cum-intuition or a treatment for incredulity?

I attain for Christian imagery right here as a result of Christianity is so extremely fleshy, and a lot about exactly the kind of publicity at stake on this exhibition: being bare in public, the vulnerability of the physique, its mortality and sameness to every little thing else. However what Christianity can also be about is mendacity, dreaming, hoping. What’s a system of perception apart from a mode of coping? And so what’s it that this specific fiction

– right here on this room – permits us to deal with?

Mark Barker’s images of the air flow grills of transportable restrooms determine the gills of privateness. The nice intentions put in in sure areas a lot in spite; if mercy was a hieroglyph is that this what it will appear to be? Japanese bathrooms provide you with an choice to play slightly tune as you defecate. Inform slightly lie. Keep slightly longer. An absurd measure, actually. However a pleasant one!

Pores and skin is simply the primary lie within the story concerning the containment of subjectivity, outdoors on the earth there are a lot of, many extra.

Think about the signature as a type of cartography. You signal your identify on some essential doc, and in doing so draw a map of some huge and unusual land. That is how I’ve learnt to consider the expansive follow of Tolia Astakhishvili: a seamless to-ing and fro-ing between the define of a single topic and a cosmology. It’s a approach of seeing the world in the identical body and to the identical scale as a person physique, or a reminiscence, or a thought. One thing as vivid as a dream, and as slippery. Barker’s drawings too have that tendency to condense in a single line the horizon and a flap of pores and skin, a component of the improbable in addition to what’s shut. Right here, the leaky to wide-open state of our our bodies will not be a menace to our integrity however an invite to intimacy that asks for different types of privateness, different fictions.

I consider we will discover on this map of river-veins and scar-paths and within the ghostly forwards and backwards between physique and panorama, the lie that Saint Thomas didn’t consider as a result of he hadn’t understood that the purpose was not actuality. He stabbed on the wound when he may need merely traced his finger round it to know the define of the plot. As a result of there’s a approach of arriving at some type of reality by going by way of the again door whereas insisting that it’s the most important entrance.

Kristian Vistrup Madsen

at Shahin Zarinbal, Berlin
till December 17, 2022

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