Exercises in Seeing @ QNA – Dec 5

Post Brothers Present:

EXERCISES IN SEEING

a one night only exhibition held entirely in the dark

Saturday, December 5th, 2009. 9 PM – 6 AM.  Free and open to the public.

Queen’s Nails Projects : 3191 Mission St, San Francisco, California.

A free audio guide by David Buuck will be available as a limited edition CD and will be downloadable at queensnailsprojects.com

Featuring projects by:

Jesse Ash (UK) Olivier Babin (FR) Nina Beier (DK) Francesca Bennett & Nicolas Matranga (CA/NL) Raymond Boisjoly & Ryan Peter (CA) Liudvikas Buklys (LT) Deric Carner (US) Etienne Chambaud (FR) Brian Clifton (US) Torreya Cummings (US) Dina Danish (EG/NL) Gintaras Didžiapetris (LT) Rosie Farell (UK) Isola & Norzi (IT) Seth Lower (US) Benoit Maire (FR) Darius Mikšys (LT) Tegan Moore (CA) Elena Narbutaitė (LT) Daniel Oates Kuhn (US/CA) Kamau Amu Patton (US) Mandla Reuter (DE) Snowden Snowden (US) Gareth Spor (US) David Stein (US) Daniel Turner (US) Freek Wambacq (NL) Jen Weih (CA)  Christine Wong Yap (US)

“Is not vision itself—seeing abysses?” – Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

One cannot be certain that they have seen the Exercises In Seeing exhibition, but they may have heard about it from its numerous audio guides, whose authors did not see it either. Apparently, the exhibition escaped visual perception completely. Originally curated by Valentinas Klimašauskas and Jonas Žakaitis, a series of artworks first disappeared at Tulips & Roses in Vilnius, Lithuania, and then subsequently vanished at The Royal Standard in Liverpool, UK. Now at San Francisco’s Queen’s Nails Projects, the critical enterprise Post Brothers has turned the lights off, inviting over 30 local and international artists to test the aesthetic and conceptual potentials of the dark. For one night only, Queen’s Nails Projects will become “terra incognita”—a dark space on the map, a blind spot in our vision for impossible projections and amplified sensations. Here, rules are nullified, orders undermined, negation celebrated.

An “inhibition” rather than an “exhibition,” all of the works in this paradoxical display are presented without the aid of gallery lighting. Despite this predicament, the multidisciplinary projects elicit alternative means of understanding through their visual lack; they chart absence as much as presence, and their works linger in the gaps of perception. Some of the artists have chosen to place an already existing work in this cave, extending and compromising their artwork’s critical capacity by purging its perceptual palette. Others have contributed new projects that will disappear for their first appearance; their very existence becomes dependent on blind encounter within this treacherous void. Headless sculptures, encrypted transmissions, and familiar objects vocalize missing truths, creating a correspondence between the shadow and the real, stretching the encounter of form to its lineaments. While some artists nefariously throw caution in the wind, others push the limits of caution itself, teasing our anxieties and trust. Forbearers range from surrealist and conceptual propositions on the nature of art and perception, to the use of negation in philosophy and science, to many of the works of James Joyce (where lights going out allows characters to see clearly for the first time), to the movie ‘Les Amants Du Pont-Neuf,’ where a blind woman sneaks into the Louvre at night to experience the works firsthand. In lieu of standard and instructive documentation, writer David Buuck has provided an audio guide to orient the viewer. However, as he has not seen any of the works, his directions through this nocturnal vacuum may mislead the audience into dimensions unknown. Exercises In Seeing will be an examination of darkness, a probing of immateriality, an inquiry into invisbility, a venture in non-knowledge, a scrutiny of sensitivity, an undertaking in underexposure, a demonstration of disappearence, a movement into the unknown, the (d)evolution of vision.

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