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“I know because I'm an intellectual who tries to follow everything that happens, to imagine everything that is unknown or unspoken, who connects facts that may seem disparate, that puts together the disorganized and fragmentary pieces of an entire coherent picture, who restores logic where arbitrariness, folly, and mystery seem to rule.” — Pier Paolo Pasolini
Feral File and synthesis gallery are pleased to announce I Know, an exhibition exploring what an aesthetic of truth might be. Curated by Giorgio Vitale, I Know features an intergenerational group of five artists, each embracing very different aesthetics and artistic strategies. Their works in the show address anxieties about the turmoil we are now experiencing around the world and offer critical reflections on it.
The “truth” considered in this exhibition is not a scientific or academic one, but rather an imaginative one. It is based on the slow unfolding that viewers experience when they sit with an artwork. In our current post-truth society, in which veracity and accuracy are sacrificed on the altar of hyperbole and misinformation, I Know invites artists to reexamine historical moments and to evoke images of the past in order to claim a place within it. These artists struggle with power, inequality, and discrimination, addressing debates about mass surveillance and the architecture of the web3. The works in the exhibition reflect on traditional modes of thinking, both inside of and outside of the arts, and in so doing make way for future possibilities.
In his work “Unzip,” Chinese artist aaajiao calls for solidarity in the NFT market by developing a system that actually forces only virtuous trading. His work is made of a 15-zip package file. Each zip includes an NFT that can only be unzipped once all the 15 are collected. AES+F has contributed a fantastical video excerpted from the iconic “Turandot 2070” - a techno-feminist vision of the future inspired by Giacomo Puccini’s homonymous opera. Cibelle Cavalli Bastos leverages artificial intelligence to ponder the in-between, tracking their transition to non-binary over a period of two decades through a personal online archive. Claudia Hart’s “The Art of Survival: Aphorisms by an Old Girl” are maxims inspired by Machiavelli’s The Prince and Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, meant to heal a flaming public space where discussion has been polarized by social media and current real politics. Yehwan Song’s work challenges the idea of technology as neutral, by exposing user-friendly interfaces disguising the real violence lurking beneath their sugary surfaces.
I Know embraces oddities. It speaks loudly, without saying a word. It is paradoxical and incomprehensible. It requires interpretation. It calls for philosophical answers. The title of the exhibition is inspired by Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1974 j’accuse ‘Io So’ (“I know” in Italian), which became the symbol of a generation in Italy: a hymn to intellectual freedom and the importance of the civil role played by artists and intellectuals in questioning the status quo and resisting silence and connivance by embracing folly and the absurd.
I Know is a brutal liberation. No less.
Oranienstraße 58, 10969 – Berlin