September 4 — October 17, 2020
Artists: Mariechen Danz, Margaret Haines, Mirak Jamal, Marina Pinsky, Niclas Riepshoff, Anna Solal, Stephen Suckale
Curated by: Gergana Todorova
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The pragmatic tradition of Western societies rejects the influences of higher powers by rationally describing and calculating planetary concepts that far exceed the human scale. The disenchantment of the world since the beginning of the modern era inscribes itself into the human condition as a traumatic experience. Instrumental knowledge addresses the world as a resource to be managed and equates the magical spells of yesteryear with the high-tech command of today.
The group exhibition “Outside Within” is structured around the entanglement of linguistic rationality and magical, irrational thinking. Today’s reality system is shaped by the cosmogony of the technological, writes Federico Campagna in his book "Technic and Magic". These two figures are neither perceived as “things” existing in the world, nor as exclusive categories. In that sense they are not equated with technology or witchcraft, but rather function as distinct entities or hyper-objects. Campagna sees the ineffable, which eludes the use of absolute language, situated at the very core of the real. Yet the few manifestations we find of it today are largely in the spheres of aesthetic, pseudo-scientific or spiritual practices. They reflect the longing for a re-enchantment of the world, the desire to re-gain autonomy and recover from an increasing loss of individual agency in a world in the grip of crisis.
What would happen if magic and the technological realm were allied, if they did not stand in opposition to each other? What kind of intersections would emerge, how would the “making of world” be reconfigured?
While contemporary art is steeped in linguistic and representative discursivity, it has areas where the generic prevails. The exhibition revolves around interruptions in narratives and cartographies between conceptual language and magical embodiment. Taken from a chapter of the same name, the title refers to the double claim of simultaneously being in the world and formulating an outside within – in the knowledge that there is an unspeakable more, one that is denied existence even as it emerges through the cracks of descriptive language.
 Federico Campagna, Technic and Magic: The Reconstruction of Reality, (London: Bloomsbury, 2018)