Coming to Reality

Curated by Fionn Meade

Participating artists: Michel Auder, Zbynek Baladran, Nina Beier, Lukas Jasansky and Martin Polak, Eva Kotatkova, Jiri Kovanda, Dominik Lang, David Maljkovic, Shahryar Nashat, Seth Price, James Richards, Ben Schumacher

June 25 – August 24, 2014

Studio Hrdinů
Eva Koťátková
Theatre of Speaking Objects: Picture atlas of Antonín, a boy who cut the library of the clinic into pieces
Wednesday June 25, 8 – 10pm
Performed by Sebastian Baalbaki, Hanka Turečková, Marta Vítů

SVIT (Nová síň)
opening Monday June 30, 5pm
July 1 – July 19, 2014

opening Tuesday July 1, 6pm
July 2 – August 24, 2014

Coming to Reality

Where to find an exit from the transcendent ego, Descartes’ infamous Cogito ergo sum? How to see a turn from consciousness grounded in Kant’s “I”, the One as analytic self-consciousness becoming a systemic rational?

The Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza (a vocal critic of Descartes in his own time) was exiled from his own Sephardic community of Amsterdam as a young man for decrying the existence of a providential God. Subsequently, Spinoza used Ladino, the Spanish idiom spoken by Sephardim, only once in his written work, to introduce the archaic phrase “pasearse” which literally means “to walk-oneself.” A loose translation into modern Spanish would be “pasear” or “dar un paseo,” to take a walk, but the archaic form insisted upon by Spinoza is both agent and patient, active and passive, an infinitive that refers the agent to herself as immanently present and therefore cause: “to visit oneself” and “to show oneself visiting.”

Why is this important? Because it is the split of self without duality that Spinoza claims in “pasearse,” a turning outward and inward at the same time, the becoming of self in the infinitive form, a coming to. But how far we are from Amsterdam! Wrapped in our new reality—one composed of images—the blind spot of moving at the same speed now makes us one. Marketable. Marketed. Mined. Me. Kein Eingang.

And still the dead dream of the low-living share. Crossed eyes, look again. Crossed mouths, felt again. Bad copies all of them. It’s the burn of it calls us forward, second nature. Coming to.

- Fionn Meade

The exhibition is organized by Arty, Futura, Studio Hrdinů, SVIT.

Supported by Fond of Culture Czech Republic, Danish Arts Foundation, Ifa Foundation, NSU Praha, Artmap.