Narrative Realities

Marie Jacotey  /  Tomasz Kobialka  /  Omsk Social Club  /  Duncan Passmore  /  Ariane Schick  /  Madeleine Stack  /  Theo Turpin

Curated by Tomasz Kobialka & Theo Turpin

8th June - 8th July 2018

Within the saturated landscape of new media can we build other worlds which might echo an alterity in sensitivity - to make visible once again the moods, emotions, allusions and the unsaid - within contemporary art. Narrative Realities aims to explore these questions of desire, narrative, narrativisation and personal affirmation through the distinct practices of seven artists.

Communication in daily life is as much about sensitivity to the unsaid as it is verbally coded. A sense of what is not said but meant is as important as what is verbalised. Our embodiment in the flows of daily affective and social life (intent, tonality, body language) speaks a truth - sometimes the reality of this truth is not always easy or appropriate. This liminal space is wishy-washy, difficult to pin down due to a slippery lack of consistency.

Following on from Foucault’s reading of the idea of ‘parrhesia’ we understand that there is a relationship between truth and power. “One who uses parrhesia is only recognised as doing so if he or she holds a credible relationship to the truth, if he serves as critic to himself or popular opinion or culture”. What is true cannot always be spoken because the truth of the matter is complicated and messy and social ties or positions of authority make us vulnerable to having our own truths exposed - and nobody likes that.

Perhaps the one truth or set of truths remaining in our world could fall under the heading of desire. That is to say, the process of desiring is fundamental to any sort of description or relation to truth. Desire perhaps not as something primal, but more of a will towards a space of personal power, reproduction, totalisation. A search for reunification or some sort of wholeness, which might be internally self-satisfied or not. The search for agency within your own world.

But what is this desire and how does it look? Can we distinguish it from other agencies of want and gain? We would like to consider further what this might mean through world building as a process of identity construction. Using artistic self critique as a method to examine one’s own position in both the internal (psychic, liminal space) and the external world one inhabits and chooses to create. Can expressing ones truth be an attempt to deal with your own self in a sort of cathartic or confessional manner, or is it more of a question of exposing oneself as the product of some set of systemic elements in the reproduction of life?