The Highest Degree of Human Wisdom

6 Mar-12 Apr 2024
PV 5 Mar 2024, 6-9pm

London W1W 8SQ


A collaborative project

Shtager&Shch, London hosts Iragui Gallery, Paris

Iragui Gallery

Carlos Noronha Feio, Linda Carrara, Jeanne Susplugas, Pavel Pepperstein.

Curator: Alistair Hicks


Want to feel better? How about taking a good dose of art? The four artists in this show are all fighting for the belief that there is a better future, but the route there is unclear or at best glimpsed in broken pieces. One painting by Linda Carrara could be a window or a door but it is impenetrable. Others evoke memories of easier, dreamier times. Pavel Pepperstein and Jeanne Susplugas let us snatch at snippets of floating existence. Susplugas is looking to find temporary relief from ‘Disorder’. She wants to reorder our chemical make-up with the aid of a few mind-bending books and pills. Carlos Noronha Feio has adopted a traditionally feminine reproach to masculine violence. His rugs seem like an attempt to mend time with stitches. He has looked at Afghan rugs of the 1970s and 1980s which literally depict ultimately doomed Soviet aggression in the mountains that refuse to be conquered. He has examined his own Portuguese roots and the 17 th century Arraiolos, the makers of which were escaping the Catholic Inquisition. Their tapestries look back to the glorious days when Muslims, Jews and Christians lived happily side by side. Pavel Pepperstein gives us a Suprematist Napo Leon. Pepperstein explains that ‘Napoleon comes as the blue-faced Shiva – the god of destruction, war and of something which is really fucked up’ and is ‘reincarnated in at least two forms – a cake and cognac.’ By deconstructing the French dictator, we can take shards of a brilliant legacy, but he had to be defeated first – and luckily the Russians did that. So let us hope that our visitors enjoy their dose of medicine and get high on ‘The Highest Degree of Human Wisdom.’ Or in the reputed words of Marie-Antoinette ‘let them eat cake.’ Above and beyond this let us
mend the world.


*Tolstoy, Leo, ‘All we can know is that we know nothing. And that’s the highest degree of human wisdom.’ War and Peace, [Voina I Mir], Moscow, 1868


Installation views