artists & participants
To draw from mythical accounts of the land of seven rivers, set amidst seven seas, anchored by a mountain at its navel. The river breathes life into the land as they are fed by countless tributaries rivers which change course, directed by winds, stopped by human actions, swallowed by floods, vaporized by the sun, filled again by rain and invoked into existence by poets.
As rivers flow, overflow and recede, can a biennale accumulate meaning over time and spill into the future?
The flow of these streams, their convergence, and divergence inspires a series of questions and propositions about the varied forms and approaches to knowledge presented by the objects performed as part of the Biennale.
One of these rivers – a hidden river, whose sightings are elusive and ephemeral – exists in our belief and imagination. Knowing nothing of its origins or its end –‐ quests to find this hidden river give rise to narrative, story, poetry and perhaps to language itself.
What makes knowledge possible? One stream holds that knowledge comes through making, crafting and moulding objects. Another holds that knowledge arises from interrogating the ontological being and the conditions of possibility of objects. Are they in fact one?
If making is the primary means of knowledge production, how exactly does it work? Does it project a world imagined or is it guided and molded by the materials at hand? Are the forms it dictate are enclosed and complete? Or must they remain open to continuous interpretation and refreshed communication? As a form of knowledge production, does making create objects for interpretation or does it invite the performance of interpretation?
The existence of a hidden river implies no separation between the real and the mythic. Do we not experience that stream as alive yet hidden, as the fount of imagination and a prelude to its projection in the processes of making? Can history and its archives gather enough power to cause the river’s disappearance to separate the real and the mythic? Can they continue to imply each other?
Imagination turns the gap between the seen and the unseen into a space of possibility. The gap between the real and the mythic, the seen and the felt, the hidden and the experienced offers the seductive possibility of truth as filler. Is it possible for objects as multiple occurrences to occupy this space as an inclusive experience?
Is the gap in space like a lag in time? To experience this gap is like pulling open the doors of time. How does that pull in time also become a fold in space? As one gazes back at the gap, is it possible to be drawn in and propelled forward by a force sometimes referred to as tradition, sometimes as a cascade that erupts in the midst of the present with flashes of the future? Folded in upon itself, a lag in time can simultaneously imply looking back and looking forward. When a gap is also a fold, one can look back to move forward. What does it mean to be together in time to be contemporary?