‘I want the irrational to be continuously overdetermined, like the structure of coral; it must combine into one single system everything that until now has been systematically excluded by a mode of reason that is still incomplete’.
Standing against prevailing sociocultural acceptances that see language as an arena of texts, ideology, narratives, codes and metaphors, Cosmic Words is a group exhibition that traces the movements and interplays between matter and language. Whilst the common use of language designates an intention to communicate, it is ultimately a free, physical signifier in itself, that could serve as bridge towards an understanding of the natural world built upon the basis of physical forces, flows and exchanges.
Inspired by Roger Caillois’ The writing of stones, the exhibition considers how meaning arises in the vortex of biological processes, energy flows, social dynamics and physical interactions and whether humans can tell about the axiomatics that bind these indivisible forces together.
In his book, Caillois proposes an imaginary of stones that goes back to Ovid’s visions of the cosmos in which the inorganic and the organic, stone and flesh fuse along the continuum uniting of everything. Thus, the exhibition attempts to create an experience where different processes of matter and energy interact with the whim and will of human languages to form a panoramic vision, free of rigid structures and western notions of progress and order that allows us to envision the physical rhythms of language flowing through materials, culture and the production of meaning. A rhythm that contracts or expands, quickens or slows giving shape to auto-poetic structures of knowledge and socio-natural relations.
How do language and other physical processes articulate each other? What kind of logics operate within these dynamics?
The exhibition comprises a selection of artists concerned with how the structuring of language affects the material world. In the wake of our accelerated environments, the works in the exhibition show how different forms in the human history of language derive from dynamics where language is not a mere social resource but the metamorphic flow making us relate to the world in certain ways. And it is precisely this aspect that enables us to reflect on the current environmental urgency while proposing a material empathy towards the natural and non-human cosmos in which we coexist.
Exhibiting artists: Joana Escoval, Karlos Gil, Natalie Hausler, Sophie Jung, Meggy Rustamova, Hannah Weinberger and Florian Zeyfang.
Curated by Alejandro Alonso Díaz.
Photography by Bruno Lopes.
Galeria Boavista, April 21 - June 20