congress / events

10x10: The Feast

Marianne Zamecznik

exhibition / installation

2011-09-08 - 2011-09-11 Four Domes Pavilion

informacje o biletach

photo: Josefine Lyche, “The 2x2 Case (Diamond Theorem) after Steven H. Cullinane”, Tromsø Kunstforening

In the context of the 10x10 project, Marianne Zamecznik, a curator and art critic based in Oslo and Berlin has invited three artists, Josefine Lyche (Norway), Paweł Jarodzki (Poland) and Oliver Laric (Austria) to prepare “The Feast”.

Marianne Zamecznik on the project “The Feast”:

The philosophy of  Italian thinker Emanuele Severino propounds a return to the ancient thought of Parmenides of Elea. For Severino, the principal question to be faced goes back to classic philosophy and concerns the contradiction or the agreement between the “being” and the “not-being” or “becoming”. Severino’s general thesis is that the sin and the error of the West (Christianity included) consist in their distancing from the precepts of Parmenides, according to which only the act of being is and can be thought and defined. In choosing not to respect the teachings of Parmenides and introducing the concept of "becoming" in thought and history, the West found itself in a situation without exit that has brought about the present dominion of reason and technology. The original sin of the West has occurred after Parmenides, when Greek thought, instead of considering only the "existing", has evoked the "becoming" intended as a visible dimension where things originate from nothingness and return to nothingness, after having been withheld temporarily in the "existing". The "becoming" becomes an oscillation between the "existing" and nothingness: but Severino, on the crest of the teachings of Parmenides, negates the western concept of the "becoming", defining it as folly.

Technology is the new God in a globalized world, the one that can save us from this fear of “nothingness”. A world inverted by capitalism is equal to the idea of going out of being, and represents a constant reminder of our ongoing or immanent free-fall into nothingness. It represents the deepest fear in man, against which we defend ourselves with remedies, such as the archaic feast. According to Severino, the feast is where men gather, to become one with the community, where the disparate voices become unison. It’s a place for happiness; felix, safety; the comforting meal, a place to celebrate the maximum power, which in the beginning was the divinity.

According to Severino art originated from the event of the feast. The event of the feast included all the forms of expression, even architecture, which was defined as creation of a space, by the different positions of the fire, lighting up the darkness, the projected shadows, the singing - all the elements which through their conjunction were able to deceive both man's intellect and fantasy, created as a remedy towards the fear of death or “nothingness”.

The idea of the feast is a conceptual framework for the project. It takes place in one of the towers of the Four-Dome Pavilion, an exhibition hall designed by German architect Hans Poelzig, which opened on the occasion of The Centennial Exhibition in May 1913. The space, a rotunda with alcoves all around and two entrances at opposite sides, is the main entrance to the four-domes pavilion and its forum-like square. It’s a space of passing through for all the public visiting the congress art program.

“The Feast” presents the work of three artists, who all contribute to create a peaceful atmosphere for relaxation and reflection, where the audience can make the emotional transition between what has been experienced in the lecture halls and the art program.

The space is lit by daylight, shifting from the high sun at noon until the darkness of evening - the light inside the space mirrors the outside. The light shining through the twenty tall windows will be dyed in the colors of the rainbow. Norwegian artists Josefine Lyche has borrowed the colors from the so-called Roygbiv “system”. Roy G. Biv is a mnemonic for the sequence of hues in rainbows and the visible spectrum. Lyche has distributed the colors according to the Fibonacci sequence, a mathematical series discovered by Leonardo Fibonacci in the 12th century. The series is found throughout nature, from leaf arrangements in plants to the human body. The System shows that in order to reach the logical number following the last, you have to look back in the sequence and sum up the previous numbers. According to the artists, this can easily be translated to human history, and explain how we must look back, to our ancient history and culture to reach a higher level of consciousness and finally eternity: Phi. The Fibonacci sequence shows how life intelligently develops its own design by looking back to its previous level and adding it to its state of being in order to reach the next level. It describes life as it is, how it was, and how it will be, and how these three time-dimensions are interrelated.

In 2009, the Singaporean Government honored the Burmese Prime Minister General Thein Sein by naming a new orchid after him, “Dendrobium Thein Sein”. For “The Feast”, Austrian artist Oliver Laric has named a new orchid hybrid developed by a German breeder, after the Burmese activist Aung San Suu Kyi. The name, “Phalaenopsis Aung San Suu Kyi” has been registered by the Royal Horticultural Society in London. The work of Laric shows how even the nominal power has become commodified; one can name stars and new hybrids of orchids for a moderate sum of money. But most of all, his act of naming an orchid after someone is an act of honoring a distinguished person. Bathing in the colored light, the orchids are distributed throughout the space.

The coffee breaks are often as fruitful to the audience as the conference discussions. People meet in a place where they can think, talk and exchange business cards. Polish artist Pawel Jarodzki will reenact a decade old performance of serving tea to the public. The performance originally took place in Warszaw, where Jarodzki was taking part in a festival organized by the Center of Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle. During the festival ongoing demonstrations in the city against the government dominated the agenda. At the end of the week Jarodzki served tea to people on the street in front of the government building, as a peaceful and generous, yet ambiguous gesture.

“The Feast” is organized as a scenography, which is aimed directly at the experience of the viewer, framing their participation, defining the place of the feast.

This exhibition is inspired by the work of Italian artist Paolo Chiasera, a series of paintings entitled “Das Fest”.

Marianne Zamecznik

Josefine Lyche (born 1973 in Bergen; lives and works in Oslo)
Paweł Jarodzki (born in1958 in Wrocław, Poland, where he lives and works)
Oliver Laric (Austria)

Curated by Marianne Zamecznik

Photo credit: Josefine Lyche, “The 2x2 Case (Diamond Theorem) after Steven H. Cullinane”, 450 x 650 cm, Tromsø Kunstforening, 2010, image courtesy: the artist.