Succinctly phrased questions are very powerful. They have a sense of direction. Anyone who stands in their way will be confronted by a force that pushes relentlessly forward, until its demands are met. A well phrased and clearly articulated response. Not all options to react to this unidirectional force are ever put into practice. The option to elude it and the option to instinctively counter it are the most common reactions. Postponement could be a way to escape a situation of high tension where human existence might be at stake. So is no solution also a solution? Other than dodge or riposte there is also the option to face the force. To stand one’s ground and experience what happens to the inner structure and its manifest appearance if the force encounters a resistance embodied by oneself.
This moment has a ceremonial quality. And exactly this character can lead both protagonists to relent from wanting to act along predetermined paths of reaction and counteraction. The lack of a moment of pause and consideration – which would seem indispensable for the question of deciding what is to be done – can be prevented by allowing a thought that has entered your mind through the eyes to reach into your own memory and become tangible. Artists can move even more subtly in this terrain and will make use of anything that marks the white cube as a site of ritualised experience and a zone of heightened attention. Famed act with accomplices and agents – such as a preserved and mounted sparrow coated in yellow paint; a ventilator, that, thwarted in its potential to create actual wind by being kept in a glass display cube, creates a mental image of wind; or a loop of film that shows variations of casual farewell. The selection and the appearance of these accomplices and agents fuels the assumption that nonsense plays a supporting role here. Nonsense in the terms formulated by Chus Martinez in the dOCUMENTANotes No. 75: “In this sense, “nonsensical” means being capable of suspending our conventional notions of time (in particular, historical time), to blur the question of origin, to be unoriginal and therefore free to be attentive, to be able to perceive the equivocal as a manifestation of the possible as a way of bypassing essentialism.” For the people the contention of the ceremonial with all its rules lies therein: to trust people to be able to recognise the selfdetermined rules of the game with the end of liberating themselves from the persistent attribution of meaning. “Thinking makes seeing and speaking reach their limits.”
What we witness here is called experience and it can be supportive in clarifying what is to be done within the scope of an individual who musters the courage to assert their individuality and act accordingly.
Photos: Stefan Fischer