Pit stop on the way to dancing with cosmic forces

Adopting the most delicate and genuine making-choices, the artists explore human darkness through the lens of irony and ordinariness.

at Kenbrook House

Pit stop on the way to dancing with cosmic forces stems from a personal expanding and non-linear study into the pleasures and effects of spectatorship in contemporary culture. The curator decides to use an empty apartment in West London as an experimental ground to test and visualize the interim phase of her taste and research, facing the challenge of putting together a group of artists whose works aim to be the materialization of a nuance.

A personal understanding of two books confines the research behind this exhibition: Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche and The Art of Cruelty by Maggie Nelson. These books commonly impugn the traditional ideas of value in a dangerous manner, encouraging to a “violent return to life”. Nietzsche suggests that we really ought to free ourselves from the misleading significance of morality; reclaiming “evil” as a necessary pit stop on the way to dancing with cosmic forces, on the path towards a new soul, in a life defined by “will to power”. A century later, Nelson writes about the cultural phenomenon that flourished from Nietzsche’s words—alimented by the turbulent scenario of the late 20th century and subjected by the explosion of images circulation and technological inventions. Surrounded by brutalities and hostile systems, many twentieth-century art movements were obsessed with diagnosing injustice and alienation using “shock and awe” treatments as a cure. Attempting to describe this new scenario, Nelson takes into analysis those practices that “rape the viewer into independence” (Haneke, 2007) rather than the juxtaposed art trends that go by the name of “relational aesthetic”. The reason is that the latter most often predicate on the desire to lessen the amount of cruelty and miscommunication in the world, rather than to explore or express it as the former do. This choice is central to Nelson’s book as it is for this exhibition. “It is possible that the contemplation of cruelty will not make us human but cruel”, wrote Lionel Trilling, but it is also possible that “embracing cruelty is a step -a hazing or threshold- on the path to move beyond cruelty itself” (Nelson).

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Opening Times
Saturday 16 September, 2-9pm
Sunday 17 September, by appointment

Kenbrook House
Kensington High Street
W14 8NZ