Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space

Math Bass | Sara MacKillop | Monika Stricker

2 February until 23 March 2019


Funny thing about library basements: no matter how interesting your reading material may be, the fat blue striped spider lurking by the window still manages to distract you and haunt your worst nightmares; despite the fascinating tales about the systems you have loved, the will of the pictures in your life, the protectors of the (Hyper)Real and the philosophers of the Banal you may read trough, the hairy eight pack of legs tingling in a silk woven net still captivates your attention, your fears and fascination. The only thing keeping you and your fury little friend apart is a state of the art double sided dirty window equipped with all the necessary cracks, stains, fingerprints and dust expected.

Considering the cultural significance and textual implications of the window one quickly enters a thought provoking critical space: Why is it that we so rarely get to see the window and yet so easily see through it. It’s a barrier separating something we decided to call outside from something that came to be known as the inside, the final frontier between a reassuring familiarity and the disturbing unknown. Yet, besides its ability to hold all the furry blue striped spiders of the world away, how could we ever approach and conceptualize the Window for what it really is; how could it ever free itself from any kind of a functional Heteronomy that shaped its past, present and future, and just enter the realm of the Real with its definitive Thingness in the forefront.

Math Bass’ sculptural works allude to the sudden death of formalism and joke about what is means to fall in love with a deflated balloon, Sara MacKillop connects the dots between the Readymade and the stars, while Monika Stricker remaps our relationship with gendered identities and primal matter. Stuff made its way into various discursive fights that violently led contemporary art politics astray and questioned the powerful, yet slightly wounded, modernist structures of continental thinking. Taking advantage of the instability, the paradoxes and the unexplored places that open up on an occasion like this the show explores a range of different materiallities and mediums that deal with the Object after the death of the Object, the Immaterial in the forefront of web capitalism and the nightmares of product placement.

Although a problematic term Speculative Realism is largely used by a number of Thinkers, from the fields of philosophy, political science, critical
theory and the arts in order to address themes and concepts of mater, materiality, human cognition and perception. The minute the ever-changing theme of the Digital is added up in the equation, whether associated with digital identities, search engines, knowledge, virtual reality, thirsty Instagram posts, misspelled tweets, cringy memes and the agonizing death of Facebook a fascinating tale comes to life.

How can we keep on approaching, assessing and understanding the world around us with the same analytical tools as a bearded, not well groomed, yet highly charming 18th century Philosopher did? Things are bound to be nothing more than just things, forever isolated into those narrow mute spaces that we decided to give them, unable to respond, to pose questions, to demand answers and to smack us on the head. Our Stuff will keep on living long after we are gone. And then, ladies and gentlemen, only then we’ll be floating in space. Third star on the right and straight on till morning.


Haris Giannouras