Open Skies


27/09/2019 - 05/01/2020

Open Skies :: © Leander Schönweger, Our Family Lost, 2017. Mixed media installation at the 15th Istanbul Biennial. Photo: Sahir Uğur Eren. Open Skies :: © Toon Fibbe, Too Big to Fail, Too Small to Notice, 2018, 10’ single channel video and performance (video still). Open Skies :: © Helen Dowling, The Queen of Lemons, 2018, 7’50’’ single channel video (video still).

Today, the demands of transparency are far-reaching: expose, identify and align oneself, trade intimacy and authenticity for control, profit or security. Things become transparent when they lose their ambivalence, which could be seen as a positive quality in certain domains. In the core of human life, however, no-one can be transparent, even to themselves. The philosopher Byung-Chul Han in his manifesto The Transparency Society, has made a counterclaim for mystery, shadow, and nuance as forms of resistance.

Open Skies takes a closer look at the ways these artists seek to elude the reign of the like-button, evade the elevator pitch or entangle the reductive statement of intent. Instead, they create works that ambiguously play with veils and masks, codes and currencies, projections and fantasies. Some works employ a layering of images, stripping and deconstructing standardized tropes to provide alternative realities. Others question the supposed transparency of language, revelling in its slippages.

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