Monir Farmanfarmaian - Gaia Fugazza - Dee Ferris - Deborah Hobson - Ximena Garrido-Lecca - Maude Maris - Nike Savvas - Tanoa Saskraku - Gulay Semircioglu - Salvatore Arancio - John Greenwood - Jason Martin - GT Pellizi - Peter Peri - Julian Simmons - Jamie Shovlin - Ben Spiers - Richard Wathan
Everywhere was nowhere, and nowhere everywhere is a group exhibition that sits within a territory where we are faced with the human need to connect with a sense of the cosmic. Each artist here has their own idiosyncratic approach to this cosmo-anthropic task, using both esoteric and exoteric methodologies.
Each artist here has their own idiosyncratic approach to this cosmo-anthropic task, using both esoteric and exoteric methodologies. Some of the artists turn towards less rational worlds or enter a space where art history is to be ‘fermented and feasted upon’. One artist is steeped in Sufi cosmology, while others mix geology with anthropology to findthe spiritual - along with socio-political critiques.
The title andidea forthis group exhibition originates from the book ‘Technic & Magic : The Reconstruction of Reality’ by Italian philosopher Federico Campagna (Bloomsbury Publishing 2018).
In our global technological culture we are bombarded with the promise of a limitless freedom - of infinite life choices for a time yet to come, yet in truth we experience this as an endless repetition of low-grade sameness in a process of mental defoliation.
Campagna utilises a vast span of historical reference points moving between and across epochs to map out his thesis - from the Neoplatonic Greco-Roman world of antiquity to Imperial Persia; from Arabic philosophies to German Romanticism to discover the hidden tradition of magical thinking.
He presents a framework in which our current reality rests upon two poles. The pole of ‘Technic’ which describes the utilitarian, serial, and instrumental functionality of techno-science; whilst the opposing pole is ‘Magic’, the primacy of the ineffable. Campagna speaks of creative & sensory experience ‘outside of language’, that which occurs through us when allowed to connect with an intuition, a form of deep time.
Campagna does not propose the need for the dominance of Magic over Technic but that our reality is necessarily constituted by both poles interdependently, yet within this current epoch of Late Capitalism a crisis has occurred in which ‘Technic’ now overwhelms ‘Magic’ thereby oppressively dominating our worlds - the result is a stasis of our inherent earthly imagination and occasions a terminal narrowing of our horizon of thought.
The artists in this exhibition produce the necessary ‘Magic’ by evoking it through a multitude of aesthetic models to find a mode that might counter ‘Technic’s’ deadening paralysis of contemporary culture – and that by opening wide our sensory perception within the ontological field of Campagna’s notion of ‘Magic’, a creative awakening will ensue.
This group show is an invitation to the viewer as a playful rewriting of visual codes, from mystical hard-edged abstraction to trippy figuration, or from innovative assemblage to compellingly beautiful affective hand-crafted works. It is possible that the ineffable can illuminate - that liberation, and elation can be found by attuning to our cosmic origins and recalibrating our focus to our ultimate celestial destination.