29 December 2018- 2 January 2019 , Berlin
Remember the moment when you closed your eyes late at night and sunk
into thoughts that ended in nothing? In that darkness you tried, in order to
get some grip on the questions that are haunting you at a fast pace, to link (y)our existence to an ontological origin. What was there in the beginning? What happened when there was nothing? Why is there something rather than nothing? What was there before I was there? What would there be if I weren't there? So why am I here? What happens when I am no longer there? What will happen if there is no one left? Thinking of these black empty holes can generate fear, a fear connected to our being and essentially a fear for nothing. Art not only personifies this fear, the uncertain zone between life and death, but also makes it bearable.
Because art takes its inspiration from deciphering the ambiguities of our intermediate position (being and not being, darkness and light, .....), finding solace in art, the expressive witness of what is without expression, is a way to experience nothing, to be freed from this blindness and to become aware of something. By representing the whole atmosphere of being, art draws our attention to the fact that there could be nothing. Because the more we are aware of something, the more we are aware of the radical nothing.
Although we cannot know or understand nothing, not even in art, we can say that the way we experience nothing, in some cases corresponds to the contradictory sentiment of the sublime. The sublime is on the one hand a sense of vulnerability and finiteness but on the other hand also a withdrawal from that realization because there is no immediate threat to our existence. A sublime experience embodies a cognitive failure in which our mind cannot choose between pleasure and pain, beauty and ugliness, glorification and depression, admiration and aversion. And, of course, to be made aware of the limitations of our cognitive abilities, it is also possible to transcend them. The sublime, resulting from the confrontation with a work of art that introduces us visually or conceptually to nothing, is a temporary ecstasy that points to the impossibility of salvation.
The curatorial approach consists of connecting the different types and philosophical conceptions of nothing, as elaborated by Heidegger, Taoist and Buddhist scholars, with works of art that, without theorizing or analyzing the experience, can evoke intimate and personal "sublime feelings" in the viewer.
Heideggerian nothing is a (transcendental) experience which is revealed in Angst. Anxiety is related to being because in order to experience anxiety the conditio sine qua non is being. Therefore, in conceptual sense, nothing is externalized through being because the thought of nothing, our fear, is deeply connected to our entire state of being. In the Taoïst nothing, I focused, apart from all the other conceptions of nothing, on the absolute or negative nothing which refers to the fact that nothing is the source or origin of existence. I mostly understand it in aesthetically inclined terms namely the total reduction of form, space and color which gradually evolves into the formless/imageless. The last form/concept of nothing, Buddhist emptiness, focusses on what there is not namely a type of nonbeing related to something existing. Accordingly this Buddhist concept is best attained/personalized by using a specific architectural space. Something that was but in a sense is still there and where you literally and figuratively see and experience the void.
For several years has the celebrated Greek artist, Yiannis Pappis, been working on an acclaimed and multifaceted artistic oeuvre. His investigative opus is distinguished by a critical digestion, from an anthropological and phenomenological perspective, with the relation between space and the human body.
Italian painter, Amie Nerie, extrapolates useful ideas from philosophy and psychology and processes them into modalities of her subconscious free spirit to represent absent and abstract things as present. Nerie starts from a recurring formal methodology and guides the spectator into her multilayered world of painted existential parables.
Camilo Toro, a Colombian visual artist, is, since 2012, spreading his neo-figurative art with cubist and expressionistic traits all over Germany. Camilo expresses his beliefs through his artworks and shares the following features: a (South-American) expressiveness of color, slightly disfigured subjects with sexual, innocent an threatening connotations, significant surface texture.
Margherita, an autodidactic artist from Rome, draws artistic inspiration from her studies, psychology. Her paintings, an ethnographic hymn unmasking the imperceptible modes of human nature, fully express the struggle and fascination with experiencing reality. The artist focuses on concepts that are universally applicable to human existence including death, freedom and the meaning of life.
Robin, born in Chicago, works in his Berlin studio on paintings with a lyrical and evocative character that originate through cross-cultural discourse. His abstract expressionistic art, highlighting a romanticized form of self-conscious (action) painting, are objects of reflection and meditation influenced by East-Asian philosophy and metaphysical concepts.
Jordan is a drawer and painter from the UK and will be exhibited in Germany for the first time. His unusual CC (comic/cartoon) style is both aesthetically and conceptually food for self-reflexive thought on his place/role in society. Formally, the spatially juxtaposed pictorial narrative include crisp, quantized ‘cel’ shading, minimalist, high-contrast visual cues and black outlines with a self-shadowing effect.
Pessigoisten is the alter ego of a Swedish-born artist currently based in Berlin. The disoriented feeling that the viewer gets when perceiving her painting, series of individual paintings in which every part can both be seen as an individual painting or as part of the whole, is guided by the ambivalent relationship Pessigoisten has with the city of Berlin.
In n0thing an international group of visual artists confront the viewer with the empty plains of our existence. Combining these mesmerizing artworks with state of the art audiovisual performances, ambient tones, gastronomic treats and indulging drinks. Fear of n0thing?
Yiannis Pappas @Bangkok Art Biennale
Marina Abramovic Institute
Yiannis Pappas @Paxos Contemporary Art Project
Yiannis Pappas @ Benaki Museum Athens
Yiannis Pappas @Kunstfestival Behungen
30 December 2018 19h-23h - 2 January 2019
Lichtenrader Strabe 49, Berlin (Germany)
Ticketsale at entrance