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Act VII: Of Facts and Fables

History, mysticism, fiction, and scientific discourse

  • 12 May 2010  –  26 Sep 2010
    Witte de WithWitte de With, Witte de Withstraat 50, Rotterdam Witte de Withstraat 50Rotterdam, 

Opening on Wednesday 12 May 2010; 6-9 p.m.

There is a traditional distinction between the earth as the space of nature, and the world as the space of humanity. Fictions and abstractions belong to the world, as do thought and action. The fable, however, invariably returns to nature in search of motifs that are excluded from the principles and imperatives of morality: animals, plants, inanimate objects. Children are the fable's ideal audience, and are also exempt from the sphere of morality and moral imperatives, even if only temporarily - that is, for as long as they are children or remain 'child-like.' In this sense, that which is excepted from morality is susceptible to becoming an example - a negative example - of the seemingly chaotic and 'anarchic' state of nature. Animal behavior, for instance, is often mobilized by moralistic discourses in order to prove that the true nature of humanity is one of uninhibited impulses that morality is designed to set right.

Of Facts and Fables brings together a selection of works that mobilize this realm of exception, presenting a critical image of the world and its fictions, operating in a space of representation that relies on fabulous motifs. History, mysticism, fiction, and scientific discourse come together in this exhibition as both outmoded forms of thought, and as potential for new kinds of speculative critique.

Artists

Saadane Afif, Danai Anesiadou, Miroslaw Balka, Keren Cytter, Stan Douglas, Agnes Geoffray, Erik van Lieshout, Marko Lulic, Philippe Parreno, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Luc Tuymans, Ola Vasiljeva, Danh Vo, Tris Vonna-Michell.

Curated by

Juan A. Gaitan and Nicolaus Schafhausen; assisted by Amira Gad.

Contributions 
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