236 Pender St East,
13 Oct 2023–10 Feb 2024
12 October, 2023
T. +1 604.683.7395
Mat Bushell, Guido Molinari, Monique Mouton, Richard Tuttle
17 October–22 November 2008
Curated by: Eli Bornowsky (Guest Curator), Jonathan Middleton (Director Curator)
Making Real, exhibition at Or Gallery, 2008.
There is an uncanny, subjective experience of art, which in general terms, is the presence of an artwork, concomitant with the experience of experience: a relation of sensing and thinking. The aesthetic and poetic dimension of art uniquely facilitates this experience with works outside our familiar sensorium. In this way, it is silly to imagine that art has no purpose or function, as the relation of sensing and thinking is fundamental to human existence. While philosophy thinks human being as a universal but generic abstraction, it is art and poetry that have the ability to flavour this abstraction, to nuance and vary it, and traverse its limits. What this exhibition explores is how it is not enough to admire the isness of being, but to show the expanse of being itself. Not the opening of being onto the multiplicity of subjects and discourses, but the field of being, the field of its sensibilities. Not only the touch of isness as a single point, but rather a gradation. Not simply the exposure of being, but the resonation of this, and that, and these exposures, timbres and intonations, their coming and going and the delight of their colours.
However, the poetry of being is not delivered through art to passive vessels. The truth is not a spectacle in the gallery for viewers to see and devour. This exhibition presents abstract images, but the capability of these images is only available through the engagement of the viewer. However, this engagement is not contractual; it is without imperative. Rather the works are simply available, appearing through each artist’s conviction. One does not decipher abstract pictures; one does with them, experiences them, senses and thinks alongside them. It is a focus on this doing and what this activity reveals about oneself to oneself that is interesting to the exhibition at hand, how one’s perceptions cohere, or presuppositions distort. Again, it is not simply a generic relation between being and truth, or nature and art, but a sensitive opening of this relation, an extension of it, a characterizing or seasoning, if only for an instant, a sensibility created in part by those who witness it.
Magic has been described as making ones imagination real. However, since the birth of modern science, it is difficult to imagine magic differently than the folklore and legends of spell-casters and love potions. The will to manifest into reality what one imagines, registers the power of magic. However, if we understand magic as resulting from an awareness of the embroilment of sensation and intellect, we can see that magic opens a territory for perception and experience rich in nuance, a practical and very real form of wizardry. Whether the artists chosen for this exhibition can be named magicians and sorcerers is less important than the fact that the works exhibited here are instruments for subjective exercise, and if one allows, mystical experimentation. While science cannot verify the experience of these works, or the merit of the exercises, there is a necessity for art to make real, to afford and make available the experience of reality.
Thursday, October 16, 2008, 8pm